Randall Library's materials are arranged according to the Library of Congress Classification Scheme and each item is assigned an individual call number according to the subject area the item falls under. Listed below is a brief subject outline of LC Classification and the corresponding base call number. Also included is a tutorial for reading and understanding the order of LC Call Numbers.
Reading Library of Congress Call Numbers
Every Library of Congress (LC) call number begins with one to three letters, followed by various combinations of whole numbers, decimal numbers, and/or letters. Sometimes at the end of the call number will be a year, a volume number, and a copy number.
Items are arranged in alpha-numeric order, with single-letter call numbers shelved ahead of multiple letter call numbers with the same first letter.
Thus, H40 comes before HA1.
Numbers to the left of the decimal point in LC call numbers are whole numbers.
Thus, HF54 (HF Fifty-four) comes before HF5381 (HF Five-thousand, three-hundred, eight-one).
Numbers to the right of the decimal point in LC call numbers are decimal numbers.
Thus, HF5381 .M37 (M Thirty-seven hundredths) comes before HF5381 .M5 (M Five-tenths or Fifty-hundredths).
The following call numbers are in correct shelf order for the reasons given:
H40 .A2 I5 - H comes after G alphabetically
HA1 .D3 1989 - HA comes after H
HA1 .D3 1990 1990 - comes after 1989
HF54 .U5 P74 - HF comes after HA
HF5381 .E52 - 5,381 is larger than 54
HF5381 .M37 - M comes after E
HF5381 .M5 - .5 (.50) is larger than .37
HF5415 .S272 - 5,415 is larger than 5,381
HF5415.1263 .B46 - 5415.126 is larger than 5415 (5415.0000)
HF5415.2 .S89 - .2(.2000) is larger than .1263
Outline of the Library of Congress Classification
History: Related Fields
History: (except America)
History: America (General) & U.S. (General)
History: U.S. (Local) & North American (except U.S.), Central America, and South American