Understanding LC Call Numbers
LC Call Numbers Outline
How to Read LC Call Numbers
Understanding LC Call Numbers
How LC Call Numbers are Arranged on the Shelves
Physical Locations in the Library
Comparing LC with Dewey

Most call numbers have four parts :
• General / Broad Subject
• Narrower Topic
• Cutter Number (represents author, corporation, or title)
• Year of Publication

HF / 5415 / .G67 / 1939 Title: Price control under fair trade legislation
Author: Ewald T. Grether

HF Commerce
5415 Business → Marketing → General works
.G67 Cutter number for Grether
1939 Year of publication

But there are other forms that call numbers can take. For example:

PB / 1645 / .C26 / (v.1 and v.2)
Title: More West Highland tales
Author: John Francis Campbell

PB Modern languages. Celtic languages
1645 Gaelic (Scottish Gaelic, Erse) → Literature → Folk literature
.C26 Cutter number for Campbell
v.1 & v.2
Volume 1 and Volume 2

For more examples of this type of call number, go here.
F / 1039 / .5 / .L8 / M66 / 1982 Title: Louisbourg portraits : life in an eighteenth-century garrison town
Author: Christopher Moore

F History : America  (numbers 1001-1145.2) - British America (including Canada)
1039 Nova Scotia. Acadia
Cities, towns, etc., A-Z
Cutter number for Moore
Year of publication
PS / 3515 / .E37 / S8 / 1954 Title: The sun also rises
Author: Ernest Hemingway

PS American literature
3515 Individual authors → 1900-1960 → H
.E37 Author's cutter number, using second letter (hEmingway)
Title (sun - the, a, an ignored)
Year of publication
REF /  HA / 203 / .A5 / 1996
Title: Almanac of the 50 states

REF Library collections →  Reference
HA Statistics
203 Statistical data → By region or country → America → United States → Serials
.A5 Title
Year of publication

For a list of more library collection prefixes, go here.

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How to Read LC Call Numbers
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How LC Call Numbers are Arranged on the Shelves

Last updated May 13, 2004