What exactly is a call number anyway?
A call number is the unique number given to each book in the library. Call numbers are like addresses, they tell you where a book will be located in the library.
Why should I know how to read one?
If you understand how to read a call number, it will be a lot easier for you to find books in the library.
What does a call number look like?
This library uses LC call numbers (LC stands for Library of Congress), which use a combination of letters and numbers. The same exact call number can be written 2 different ways:
A call number that you find in IUCAT (the online library catalog) will look like this:
CT105 .K55 1981
And that same call number will look like this on the spine of the book:
So, here's how you read a call number on the spine of a book:
CT --Read it alphabetically (A, B, C, CT, D, E, F, G, H, HA, HQ, etc.)
105 --Read it numerically (1, 10, 100, 100.5, 105, 1005.10, etc.)
.K55 --Read alphabetically and then decimally (.A23, .A233, .A33, .B4555, .B50, etc.)
1981 --The final line is a date.
And here is how this book would be placed on the shelf:
So now that I know how to read a call number, how do I use it to find books in the library?
The databases below are split between multidisciplinary and subject-specific lists. There are a few listed in the subject-specific ones that have broad coverage of the Arts & Humanities, like JSTOR, the MLA International Bibliography, and Project Muse. The multidisciplinary databases also include material from beyond the Arts & Humanities. Hover over the "i" next to each to learn more, or ask your librarian.
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