How to Read a Library of Congress Call Number
Anatomy of a Library of Congress Call Number
Book title: Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam
Author: Daniel C. Hallin
Call Number: DS559.46 .H35 1986
The first two lines describe the subject of the book.
DS559.45 = Vietnamese Conflict
The third line often represents the author's last name.
H = Hallin
The last line represents the date of publication.
Tips for Finding Books on the Shelf
Read call numbers line by line.
Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, D... L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML...
Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, 2430...
The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal, eg:
.C65 = .65 .C724 = .724
Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.
The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order:
1985, 1991, 1992...
Here is a shelf of books with the call number order explained.
More on Library of Congress Classification
Want to know more? Click below to see the LC tables that outline the system by subject. They can be used to find the classification for your area of interest.