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Getting Started @ The Libraries: Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers

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Understanding Library of Congress Call Numbers

Library of Congress Call Numbers are arranged alphabetically and numerically. Read Call Numbers from left to right, and from top to bottom.

 

Letters in the first line of the Call Number are alphabetical:

D53
.E476
1990
H155
.A5
1944
HA21
.A33
1982
HM13
.S47
1990

 

Numbers in the first line of the Call Number are in numerical order:

D53
.E476
1990
D785
.L44
M67
1991
D1201
.B44
W64
1997
D1246
.R66
1986

 

Letters in the second line are alphabetical:

D53
.E476
1990
D53
.G538
1989
D53
.R795
1995
D53
.T38
1989

 

Numbers in the second line of the Call Number are in decimal order. It is important to remember that there is an “invisible” decimal point between the letter and the number:

D53
.E476
1990
D53
.E48
1971
D53
.E483
1976
D53
.E49
1996

 

There may be a third line of letters and numbers--these will also be in alphabetical and decimal number order.

The last line of a call number may be a year. This indicates the publication date.

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