Understanding Call Numbers

Penn State University Libraries uses "Library of Congress" call numbers.

Call numbers appear differently on the book spine and on the online catalog screen.

Multi-line call numbers on books

Multi-line call numbers on books

Call numbers as they appear in the CAT - single line

Call numbers as they appear in the CAT - single line

 

The following call numbers are arranged correctly as they would appear on the shelf.

  • The first line of a call number is filed alphabetically and then as a whole number. (Look for B230 in the hundreds, and B2342 in the thousands.)
  • The second line is filed alphabetically and then as decimals (think of .C4 as .C40)
  • If the second line consists of a number only, it is filed as a decimal after the letters.
  • Dates are filed chronologically after all previous parts are in order. (QD586.8 1996 is filed before QD586.8 1998.)

 

Call numbers as they would appear on the shelf.

Contact

Amanda Clossen
Learning Design Librarian
The Pennsylvania State University
304 Pattee Library (Tower)
University Park, PA 16802
asc17@psu.edu
814-863-7455

 

Creative Commons Logo  Except where otherwise noted, this work is subject to a creative commons attribution 3.0 license. Details and exceptions