Library of Congress Classification System

Index



A - General Works J - Political Science Q - Science
B - Philosophy, Psychology, Religion K - Law R - Medicine
C - Sciences of History S - Agriculture
D - History: General and outside the Americas L - Education T - Technology
E - History: U. S. M - Music U - Military Science
F - History: U. S. Local and the Americas N - Fine Arts V - Naval Science
G - Geography and Anthropology P - Language and Literature Z - Library Science
H - Social Sciences: Economics and Sociology


> Guide to Literature Reviews


Understanding Call Numbers

A sample call number:

     QE 534.2 B64

Call numbers begin with one, two, or, three letters

Numbers after letters

The cutter number

The cutter number is a coded representation of the author or organization's name or the title of the work, also known as the "Main Entry. The "S3" in our last example is simply code for the journal title Science.

QD 1 A5 is the call number for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The A5 represents the name of the author, in this case the American Chemical Society.

What can we determine from the book QE 534.2 B64? First, the Q indicates Science and the QE indicates Geology. By looking at the first numbers, 534.2, we know this falls under the subcategory under geology of "Dynamic and Structural Geology, Earthquakes and Volcanoes". And the Cutter Number? The Cutter Number of "B64" tells us that the book was written by Bruce A. Bolt and is none other than the book Earthquakes. The call number tells a lot about an item.

Shelving and Locating

Items are shelved by call numbers - in both alphabetical and numerical order. The letters at the beginning of the call number are alphabetical. The numbers immediately following are in ascending numerical order.

QD 1 A3 QD 2 A 31 QD 3 Z 4 QD 29 C 3 QD 30 A 2

The cutter numbers (A3, A31, Z4, C3, and A2 in the above example) are sorted first by the letter and then by the number as a decimal. For QD 1 A5, think of it as being QD 1 A 0.5, for QD 1 A332 read QD 1 A 0.332. Therefore,

QD 1 A3 QD 1 A 31 QD 1 A 311 QD 1 A 4 QD 1 A 405 QD 1 A 41 QD 1 A 4105

Dates, volume and issue numbers, copy numbers, and other annotations are like an additional cutter number but are shelved by basic alphabetization (numbers alone come before letters):

Q 10
C 3
Q 10
C 3
1933
Q 10
C 3
1990
Q 10
C 3
1996
copy 1
Q 10
C 3
1996
copy 2
QD 1
A 5
Vol. 1
QD 1
A 5
Vol. 2
QD 1
A 5
Vol. 2
Plates
QD 1
A 5
Vol. 2
Supplement