Answered By: Pawel Szponar
Last Updated: Feb 29, 2016     Views: 23

Anatomy of a Library of Congress Call NumberBook cover

The books in our library are shelved by call number (in the stacks: the bookshelves in the Quiet Study Area), using Library of Congress Classification.

Book title: Discovering the Great Masters
Author: Paul Crenshaw
Call Number: ND1145 .C74 2009

The first two lines describe the subject of the book.
ND = Fine Arts
1145 = Painting

The third line often represents the author's last name.
C= Crenshaw

The last line represents the date of publication.

Finding Books on the Shelf

Read call numbers line by line.

ND
Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, L, LA, LB, LC, M, N...

1145
Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 1145, 2430...

.C74
The third line is the trickiest part of the call number! Read the letter alphabetically. 
Read the number as a decimal

.C524 will come before .C74 (read them as .C524 and .C740)

Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.

2009
The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order:
1985, 1991, 2009...

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