1.  Subject analysis

The cataloger analyzes the nature and contents of an item being cataloged, and then reflects this analysis in two different ways.

a.  Subject headings.  The cataloger describes the subject in words by selecting one or more subject headings.  Subject headings are chosen from a standard list contained in the Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH).  The cataloger may also use the names of individuals, corporate bodies or places as subject headings.  Not every work cataloged receives a subject heading.  Individual literary works and sacred works, for example, are usually not assigned subject headings.

The subject headings are recorded in the 600-651 fields of the bibliographic record, as follows:

600 = Personal name subject headings

610 = Corporate name subject headings

611 = Conference or meeting subject headings

630 = Uniform title subject headings

650 = Topical subject headings

651 = Geographic subject headings

b.  Class number (or classification number).  In addition to assigning subject headings, the cataloger assigns a class number selected from the LC classification schedules.  The class number is based on the subject matter and form of the item cataloged.  The most common class numbers consist of one, two or three capital letters, up to four whole numbers, and decimal extensions.  Some class numbers also contain Cutters reflecting subject matter, geographic area, or names, etc.

Examples of class numbers:





2.  Shelflisting

To the class number is added a book number that is based on instructions in the schedules, if any, and on rules laid out in this manual.  The purpose of the book number is to arrange works in one class number in a logical arrangement, usually alphabetically by the main entry.  However, if other arrangements are preferred, they are specified in the schedules.

a.  Cutter number.  In many cases the first element of a book number is a Cutter number, frequently based on the first word of the main entry, usually the author's surname.  The Cutter number is the means by which an alphabetical arrangement of books is achieved.  This alphabetical arrangement is based on the LC filing rules (see G 100) and the Preferred Shelflist Order table (see G 65).

b.  Date.  Monographs shelflisted since April 1982 contain a date, normally the imprint date, following the Cutter number that reflects the main entry.

c.  Other elements.  Some call numbers may contain volume or part numbering, or other elements.

The call number of a book is based on instructions in the shelflist, the rules in this manual, and works previously cataloged in the same class number in the shelflist.

To return: