Unlike other classification systems such as the Dewey Decimal Classification, the LC Classification schedules convey hierarchy and meaning solely by the order, alignment, and indention of topics and subtopics rather than by the numerical values assigned. Therefore it is important for subject catalogers to show explicitly the location of proposed new topics and their hierarchical relationship to already established topics. This is done by means of a classification proposal worksheet (form 6-162) which subject catalogers submit to the Classification Editorial Section for processing. This instruction sheet provides guidelines for preparing the worksheet. The principles presented here apply to most situations encountered by catalogers in making new classification proposals. For unusually complicated situations, catalogers should consult with the staff of the Classification Editorial Section.


1. The worksheet:

Whenever possible, use a typewriter to fill out the worksheet. If a proposal is handwritten, use a ball-point pen and press firmly to create three legible copies. If a lengthy proposal will not fit on a single worksheet, use additional copies of the worksheet rather than blank sheets of paper as continuation sheets.

a. Top of the worksheet

b. Body of the worksheet

c. Bottom of the worksheet

d. Submit the three copies

2. Formatting proposals for new numbers:

a. Anchor point

b. New Cutter numbers

c. New numbers within tables

d. New notes

3. Changing or canceling existing information in the classification schedules:

Use an asterisk before a classification number, caption, or note to indicate a change in, or cancellation of, existing information.

a. Simple changes

b. Complex changes

c. Revisions

4. When it is unusually difficult to follow the above guidelines because of the complicated nature of a specific proposal, an alternative method for submitting the proposal, such as the use of a photocopy of the relevant page(s) of the classification schedule, may be used. The staff of the Classification Editorial Section can provide assistance in specific cases in determining the most efficient method for submitting the proposal.

See also:

Subject Cataloging Manual - Classification: Contents