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How to Read Call Numbers

How to Read an LC Call Number

PR
4571
.A2
1992


Line 1: Alphabetical order - A, B, C, D, DA, DB, DB, etc.
Line 2: Numerical order - 1,2, 3, 4, 1000, 2000, 3000, etc.
Line 3: Letters in alpha order, numbers in decimal order-
ex. .A2 goes before .A23 but after .A12
Line 4: Chronological order - 1992, 1995, 1999, 2001, etc.


What Does it Mean?

Books on the shelves are arranged by the Library of Congress Classification System - a system used by most academic libraries. Every combination of numbers and letters defines a subject. For example - if you browse the N section, every book with this call number is about Art.

  • The first line of a call number contains 1, 2, or 3 letters, which broadly define the subject area. For example: K - law in general, KF - law of the United States.
  • The second line of the call number is a number, which further defines the subject. For example: books with the call number QE534.2 (Q is science) are about "Earthquakes, Seismology - General Works - 1970 to Present."

LC Classification Chart

A   General Works
B   Philosophy and Religion
 BF   Psychology
C   History
D   History (Old World)
 DA   Great Britain
 DS   Asia
 DT   Africa
E   American History (U.S.)
F   American History (Local and Canada, Mexico and Latin America)
G   Geography, Anthropology, and Folklore
 GV   Sports
H   Social Science
 HF   Commerce
 HQ   Family, Marriage, Home
 HV   Social Problems
J   Political Science
 JK   United States
K   Law
L   Education
M   Music
 ML   Literature of Music
N   Fine Arts
P   Language and Literature
 PQ   Romance Literature
 PS   American Literature
Q   Science
 QA   Mathematics
 QM   Human Anatomy
R   Medicine
S   Agriculture
T   Technology
U   Military Science
V   Naval Science
Z   Bibliography and Library Science
 
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