Classification is central to many studies of protein structure, function, and evolution. This article presents a strategy for classifying protein three-dimensional structures. Methods for and issues related to secondary structure, domain, and class assignment are discussed, in addition to methods for the comparison of protein three-dimensional structures. Strategies for assigning protein domains to particular folds and homologous superfamilies are then described in the context of the currently available classification schemes. Two examples (adenylate cyclase/DNA polymerase and glycogen phosphorylase/beta-glucosyltransferase) are presented to illustrate problems associated with protein classification.