Call Numbers, How to Read (Tutorial)

The Robertson Library, like most academic libraries, arranges books on the shelves according to the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System. This system, which uses a combination of letters and numbers, ensures that books on similar subjects are shelved together (making it easier for browsing).

  • Materials are shelved alphabetically by the first line of the call number.
CS
90
.W75
H38
comes before DA
536
.M5
Z54
1976
comes before F
106
.S66
B44
1999
  • If the first lines are the same, go to the next. This line is shelved in numerical order.
FC
2043
.R44
1932

 


comes before

FC
2043.5
.C53
1955


comes before

FC
2176.1
A1
H37
1992

  • If the first two lines are the same, then look at the next line. Here the arrangement is alphabetical, followed by decimal order. Some find it useful to add zeros to the decimal in order to create the same number of digits; then read them as you would whole numbers. (.G34 before .G50)

D
786.15
.G34
1995



comes before

D
786.15
.G5
1982



comes before

D
786.15
.G66
1995

 

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