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Visual Art and History of Art

Information and Resources for Visual Art and History of Art

Search Library Catalog for Books at Wallace Library

Finding Catalogs and Catalogues Raisonnés

Video and Information about Finding Books

When you find the book in the catalog, it should look similar to this:

Screenshot of a book record in the catalog. The book listed is "The book of virtues: a treasury of great moral stories" by William J. Bennett. The availability of the item is called out and indicates that the book is available for checkout. The location of the book in Wallace Library is in the Wallace Library Stacks. The call number to locate the book on the shelf is PN6014 .B695 1993. We will use this information to find the book on the shelf.

The record in the catalog will include the availability of the item, the location you can find it in Wallace Library, as well as the Library of Congress Classification Call Number. You will use the location and call number to locate the book on the shelves. 

 

How to Read a Library of Congress Classification Call Number: 

Call Numbers are read one row at a time, with each row providing more information to help identify the book or item. 

Example: 

Title: The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories

Call Number: PN6014 .B695 1993

The spine label of the book titled "The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories" By William J. Bennett. The call number listed on the spine is PN6014 .B695 1993

 

Table listing out parts of a Library of Congress Classification Call Number. Using the example of "The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories" By William J. Bennett, with the call number PN6014 .B695 1993. The PN indicates the classification number which indicates the overall subject of the book. This is read alphabetically. In this example, P indicates that the major category is Language and Literature, whereas the N further classifies the book within the subcategory of General Literature. The 6014 indicates the subclassification, a set of numbers that further define the subject, for this example is Collections of General Literature. The .B695 (read as point B 6 9 5) is the cutter number which represents the author. In this example, .B695 indicates the book is by the author William J. Bennett. The final line can indicate a volume, part, copy number, or publication date. In this example, 1993, indicates that this book was published in 1993.

 

 

How Call Numbers are Arranged on the Shelves:

The image and chart below demonstrate how library materials are arranged on the shelves, according to the Library of Congress Call Number, as well as how to read them.    

A photograph of books arranged on the shelf according to Library of Congress Classification System. The first book is "Anti-Story: an anthology of experimental fiction" with the call number PN 6014 .A58 1971. The second book is "The Art of Fact" with the call number PN 6014 .A76 1997. The third book is "The Book of Virtues" with the call number PN 6014 .B695 1993. The fourth book is "New Road 1943" with the call number PN 6014 .C62. The fifth book is "Sociology Through Literature" with the call number PN 6014 .C64. The sixth and last book on the shelf is "Prose Preferences" with the call number PN 6014 .C67. 

Classification, the top line, is read in alphabetical order. For example, the classifications could go in order of ML, P, PA, PC, PL, PN. The second line if the subclassification, meant to be read chronologically, as whole numbers. For example, the books in order could contain the following subclassifications: 12, 536, 2056, 4235, 6014, 6015. The third line is the cutter line, read digit by digit, as a decimal. For example, on the shelf the books would be arranged: .A58, .A596, .C833, .C84, .D775. The last line is for another designation ranging from volume, part, copy, or publication date. These should be read in chronological order. Not all call numbers will have this line, a general rule of thumb is "nothing before something". For example, publication dates would be ordered 1979, 1985, 1991, 1993 and copies would be ordered copy

Info Graphic of the Library of Congress Classification System. Class A is general works. Class B is religion and philosophy. Class C is auxiliary sciences to history. Class D is history of the old world. Class E is United States history. Class F is history of the Americas. Class G is geography and anthropology. Class H is social sciences. Class J is political science. Class K is law. Class L is education. Class M is music. Class N is fine art. Class P is languages and literature. Class Q is math and science. Class R is medicine. Class S is agriculture. Class T is engineering and technology. Class U is military science. Class V is naval science. Class Z is library science.

 Created by Shonn M. Haren, 2015.

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