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How to read a Library of Congress (LC) Call Number

At the Porter Henderson Library, books are shelved according to the Library of Congress (LC) Classification system. Each book in the library has a unique “call number”, which is a combination of letters and numbers. A call number is like an address; it describes the exact location of the book and tells you where to find the book on the shelves. It also tells you something about the subject matter of the book. Each call number may contain three, four or five lines.

Sample LC Call Number Line 1: Defines the general subject class and subclass [B = Philosophy/Religion; BF = Psychology]
Line 2: Classification number - defines a narrower subtopic within the specified class [1078 = Dreams]
Line 3: Cutter number - represents the author’s name or the title of the work [.S5 = Ella Freeman Sharpe]
Line 4: Publication Year [1978 - Usually the year the book was published, but could be the copyright date]
Line 5: Copy number [c.1 - If a library has multiple copies of the same book, these will be identified by a copy number.]

LC call numbers are read from left to right, and from top to bottom. The letters at the beginning of the call number are alphabetical. The numbers immediately following are in basic numerical order, i.e., 5 then 6, 50 is after 49 and before 51, and 100 is after 99. The cutter numbers are sorted first by the letter and then by the number as a decimal.

Location Prefixes
Some call numbers are preceded by a location prefix indicating that the item is shelved in a specific location and may have loan restrictions. For example:

REF - Reference item located in the Reference Collection in the southeast corner of the Learning Commons on the First floor of the Library (non-circulating).
RAD - Reference item located on the corner of the Research Assistance Desk (non-circulating).
Juv - Item located in the Juvenile Collection in the southwest corner of the Basement of the Library

Use the major classification headings listed below as a basic guide to browse shelves in the Porter Henderson Library.

Library of Congress Classification System
A - General Works
  AE - Encyclopedias
  AG - Dictionaries and other general reference works
  AI - Indexes
  AM - Museums. Collectors and collecting
  AN - Newspapers
  AP - Periodicals
  AS - Academies and learned societies
  AY - Yearbooks. Almanacs. Directories
  AZ - History of scholarship and learning. The humanities
B - Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  BC - Logic
  BD - Speculative philosophy
  BF - Psychology
  BH - Aesthetics
  BJ - Ethics
  BL - Religions. Mythology. Rationalism
  BM - Judaism
  BP - Islam. Bahaism. Theosophy, etc.
  BP - Buddhism
  BR - Christianity
  BS - The Bible
  BT - Doctrinal Theology
  BV - Practical Theology
  BX - Christian denominations
C - Auxiliary Sciences of History
  CB - History of Civilization
  CC - Archaeology
  CD - Diplomatics. Archives. Seals
  CE - Technical Chronology. Calendar
  CJ - Numismatics
  CN - Inscriptions. Epigraphy
  CR - Heraldry
  CS - Genealogy
  CT - Biography
D - History: General & Outside of the Americas
  DA - Great Britain
  DB - Austria, Liechtenstein, Hungary, Czechoslovakia
  DC - France
  DD - Germany
  DE - Greco-Roman world
  DF - Greece
  DG - Italy, Malta
  DH - Low Countries, Benelux Countries
  DJ - Netherlands (Holland)
  DJK - Eastern Europe (general)
  DK - Russia, Soviet Union, Former Soviet Republics - Poland
  DL - Northern Europe, Scandinavia
  DP - Spain, Portugal
  DQ - Switzerland
  DR - Balkan peninsula
  DS - Asia
  DT - Africa
  DU - Oceania (South Seas)
E - History: United States
F - History: United States - Local & Americas
G - Geography (General), Atlases, Maps
  GA - Cartography
  GB - Physical geography
  GC - Oceanography
  GE - Environmental Sciences
  GN - Anthropology
  GR - Folklore
  GT - Manners and customs
  GV - Recreation, Leisure
H - Social Sciences
  HA - Statistics
  HB - Economic theory, Demography
  HC - Economic history and conditions
  HD - Industries, Land use, Labor
  HE - Transportation and communications
  HF - Commerce
  HG - Finance
  HJ - Public Finance
  HM - Sociology
  HN - Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
  HQ - The family. Marriage. Women
  HS - Societies: secret, benevolent, etc.
  HT - Societies: secret, benevolent, etc.
  HS - Communities. Classes. Races
  HV - Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology
  HX - Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
J - Political Science
  JA - Political science (General)
  JC - Political theory
  JF - Political institutions and public administration
  JJ - Political institutions and public administration (North America)
  JK - Political institutions and public administration (United States)
  JL - Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.)
  JN - Political institutions and public administration (Europe)
  JQ - Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
  JS - Local government. Municipal government

JV - Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

JX - International law (This class was used by the Library of Congress until 1997. The Library has over 1,000 titles under JX, with no plans at this time to reclassify them into the new classes, JZ and KZ.)

  JZ - International relations
K - Political Science
  KB - Religious law in general. Comparative religious law. Jurisprudence
  KE - Canada
  KF - United States
  KG - Latin America - Mexico and Central America - West Indies. Caribbean area
  KH - South America
  KJ - KKZ - Europe
  KL - KWX - Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica
  KZ - Law of Nations
L - Education
  LA - History of Education
  LB - Theory and practice of education
  LC - Special aspects of education
  LD - Individual institutions - United States
  LE - Individual institutions - America (except United States)
  LF - Individual institutions - Europe
  LG - Individual institutions - Asia, Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands
  LH - College and school magazines and papers
  LJ - Student fraternities and societies, United States
  LT - Textbooks
M - Music
  ML - Literature on music
  MT - Instruction and study
N - Fine Arts
  NA - Architecture
  NB - Sculpture
  NC - Drawing, Design, Illustration
  ND - Painting
  NE - Print Media
  NK - Decorative arts
  NX - Arts in general
P - Language
  PA - Greek language and literature. Latin language and literature
  PB - Modern languages. Celtic languages
  PC - Romanic languages
  PD - Germanic languages. Scandinavian languages
  PD - English language
  PF - West Germanic languages
  PJ - Oriental languages and literatures
  PK - Indo-Iranian languages and literatures
  PL - Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania
  PN - Literature (General)
  PQ - French literature - Italian literature - Spanish literature - Portuguese literature
  PR - English literature
  PS - American literature
  PZ - Fiction and juvenile literature
Q - Science
  QA - Mathematics
  QB - Astronomy
  QC - Physics
  QD - Chemistry
  QE - Geology
  QH - Natural history, Biology
  QK - Botany
  QL - Zoology
  QM - Human anatomy
  QP - Physiology
  QR - Microbiology
R - Medicine
  RA - Public aspects of medicine
  RB - Pathology
  RC - Internal medicine
  RD - Surgery
  RE - Ophthalmology
  RF - Otorhinolaryngology
  RG - Gynecology and obstetrics
  RJ - Pediatrics
  RK - Dentistry
  RL - Dermatology
  RM - Therapeutics, Pharmacology
  RS - Pharmacy
  RT - Nursing
  RV - Botanic, Thomsonian, and eclectic medicine
  RX - Homeopathy
  RZ - Other systems of medicine
S - Agriculture
  SB - Plant culture
  SD - Forestry
  SF - Animal culture
  SH - Aquaculture, Fisheries, Angling
  SK - Hunting sports
T - Technology
  TA - Engineering (General). Civil engineering
  TC - Hydraulic engineering. Ocean engineering
  TD - Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering
  TE - Highway engineering. Roads and pavements
  TF - Railroad engineering and operation
  TG - Bridge engineering
  TH - Building construction
  TJ - Mechanical engineering and machinery
  TK - Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering
  TL - Motor vehicles. Aeronautics. Astronautics
  TN - Mining engineering. Metallurgy
  TP - Chemical technology
  TR - Photography
  TS - Manufactures
  TT - Handicrafts. Arts and crafts
  TX - Home economics
U - Military Science
  UA - Armies: Organization, distribution, military situation
  UB - Military administration
  UC - Maintenance and transportation
  UD - Infantry
  UE - Cavalry. Armor
  UF - Artillery
  UG - Military engineering. Air forces
  UH - Other services
V - Naval Science
  VA - Navies: Organization, distribution, naval situation
  VB - Naval administration
  VC - Naval maintenance
  VD - Naval seamen
  VE - Marines
  VF - Naval ordnance
  VG - Minor services of navies
  VK - Navigation. Merchant marine
  VM - Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering
Z - Books (General). Writing. Paleography. Book industries and trade. Libraries. Bibliography
  ZA - Information resources (General)