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How to use Library of Congress Call Numbers

This video by Yavapai College explains how to read the LC classification system.

Using Library of Congress Call Numbers

Although it was developed to organize materials housed at the Library of Congress, the Library of Congress Classification system (LCC) is widely used in academic libraries around the world. The LCC system begins with 21 categories, each identified by a letter of the alphabet. Most of the categories include subcatagories that are identified by 1 or 2 more letters. For example N contains Fine Arts; ND is Painting, a topic in fine art. 

Individual topics are delineated by place, time period, etc. using numbers. For example, iin ND673 you'll find books on painter Peter Paul Rubens who lived from 1577-1640.  A call number may have up to 4 digits (1-9999) in the main part, and then if necessary, decimal places that may have only numbers or both a letter and numbers.

Below are the major classes or categories found in LCC: