This is the "Deciphering Call Numbers" page of the "Home" guide.
Alternate Page for Screenreader Users
Skip to Page Navigation
Skip to Page Content

Home  

Last Updated: Feb 24, 2016 URL: http://libguides.yorktech.com/main Print Guide RSS Updates

Deciphering Call Numbers Print Page
  Search: 
 
 

Using the Library of Congress System

 

How To Read Call Numbers

Books and periodicals in the Library are arranged by the Library of Congress Call Number Classification System.  Books are arranged according to the following categories.

A       GENERAL WORKS

 

AE

Encyclopedias

 

AY

Almanacs

 

B       PHILOSOPHY - RELIGION

 

B-BJ

Philosophy

 

BF

Psychology

 

BL-BX

Religion

 

C       AUXILIARY SCIENCES OF HISTORY

 

CB

History of Civilization

 

CC

Archaeology

 

CT

Biography (general)

 

D       GENERAL & OLD WORLD HISTORY

 

D

World History

 

DA

Great Britain

 

DB-DX

Other Countries

 

E-F       HISTORY OF AMERICA

 

E 1-143

North America

 

E 151-      United States

 

F 1-975

U. S. Local History

 

F 1201-

Other Countries

 

G       GEOGRAPHY, ANTHROPOLOGY, FOLKLORE

 

G-GB

Geography

 

GR

Folkore

 

GV

Sports, Recreation

 

H       SOCIAL SCIENCES

 

HA

Statistics

 

HB-HJ

Economics

 

HM-HX

Sociology

 

J       POLITICAL SCIENCE

 

K       LAW

 

L       EDUCATION

 

M       MUSIC

 

N       FINE ARTS

 

NA

Architecture

 

NC

Graphic Arts

 

ND

Painting

 

P       LANGUAGE & LITERATURE

 

P

Linguistics

 

PA

Classical Languages

 

PD-PF

Germanic Languages

 

PJ-PL

Oriental Languages

 

PN

General & Comparative Literature

 

PQ

Romance Languages

 

PR

English Literature

 

PS

American Literature

 

PT

Germanic Literature

 

Q       SCIENCE

 

QA

Mathematics

 

QA 75

Computers

 

QC

Physics

 

QD

Chemistry

 

QH

Natural History, Biology

 

QK

Botany

 

QL

Zoology

 

QM

Human Anatomy

 

R       MEDICINE

 

R

General, Medical Records

 

RC

International Medicine, Diagnosis

 

RG-RJ

Gyn/Obs, Pediatrics

 

RK

Dentistry

 

RM-RS

Pharmacology

 

RT

Nursing

 

S       AGRICULTURE

 

SD

Forestry

 

SH

Fish Culture

 

T       TECHNOLOGY

 

TK

Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Nuclear Engineering

 

TR

Photography

 

TT

Handicrafts

 

TX

Home Economics

 

U       MILITARY SCIENCE

 

V       NAVAL SCIENCE

 

Z       BIBLIOGRAPHY, LIBRARY SCIENCE

 

The Anne Springs Close Online Library Catalog includes records for all the Library’s 25,000 print resources.  It may be searched by author, title, subject, and keyword.  Patrons also have remote access to the catalog.  Additionally, the patron may choose to search all of South Carolina’s technical college libraries.

Students who cannot locate needed resources using these catalogs may choose to search PASCAL or WorldCat and request materials on interlibrary loan. WorldCat is a worldwide catalog of over one billion items held in more than 10,000 libraries.

Each book in the Library of Congress System has a unique call number (address).

Understanding Call Numbers:  Have you ever wondered how library books are assigned their places on the shelves? Did you know that the call number -- the number placed on the spine of the book -- is a code which provides valuable information about the book?  This page will provide an introduction to understanding and using library call numbers.

Each book in the library has a unique call number. A call number is like an address: it tells us where the book is located in the library. This system uses a combination of letters and numbers to arrange materials by subjects.

Call numbers appear like this, from top to bottom, on the spines of books:
RA

1258

 .M66

 2008

 

And like this, from left to right, in the online catalog:
RA1258 .M66 2008

            Read a call number by sections, line-by-line. Each section is part of the "code". For            example:    RA1258 .M66 2008

§  RA -- Read the first line in alphabetical order:
                        A, B, BF, C, D ... L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML ...

§  1258-- Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, ...45, ...100, 101, ... 1000, ... 2000, ...2430, 2431, 2432

§  .M66 -- The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers.

§  Read the letter alphabetically: A, B, C, D, E, ... Y, Z

§  Read the letter as a decimal.
e.g. .C65 = .65
e.g. .C724 = .724

§  2008 -- This is the year the book was published.
Chronological order:, 1999, 2003, 2008, ...

Putting Call Numbers in Shelf Order:  To understand how call numbers are put in order in Library of Congress Classification look at each section of a call number. These call numbers are in the correct order:

  1. RA2301 .M37
  2. RC2327 .M3
  3. RC2327 .V53 1999
  4. RC2328 .B37
  5. RC2328 .C34
  6. RC2328 .C55
  7. RC2328 .C554 2013
  8. RC2395 .C65 2003
  9. RC2395 .C65 2008

Do you see why the call numbers were arranged in this order? Shelf-order can be confusing at first. Here is the same list of call numbers, with explanations of how they were put in order:

  1. RA2301 .M37
  2. RC2327 .M3 (RC comes after RA)
  3. RC2327 .V53 1990 (Both start with RC2327, V comes after M)
  4. RC2328 .B37 (2328 comes after 2327)
  5. RC2328 .C34 (C comes after B)
  6. RC2328 .C55 (Both start with RC2328 .C, decimal .55 comes after .34)
  7. RC2328 .C554 1999(Decimal .554 comes after .55)
  8. RC2395 .C65 2003 (Decimal .65 comes after .554, because 6 comes after 5)
  9. RC2395 .C65 2008 (Same call numbers except for date: 2008 comes after 2003)

What does the call number mean? Remember that Library of Congress Classification arranges materials by subjects. The first sections of the call number represent the subject of the book. The letter-and-decimal section of the call number often represents the author's last name. And, as you recall, the last section of a call number is often the date of publication.  

example:
Title: Poisons on our plates : the real food safety problem in the United States

Author: Michele Morrone.

Call number:   RA

1258

.M66

2008

Let's crack the code by examining the sections of this call number:

§  RA1258 = subject of the book:

§  .M66 =, the author's last name

§  2008 = the publication year

 Why is this important to know? Because books are classified by subject, you can often find several helpful books on the same shelf, or nearby.

 
Description

Loading  Loading...

Tip