Library of Congress Call Numbers

How to Read Library of Congress Call Numbers

Hudson Library at Summit Pacific College using the Library of Congress Classification system for its books. Each book in the library has an individual “call number.” A call number tells us where a book is located in the library. Each call number can be found on the spines of books and look like this:

  • BL
  • 226
  • C87
  • 1976
  • c.1
  • Line 1: General Subject Class and Subclass
  • B = Philosophy/Religion; BL = Religions, Mythology, Rationalism
  • Line 2: Classification Number
  • This number narrows a subtopic within the general subject class and subclass.
  • 226 = Creation. Theory of Earth.
  • Line 3: Cutter Number
  • A number representing the author’s name or title of the work.
  • C87 = Arthur Custance
  • Line 4: Publication Year
  • 1976 = The year this book was published.
  • Line 5: The Copy number
  • c.1 = This is copy 1 of multiple copies contained within the library. If you do not see a copy number there will only be one copy of the work.

LC call numbers are read from left to right, and from top to bottom. The first line of letters is alphabetical.

In the Hudson Library all of the B’s - BX’s will be found upstairs. A and C-Z will be found downstairs. The numbers follow basic numerical order.

Cutter numbers are sorted first by their letter then the numbers. Sometimes there are more variations in cutter numbers and there may be a decimal point added for classification.

Basic Library of Congress Classification System

  • A – General Works
  • B – Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  • C – Sciences of History
  • D – World History
  • E – History of Americas
  • F – History of Americas
  • G – Geography
  • H – Social Science
  • J – Political Science
  • K – Law, Political Science
  • L – Education
  • M – Music
  • N – Fine Arts
  • P – Language
  • Q – Science
  • R – Medicine
  • S – Agriculture<
  • T – Technology
  • U – Military Science
  • V – Naval Science
  • Z – Biography, Library Science, Books, Book Industry and Trade, Writing

For more information and details of the Library of Congress Classification System visit the Library of Congress website here:

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