In order to help minimize spread of the coronavirus and protect our campus community, Cowles Library is adjusting our services, hours, and building access. Read more...
Most LC call numbers have four parts:
Title: Pharmacology for Women's Health
Editor: Tekoa L. King
|RG||Gynecology and Obstetrics|
|.P43||Cutter number (based on title, “Pharmacology”)|
The formatting of the call number depends on where it is displayed. On the book's spine label, the parts of the call number are listed vertically, as in the image above. In SuperSearch, the call number is displayed on a single line, and may not have spaces between parts.
Each line of a call number is read differently
The first line consists of 1 to 3 letters and is read alphabetically. The following are in the correct order:
A B BF C CD D DA DAW G GE
The second line is a whole number and is read as a numeral. This number may contain a decimal. The following are in the correct order:
1 9 38 39 133 725 725.9 1225 9756
The third line (and perhaps fourth, if there are multiple Cutters) can be the trickiest to read. It consists of a letter, which is ordered alphabetically, followed by numbers, which are read as a decimal. So, just as the decimal .525 comes before the decimal .7, so does the cutter .B525 come before the cutter .B7. The following are in the correct order:
.B5 .B525 .B6 .B679 .B7 .C3 .C337 .C4 .C5877
The last line is the four-digit year of publication, and is read in chronological order.
1889 1902 1975 1980 2001 2017
In addition, there may be letters and numbers indicating the book’s order in a series. Here are some common examples:
|Pt. 3||Part 3|
|ser. A||Series A|
|no. 22||Number 22|
It's important to note that not all call numbers have exactly four lines representing the same information. It depends on the nature of the work. Here are some other examples:
Multiple Cutter Numbers
A second Cutter number is used when there are many works on a topic or by an author, and the works cannot be represented in sufficient detail by a single Cutter. The second cutter number does not have a leading decimal point.
Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
|3563||Individual Authors -> 1961-2000 -> M|
|.C337||Author's Cutter number, using the second letter (mCcarthy)|
|R63||Cutter based on title (“Road” – initial articles like a, an, the are ignored)|
Multiple Volumes or Parts
Works with multiple volumes will have a final line representing the volume or part number. "Volume" and "Part" will typically be abbreviated "V." and "Pt.", respectively.
Title: Everyone in Dickens
Author: George Newlin
|4589||19th century, 1770/1800-1890-1900 -> Individual Authors -> Dickens, Charles|
|.N48||Cutter based on author ("Newlin")|
Here is where you'll find books by call number in Cowles Library:
|A - L||2nd Floor, East|
|M - Z||Lower Level, East|
A General Works
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion.
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D History (except America)
E History: America
F History: America
G Geography. Anthroplogy. Recreation.
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
N Fine Arts
P Language and Literature
T Technology (General)
U Military Science
V Naval Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources (General)
For a much more detailed outline, visit http://www.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/.