For historical or obsolete terminology, see G 660.

Author number

See Book number.

Book number

A decimal number consisting of a letter of the alphabet followed by one or more digits that is appended to a class number in order to arrange material on the same subject in a specified order, usually alphabetically by author.  Also called author number.


Call number:  Z733.U58G66 1991

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

"Bound with" books

Also called "with" entries, these were primarily two independent publications bound together after publication.

Call number

A number consisting of a classification 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.

The call number represents the shelf location of the item in the library's collections.  It is referred to as the call number because it can be used to request or call for a particular item.


Title:  Treasures of the Library of Congress

Call number:  Z733.U58G66 1991

Card shelflist

The file of catalog cards arranged in the same order as the books on the shelves.

Class number

See Classification number.

Classification number

A number that represents the subject or form of an item being cataloged, selected from a classification schedule.  Also called class number.


GV856 = Bobsledding. Tobogganing

HF5549.5.T7 = Training of employees

Classification schedule

A printed volume or machine-readable database that contains classification numbers and captions, arranged by subject in a logical, hierarchical manner.  Also called classification scheme.


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

Cutter number

Also called Cutter, a method of representing words or names by using a decimal point followed first by a letter of the alphabet, then by one or more Arabic numerals.  A Cutter number is read and sorted as a decimal number.  It is named for Charles Ammi 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.


Call number:  Z733.U58G66 1991

Cutter number:  .U58  [for the United States]

Cutter number:  G66  [for Goodrum]

Monographs issued in fascicles

Monographs that are issued in fascicles, or sections, and are incomplete in themselves but paged continuously.  They require special treatment until all parts of a volume are received and bound.  The three special characteristics of a work published in fascicles are

(1)  loss of identity (the individual fascicle disappears when the work is bound);

(2)  title page issued retrospectively; and

(3)  long publishing span, often many years.

Online shelflist

The online file of cataloging records, arranged by computer, which may be in a different order from the books on the shelves if call numbers are not edited for consistency or accuracy before the online file is created.

Reserved Cutter numbers

Cutter numbers, beginning usually with A or Z, that separate certain materials in a class number and thereby shorten the span of numbers usable for authors whose names begin with A or Z.  For example, the spans .A1-.A5 and .Z9-.Z99, might be reserved for certain types of material, leaving only .A6-.A9 available for authors whose names begin with A, and .Z1-.Z8 for authors whose names begin with Z.


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


Arranging materials within an existing collection, normally by author; and determining the book number and other additions to the classification number necessary to create a unique number for each item.  Shelflisting is also the activity of documenting the holdings of a collection as to location, volumes, and copies, providing an inventory of the collections.

Successive Cutter numbers

A sequence of adjacent Cutter numbers, such as .G5, .G6, .G7, or .G5, .G52, .G53, usually used to achieve a specific subarrangement.  The need for these may be indicated by a table with an "under each" subarrangement specifying the numbers.  Before 1999, shelflist information cards were made to show the allocation of successive Cutters in the subarrangement.

Upside down books

These may be of two types.  The most common is the work in two languages, the one a translation of the other.  Shelflisting is based on the descriptive cataloger's selection of the main entry.  Less common are two entirely different works bound together but upside down.

"With" entries

See "Bound with" books

To return:

Subject Cataloging Manual - Shelflisting:  Contents