Anatomy of a Library of Congress Call Number
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.
The last line represents the date of publication.
Finding Books on the Shelf
Read call numbers line by line.
Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, L, LA, LB, LC, M, N...
Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 1145, 2430...
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.
The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order:
1985, 1991, 2009...