AN INTRODUCTION TO
UNDERSTANDING
LIBRARY CALL
NUMBERS

.
Each material in the library has
its own unique call number.
It appears in the library’s online catalog.
Understanding the Call
Numbers and the Classification
System will make it easier for
you to retrieve Library materials.



The call number is also
attached to the spine of the
book.
It is like an address that tells
you where the library
material is located.
It also provides the
information such as the
subject, First letter of the
author’s last name and the
year of publication.


In the Bertha Smith Library the
call numbers are assigned
according to the Library of
Congress Classification System.
It is an alphanumeric system
consisting of both letters and
numbers.

In this Classification
System materials
are broken down
into twenty-one
general subject
areas. Each Subject
area is represented
by a letter.
A - General Works
B - Philosophy, Psychology,
Religion
C - Auxiliary Sciences of History
D - History: General and outside
the Americas
E - History: United States
F - History: United States Local
and America
G - Geography
H - Social Sciences
J - Political Science
K - Law
X (non-LC) - Non Common
Law
L - Education
M - Music
N - Fine Arts
P - Language and Literature
Q - Science
R - Medicine
S - Agriculture
T - Technology
U - Military Science
V - Naval Science
Z - Library Science

These 21 subject
areas are further
divided into subcategories. For an
example, see the subcategories under
Philosophy,
psychology and
religion

Sub-categories in B: Philosophy, psychology and
religion

B - History and Systems of Philosophy
BC - Logic
BD - Speculative Philosophy
BF - Psychology
BH - Aesthetics
BJ - Ethics
BL - Religions, Mythology, Rationalism
BM - Judaism
BP - Islam, Bahaism, Theosophy
BQ - Buddhism
BR - Christianity (General)
BS - The Bible
BT - Doctrinal Theology
BV - Practical Theology
BX - Denominations and Sects
The sub-categories
are further divided
into several
subdivision of
subjects. These
subdivisions are
represented by
numbers.
BS 1-2970 - The Bible
BS 11-115 - Early versions
BS 125-355 - Modern texts and
versions
BS 125-198 - English
BS 199-313 - Other European
languages
BS 315-355 - Non-European
languages
BS 315 - Asian languages
BS 325 - African languages
BS 335 - Languages of Oceania and
Australasia
BS 345 - American Indian languages
BS 350 - Mixed languages
BS 355 - Artificial languages
BS 410 - 680 Works about the Bible
BS 500-534.8 Criticism and
interpretation

Every LC call number begins with one to
three letters. E.g.:
B
BT
121
966.2
.K56 .G7
1970 1986

First Line: The first line of
call numbers describes
the general subject area.
In the example below, the
letters “ BT” represent
Doctrinal Theology. If you
are looking for books on
Doctrinal Theology, you
will find them in “BT”
section.

Second Line: The
second number line
represents the narrow
subject area. Read it
as a whole number.
The Specific Number
966.2 in BT represents
theology relating to
angels.

Third Line: The
next number is
called the cutter
number. The
Letter-number
usually indicates
the author. Smith
could be .S6.
Graham could be
.G7

The last if number, if
present, is the year
of Publication.


When you are looking for an item, always start with
the top line of the call number.
Items are arranged alphabetically. All BR numbers
are together, after BP and before BS, and all B’s
come after all combinations of A and before all
combinations of C.
Congratulations! You’ve completed the
Bertha Smith LC Call Numbers
tutorial. If you have any further
questions, you can send questions to
[email protected] or call 770-484-1204
ext. 263.
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SOLVING THE MYSTERY OF LIBRARY CALL NUMBERS