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Call Numbers Decoded

Explains call#s in the LRC

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Overview

The call number shows the location of a book or microform in the library. It appears in parentheses on the online catalog screen. <?insert link or screenshot?>

The Legal Research Center arranges material in Library of Congress (LC) call number order. LC divides knowledge into 21 main topics or classes <?insert a link to a table of the classes?> that corresponding to academic areas of study. An LC call number has letters and numbers indicating the class and the individual item in the class.

LC call numbers begin with a letter and have between three and five distinct parts. In the online catalog the call numbers appear on one line, (KJW 3181.52 .T33 1988), but on book spine labels each part usually appears on a separate line:

KJW       ◂Class or subclass
3181.52 ◂Class number
.T33        ◂Cutter number
1988       ◂Date of publication

Class or Broad Subject

The LC system denotes main classes or over-arching subject by single capital letters.  Double or triple capital letters represent subclasses.
K         =   Law (the over-arching broad subject)
KF       =   Law of the United States (a subdivision or the broad subject)
KFC    =    Law of states of the United States beginning with "C" (a further subdivision of the subject law of the United States)

The first letter/number combination in the call number describes the subject class of the book, usually the first two lines on a book spine label, as in the following call number assigned by the Library of Congress to the 1988 book, Transfers of Property in Eleventh-Century Norman Law, by Emily Zack Tabuteau:

KJW     =  The triple letters for the subclass: Law of French regions, provinces and departments
3181.52 = The number for regions, provinces and departments assigned to Normandy

 

Book or Cutter Number

The book number follows the subject class number in a recognizable pattern: a decimal point (.) followed by a single capital letter plus numbers that are read in decimal sequence and filed accordingly, i.e., .C52, .C6, .C74, .C8, etc. The book number may also contain further elements, such as a work letter, a date, and/or volume number to distinguish among different works or editions of the same work or different issues in a series. In the call number assigned to Transfers of Property in Eleventh-Century Norman Law the third line is the book number and the fourth line is the date of publication, as follows:

.T33 = The book number for a general work based on the author: Tabuteau
1988 = The date of publication

Examples:

California Criminal Law, B.E. Witkin and Norman L. Epstein. 3rd ed. 2000.

KFC = Triple letters for the subclass: Law of states of the United States with names beginning with "C"

1100 = The number meaning general works of criminal law in California

.W57 = The book number based on the first author: Witkin

2000 = The date of publication

 

Policy Guidelines for Bail: An Experiment in Court Reform, John S. Goldkamp and Michael R.

Gottfredson. 1985

KFX = The triple letters for the subclass: Law of cities of the United States

2137.4 = The number meaning special topics relating to local offenses in Philadelphia

.B3 = The first book number for the special topic: bail

G65 = The second book number for the author: Goldkamp

1985 = The date of publication

Finding HInts

The following call numbers are arranged in the correct order.

AE

AE

K

KF

KF

KF

KFC

KFC

KFC

KFC

RA

5

5

115

1301.5

1454

1456

1020

1020

1100

1100

407.4

.E333

.E52

.M65

.B36

.I852

.A65

.Z9

.Z9

.A65

.A65

.C2

1993

1987

1981

L45

1987

S2

C65

P72

C92

C92

H43

1991

1965

1993

1990

1977

1977

1977

1977

v.1

v.2