# Library of Congress Classification Syste

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Published on December 23, 2008

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Slide 1: Collection Management Training Program Slide 2: Designed by Edward Suarez Updated by The LC Training Group- 2005 Collection Management Group Book Graphics by Rob Krack Supervised by Marie Brodman Credits This training module will introduce you to the Library of Congress Classification System : This training module will introduce you to the Library of Congress Classification System Classification Theory. Call numbers components. Using the call numbers for shelving. Section 1: Classification Theory : Section 1: Classification Theory Classification Theory : Classification Theory Libraries need an organizational system to find their materials. Libraries arrange materials on the shelves so that items on a given subject are found close to others on that subject. This is called a classification system. Classification Theory : Classification Theory One well-known system is Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) It is most frequently used in high school libraries and in many public libraries. Classification Theory : Classification Theory Many college and university libraries, however, use another one called the….. Library of Congress (LC) Classification System Because it was developed at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. in 1897. Classification Theory : Classification Theory The LC system of call numbers uses a series of letters and numbers to identify each book. Call Number Classification Theory : Classification Theory Of the twenty-one broad classes of knowledge such as Religion, American History, etc., each one is given a Library of Congress class letter. Only five letters are not used : I, O, W, X and Y. Once the call number of a book has been decided, it is placed on the book as a label, usually on the spine of the book. That way it can be seen when the book is on the shelf. Classification Theory : Classification Theory A complete LC call number is actually composed of several parts: V.1 1988 J66 76.8 QA Subclass Subdivision Cutter Number Date Volume Classification Theory : Classification Theory A vertical arrangement of call number components is the customary display used on books QA 76.8 .M3J66 1988 v.1 These call numbers can be found ... Classification Theory : Classification Theory Or on the Spine On the Cover Section 2: Call Number Elements : Section 2: Call Number Elements Now, lets learn more about the LC classification system, how call numbers fit together and how you interpret them. Call Numbers : Call Numbers The Library of Congress Classification System divides all knowledge into twenty-one major classes, such as religion, history, education, etc.. A letter from A to Z is used to represent each class. General Knowledge Education Math Fiction Call Numbers : Call Numbers Sometimes the class letter is associated with the name of the knowledge area: M for MUSIC T for TECHNOLOGY G for GEOGRAPHY But more often it is just an arbitrary choice of a letter. P for LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE B for PHILOSOPHY, PSYCHOLOGY, RELIGION Q for SCIENCE Call Numbers : Call Numbers The broad classes of knowledge are then subdivided to represent more specific areas of learning. Double letters such as: P, Q, M are CLASSES. PS, QK, ML are SUBCLASSES For example: PS = American Literature QK = Botany ML = Music Literature Call Numbers : Call Numbers Where would you expect to find various collections of the stories of Edgar Allan Poe? Poe was an American author, therefore his books should be found with other books of American literature. The classification for LANGUAGE AND LITERATURE is P, and the subclass for works by American authors is PS. Call Numbers : Call Numbers As you can see each subclass is actually an entire area of study or learning in itself. Smaller subdivisions in the classification system are necessary to bring books on similar topics together in the library. Numbers from 1-9999 are added to the class letters to provide these subdivisions Call Numbers : Call Numbers For example within the ML subclass for music literature, ML 1 is used for music magazines. ML 410 is the class for biographies of composers. Call Numbers : Call Numbers Consider the book, Beethoven: Life and Works, by T. Carter. It is classed in ML where books about Music (Music Literature) are to be found. Call Numbers : Call Numbers The ML subclass has several ranges of numbers used to represent different types of books about music. ML 159-197 Music history by time period (20th century, medieval music) ML 198-350 Music history by country (India, England, U.S.A) ML 385-429 Biographies (composers, performers, scholars) Call Numbers : Call Numbers In the biography subdivision, those books about composers are always classed in ML 410. We can find all the biographies of famous composers, such as Beethoven and Mozart, in this section. Call Numbers : Call Numbers On the other hand, biographies of performers such as, The Beatles, John Coltrane or David Hasselhoff are classed in ML 420. The Numbers used in subclasses designate SPECIFIC CATAGORIES of materials. Call Numbers : Call Numbers LC Classes, Subclasses and Numerical Subdivisions form a HIERARCHY--like an outline. Each large group may be divided into subgroups. Each subgroup is related to its larger group. Hierarchies Section 3: Cutter Numbers : Section 3: Cutter Numbers The second component of an LC call number is the Cutter Number, sometimes called the author number. It always begins with a decimal point, and consists of a series of letters and numbers. 1 3 9 Cutter Numbers : Cutter Numbers Let’s look at the order given to books in the classes F21: F F F F F 21 21 21 21 21 .B4 .B45 .B5 .B73 .B8 Cutter numbers The order of the call numbers above shows that numerals in the Cutter Numbers are treated as Decimals rather than Whole Numbers. Decimal Numbers .4<.45<.5 Whole Numbers 4<5<45 Cutter Numbers : Cutter Numbers Cutter numbers may be Single: .R44 .R47 A single Cutter Number begins with a decimal point, has a letter and one or more numbers. A Cutter Number may also be Double: .B8N39 .B8N4 .B82A5 Cutter Numbers : Cutter Numbers For example, in the biography section for composers (ML 410), the biographies of Mozart are grouped by using the Cutter number “.M92”. These biographies are further ordered through the use of a double Cutter Number. The second alpha-numeric sequence represents the names of the authors of the biographies. .M92C6 - Life of Mozart by Cecile (the “C” in the cutter number represents Cecile) .M92E5 -Mozart: A Child Prodigy by Ewing (the “E” in the cutter number represents Ewing) Section 4: Other Call Number Elements : Section 4: Other Call Number Elements Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements To identify a particular item more precisely, it is sometimes necessary to add information to the basic call number (classification number and cutter numbers). + Basic Call Numbers Other Identifiers Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements These elements may be….. Dates to indicate year of publication. PR .C67 1987 Date Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements Additional elements may be.. Series designation (e.g. Ser.1, Ser.2, etc.) when the publisher has organized volumes into different groups or series. HB 1 .A5 Ser. 1 v.1 no.5 Series Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements Additional elements may also be.. Volume Number (v.) is used to identify one volume of a multi-volume work having single title. When periodical issues are bound together, a volume number is an important part of the call number. HB 1 .A5 Ser. 1 v.1 no.5 Volume Number Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements The final additional Element is…. Parts designation (pt.) to indicate that one volume has been divided into several parts. M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.7 pt..5 Parts Designation Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements The various additional descriptors may be combined in different ways as needed to provide a unique location for each item in the library’s collection. M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.7 pt..5 M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.7 pt..6 M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.8 M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.8 pt.2 M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.8 pt.3 M 3 .H46 Ser. 1 v.8 pt.4 Using Call Number Elements : Using Call Number Elements Because there are so many different elements to call numbers, it can sometimes be confusing trying to determine what call numbers go in what order. To help you, remember the following rules. Single letters are shelved before double letters. Letters are shelved before numbers. Numbers in front of the first decimal are whole numbers, while those after the first decimal are considered groups of decimal numbers. Volume, copy number and/or date are information that may not appear on every call number. Nothing comes before something. Using Call Number Elements : Using Call Number Elements Single letters are shelved before double letters. When you have a call number that starts with a single letter, all call numbers that start with that letter and an additional letter are shelved after it. Below, there are several call numbers from the K section that provide a good example of this. Double letters are also shelved before triple letters. K 172 .G59 1891 KF 129 .F32 c.2 KFN 15 .T2 pt.2 KG 19 .L5T6 1982 KL 9 .89.B4 v.2 Using Call Number Elements : Using Call Number Elements Letters are shelved before numbers. When you encounter a cutter number where there are no letters at the beginning of the cutter, it is shelved after the cutters with letters at the beginning. Be aware that some cutter numbers start on the same line as the base number, and some start on the next line. E 183 .L6 1999 E 183 .51 1983 E 184 .R73 v.12 E 184 .6 1998 E 184.61 .C9 v.2 Using Call Number Elements : Using Call Number Elements Numbers in front of the first decimal are whole numbers, while those after the first decimal are considered groups of decimal numbers. Q 15 .5 1999 Q 153 .5 1999 Q 1569 .5 1999 Q 1569 .51 1999 Q 1569 .6 1999 Using Call Number Elements : Using Call Number Elements Volume, copy number and/or date are information that may not appear on every call number. Also notice that both copies of the 1st copy come before the second volume of this series. PR 153 .5 1998 PR 153 .5 1999 PR 153.62 v.1 PR 153.62 v.1 c.2 PR 153.62 v.2 Using Call Number Elements : Using Call Number Elements Nothing comes before something. If a call number is does not have an element, such as a cutter number, it is shelved before one that has a cutter. Think of an “invisible” zero cutter, or a place holder, that makes the call number without a cutter come before one that does. The same applies to other elements as well, like years and copies, as well as base numbers. PR 153 1998 PR 153 .5 PS .A18 1992 PS 154 v.3 PS 154 v.3 1998 Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements There are also some occasional and unusual designations attached to call numbers such as: Suppl (Supplement) Index Ser. Set (Serial set) 1st S. (first session --for certain papers of the U.S. Congress) The important thing to remember is to interpret the call number first and then take each additional element and arrange it numerically. Other Call Number Elements : Other Call Number Elements Copy Numbers In some libraries each copy of a title is designated by adding Copy 1 or Cop. 2 or C.3 to the call number of the title. This was formerly the practice of the RU Libraries, but now barcode numbers provide copy identification when it is needed and (old) copy markings can be ignored (Unless your shelving in the stacks area). Slide 44: The End

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