The purpose of this publication is to provide a set of guidelines for shelflisting library materials collected by the Library of Congress.  The work is not intended to be a comprehensive work on shelflisting or classification theory nor an exhaustive explanation of the Library of Congress classification system.  Rather, it is an accumulation of guidelines that have formulated over several decades dealing with commonly recurring questions that arise when shelflisting library materials.

The decision to publish this work was made because it was felt that these guidelines would be of use and of interest to the large number of practicing catalogers who wish to follow LC's own shelflisting policies and practices.  This manual provides guidelines for formulating the unique book number portion of the call number.  It should be used in conjunction with the Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification , which provides guidelines for formulating the classification portion of the LC call number.

The complete Subject Cataloging Manual used by LC cataloging staff is in four parts, each consisting of individual instruction sheets that are assigned alphanumeric codes.  The four categories of instruction sheets and their corresponding code letters are as follows:

D  General Cataloging Procedures

F  Classification

G  Shelflisting

H  Subject Headings

Only the portion that deals with shelflisting (G) is included in this publication.  The classification portion (F) and the subject headings portion (H) are available separately under the titles Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification and Subject Cataloging Manual: Subject Headings.  Since the general cataloging procedures (D) portion deals only with internal workflows at the Library of Congress, there is currently no intention to publish it.

The manual begins with a table of contents that lists the individual instruction sheets in the order of the code number assigned.  Gaps have been left between many numbers, allowing other topics to be added as necessary.  The index located at the end of the manual is alphabetically arranged.  An individual instruction sheet typically consists of lists of procedures to be carried out when dealing with a particular situation or topic.  The procedures may be preceded by introductory statements, including a statement of purpose and background material.  The latter usually provides historical perspectives as well as theoretical considerations.  Examples may be found in each of the instruction sheets.  For the most part, the examples include only that information relevant to the procedure being discussed.

To return:

Subject Cataloging Manual - Shelflisting:  Contents