Reading Call Numbers

Once you have located an item that interests you, note its call number, location, and status.  Materials in Maag Library are arranged alphabetically by call numbers, which begin with a letter or combination of letters. (See Library Material Location and Availability for more specific information on location and status information.  See the Maag Library Building Guide to find which call numbers are found on which floors.)

Arrangement of Library of Congress (LC) Call Numbers
  • The first line of the call number is always alphabetical by one, two, or three letters (P, PA, PC, etc.)
  • The second line is always numerical (1, 2, 3, etc.)
  • The third line along with a possible fourth line are alphabetical and decimal (.4 is greater than .37;  8 is greater than .948)
  • The final line may be a year distinguishing one edition of an item from other editions.

 

 

Sample Call Number

 

 

QH   (alphabetical)
447   (numerical)
.B47  (alphabetical, decimal)
1992  (year-chronological)

 

 

Sample Arrangement of Items on a Shelf

 

 

L
578
.N4
A5
LB
4
.E89
G5
LB
4
.E9
H1
LB
109
.C4
M1
LC
78
.A81
P2
LC
138
.G7
S55
LC
1028
.B7
1992