New Student's Guide to the Library: How to Find & Browse Library of Congress Call Numbers

Incoming freshmen and new students: start here to use library resources

How to Find a Library of Congress Call Number

Most works in the library's collections are shelved by Library of Congress classification. The most common location is General Stacks, for which:

  • call numbers A through QA are on library's upper floor
  • call numbers QB through ZZ are on the library's main floor

Sample call number: PR6015 .A33 W57 2001

PR    Read in alphabetical order: PR files before PS
6015    Read in numerical order as a whole number:  6015 files before 6016
.A33    Read the letter in alphabetical order, and read the number as a decimal:
.A33 files before .A4
W57    If there's another letter/number combination, read that number as a decimal even though the decimal point is omitted: W57 files before W6
2001    If there's a publication date, read it in numerical order

 

General Stacks end panel sign with call number ranges

Sample call number PR6015 .A33 W57 2001 is shelved in range 328 on the library's upper floor.

If you want to browse in the stacks...

Library of Congress classification groups together works on the same subject. Click on a classification letter to see more detail (PR is for English literature, PS is for American literature, etc.)

A  General works
B  Philosophy, psychology, religion
C  Auxiliary sciences of history
D  World history and history of Europe, Asia, Africa, Austalia, New Zealand, etc.
E  History of the Americas
F  History of the Americas
G  Geography, anthropology, recreation
H  Social sciences
J  Political science
K  Law
L  Education
M  Music and books on music
N  Fine arts
P  Language and literature
Q  Science
R  Medicine
S  Agriculture
T  Technology
U  Military science
V  Naval science
Z  Bibliography, library science, information resources (general)

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