BSC Call numbers 2014


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How to Read LC Call Numbers

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BSC Call numbers 2014

  1. 1. Books and other materials are arranged in the library according to subject and are shelved by call number. You may already know the Dewey Decimal system, but the BSC Library uses the Library of Congress Classification System (often called “LC”). Each item has a unique call number. Understanding and Using Call Numbers Understanding the Library of Congress system and how to use it will make you a more effective library user.
  2. 2. Library of Congress Classification System Below are the main classes of the Library of Congress Classification. To see a detailed outline of the subclasses go to A -- General Works L -- Education B -- Philosophy, Psychology, Religion M -- Music and books on music C -- Auxiliary Sciences of History N -- Fine Arts D -- History (general) & History of Europe P -- Language & Literature E -- History: America Q -- Science F -- History: America R -- Medicine G -- Geography, Anthropology, & Recreation S -- Agriculture H -- Social Sciences T -- Technology J -- Political Sciences U -- Military Science K -- Law Z -- Bibliography, Library Science, & Information Resources
  3. 3. BR 535 .R437 1985 You will see call numbers written different ways. Typically, call numbers appear on the spines of books and are read vertically. How do you read call numbers?
  4. 4. In bibliographies and in online catalogs, call numbers are usually written in one line. Here is an example from the BSC Online catalog: BR 535 .R437 1985
  5. 5. The first part, 1 or 2 letters, represents the subject of the item. B is the LC classification that includes religion, and within that, BR is the classification for “Christianity” Read the first line in alphabetical order: A, B, BF, BR,. . . C. . . L, LA. . .M. . . So, “BR” is shelved after “BF” and before “BT”. BR 535 .R437 1985 Parts of a Call Number
  6. 6. The second part explains the subject further: 535 narrows “Christianity” by “history” and then by “region or country.” In this case, BR 535 refers to the history of Christianity in the American South. Read the second line as a whole number: 1, 2, 3, 45, 100.25, 101, 1542, 2000, etc. In this example, “BR 535” will be located after “BR 530.7" and before “BR 540”. BR 535 .R437 1985 Parts of a Call Number
  7. 7. The third part (and sometimes a fourth) combines letters and numbers. It identifies the title or sometimes the author. Read the letter alphabetically and the number as a decimal. Imagine that there is an “invisible” decimal point between the letter and the number. .A2, . . .B42, .B425, .B55. . .H 352, .H49 .B425 = .425 .B55 = .55 So, on the shelves you would find: BR 535 .R437 1985 Parts of a Call Number BR 535 .R437 1985 BR 535 .R44 1983 on the shelf before
  8. 8. BR 535 .R437 1985 The last line of the call number represents the year the item was published. Read this line in chronological order. 1982, 1985. . . 1999, 2000. . . Note: Not all call numbers include a year of publication, but most newer items will. Parts of a Call Number
  9. 9. BA 1 .D15 BR 534.15 .D2 1988 BR 534.6 .M29 1993 BR 535 .R437 1985 BR 535 .R44 1983 BS 650 .S2 2000 BT 5 .B32 1952 BT 5 .B32 1995 B 1 .D15 1990 The following books are in call number order as they would appear on the shelves. Take a look at each line: B before BR 534.15 before 534.6 .R437 before .R44 1952 before 1995
  10. 10. If you have any questions about call numbers or finding material in the BSC Library be sure to ask at any service desk. Send your Reference questions to This information was adapted from the Honolulu Community College web site, written by Nadine Leong-Kurio. Ask Your Librarians At BSC Library