Information at Your Fingertips
A Guide for Survival in the Information Jungle
Library of Congress (LC) call numbers begin with letters that represent the 21 subject divisions of the LC system:
Following the letters are numbers which help to define the subject of the material:
The call number has several parts to it:
BR represents a specific area of Religion, namely Christianity.
145 further defines this book as Church History.
.L87 is the Cutter number, which is a code for the author's last name (in this case, Lortz).
1992 is the date of publication which is sometimes added to the call number.
This call number system allows materials on related subjects to be shelved in the same area. For example, if a patron goes to the book shelves to locate the call number BR 145 .L87 1992, other books on Church History would be found in the vicinity.
Book and journal call numbers are shelved in alphabetical and then numerical order. Since there is a decimal point on the third line of the call number, the following books would be found in this order:
The first line is alphabetical (e.g., B is shelved before BR).
The second line of the call number is a whole number (e.g., 138 is before 145).
The third line of the call number is the first letter of the author's last name followed by a decimal number (e.g., .L87 is before .P87).
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