Skip to main content

ENG W509: Introduction to Writing and Literacy Studies

This guide was created in connection with a library instruction session in fall 2015. Please contact the librarian if you have questions.

Find the Call Number Classification for English language

Where would you find works on Philology? English Language? English Literature?

Library of Congress Subject Headings

I did a search for (rhetoric OR composition OR writing) AND (periodicals OR journals) in IUCAT. Below are some of the subject headings that were "tagged" on the records I found. Subject headings are assigned by librarians and hint at the "aboutness" of resources, meaning they tell us something about what the material's content covers. They can be searched by clicking on them since they are hyperlinked, but I recommend using them in strategic combinations in the IUCAT advanced search screen.

Understanding LC Call Numbers

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?

  1. When you find a book that looks interesting in IUCAT, make sure you write down the entire call number.
  2. Check the location code to find out in what library the book will be (IUCAT contains books from all IU libraries).
  3. Look at the first letter(s) of the call number. Use this to figure out what part of the library to go to. Once you are on the correct floor, look for labels at the end of each set of bookshelves. These will tell you what call numbers can be found on those shelves.
  4. Find the book on the shelf and take it to the Service & Information Desk (2nd Floor) to check it out.

Finding and Using eBooks

The library has put together a guide on finding an using ebooks. If you have additional questions that this guide doesn't cover, please contact me.

WorldCat Narrow Search Box

IU doesn't have every book. If you are not finding what you need in IUCAT, then search WorldCat, which contains books from libraries all over the country. If you find a good book, you can request it via InterLibrary Loan.

Search for an item in libraries near you: >>