G 10 Basic Classification Terminology



To categorize, in order to arrange materials on the shelves according to subject, using a classification system.


Classification schedules

The printed volumes or machine-readable database that contain classification numbers and captions, arranged by subject in a logical, hierarchical manner; also called schemes.


Class number

A number that represents what the item being cataloged is about, selected from the schedules.



GV856   = Bobsledding. Tobogganing


Call number

A number consisting of a class number, a book number, and additional information that uniquely identifies the item. The call number is printed on the label affixed to a bibliographic item, so that the item can be shelved and found.



Title: Treasures of the Library of Congress

Call number: Z733.U58G66 1991


Book number

An alpha-numeric device appended to a class number to arrange material on the same subject in a specified order, usually alphabetically by author. Also called author number. Example:

Call number: Z733.U58G66 1991

Book number: G66 [for the author's surname Goodrum]


Cutter number

An alpha-numeric device for representing words or names by using one or more letters followed by one or more arabic numerals used decimally. Named for Charles Ami Cutter, who developed several tables using letters and numbers to achieve an alphabetical arrangement. Book numbers and some subdivisions in the classification schedules are types of Cutter numbers. Example:

Call number: Z733.U58G66 1991


 Cutter number:

 .U58 [for the United States]


 G66 [for the author]



The activity of arranging materials within an existing collection, normally by author; the activity of determining the book or author number and necessary additions to the call number for a unique number. Shelflisting also is the activity of documenting the holdings of a collection as to location, volumes, and copies, providing an inventory of the collections.



A file of bibliographic records arranged in the same order as the corresponding materials on the shelves.


Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelflisting
Copyright (c)2004 by the Library of Congress except within the USA.