The following principles of classification generally apply when classifying works according to the Library of Congress classification system:

1. Class works according to their subject matter.

2. Unless instructions to the contrary are printed in the schedules, class a work by its specific subject, not by its form under a broader topic. Within a given topical area, class by subject, ignoring form unless form captions have been established under the subject. If no number for the specific form of the work being cataloged has been established in the schedules under the subject, see F 195, sec. 4.

3. Within a given topical area, if a choice must be made between classing by specific subject and classing by place, prefer classification by the subject, unless instructions to the contrary exist or unless precedent, as reflected in the shelflist, clearly indicates otherwise. If no clear precedent exists, record any decision to class by place rather than by subject by adding notes to the schedule. Example:

4. Use the most specific number available. Use a broader number only if no specific number is available and it is not feasible to establish one.

5. Where several subjects are discussed in a work, choose the classification number according to the most appropriate of the following guidelines:

Class according to instructions printed in the schedules.

Class according to dominant subject.

If no subject is dominant, class under the first one mentioned in the work being cataloged.

Class with a broader subject, if the work deals with several subjects that, taken together, constitute a major part of a larger subject.

6. In problematic cases where several numbers appear satisfactory, class according to the intent of the author or where it appears that the work would be most usefully located.

7. Unless instructions in the schedules or past practice dictate otherwise, class works on the influence of one subject on another with the subject influenced.

8. For the relationship between the order of subject headings and the class number, see H 80 (SCM: Subject Headings).

See also:

Subject Cataloging Manual - Classification: Contents