Answered By: Katy Webb Last Updated: Aug 12, 2014 Views: 133
ECU Libraries use the Library of Congress (LC) classification system to assign call numbers to most materials. LC call numbers start with one or more letters (A-Z). The first letter represents the broad subject assigned to an item; subsequent letters and numbers identify it more precisely. For example, the call number QH 361 .E34 1989, for the book Blueprints: Solving the Mystery of Evolution , by Maitland Edey, can be broken down this way:
Q : Science
QH : Biology
QH 361 : History of Evolution
QH 361 .E34 : Individual item on this topic authored by person with surname beginning with "E"
QH 361 .E34 1989 : 1989 indicates the year the book was published.
How to read a call number:
- Single letters are filed before double letters in alphabetical order: Q, QA, QB . . . R, RA, RB, etc.
- First numbers are filed in numerical order. If there is a decimal point, treat the number after it as a decimal: QA 76 comes before QA 77. QA 76.55 comes before QA 76.6
- Second letters are filed alphabetically: QA 76.55 .G63 comes before QA 76.55 .H21
- Numbers coming after the second letter are decimals. QA 76.55 .G63 comes before QA 76.55 .G7
- The call number may have a final part denoting the year or volume, like QA 76.55 .G63 1994 or QA 76.55 .G63 v.2
Here is a chart showing a broad breakdown of Library of Congress call numbers.