About Call Numbers

The UCSB Library uses the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. This system organizes books and other library materials by subject, to make it easier for you to browse the shelves for materials on a specific topic. Library of Congress call numbers always begin with letters of the alphabet. This system is organized into 21 main classes which are designated by letters of the alphabet.

It is possible to search by call number in the library catalog. The partial outline below may also be useful for browsing the shelves:

  • A -- General Works
  • B -- Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
  • C -- Auxiliary Sciences of History (Genealogy, Archaeology, Biography, etc.)
  • D -- History (General) and History of Europe
  • E -- History: America
  • F -- History: America
  • G -- Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
  • H -- Social Sciences
  • J -- Political Science
  • K -- Law
  • L -- Education
  • M -- Music and Books on Music
  • N -- Fine Arts
  • P -- Language and Literature
  • Q -- Science
  • R -- Medicine
  • S -- Agriculture
  • T -- Technology
  • U -- Military Science
  • V -- Naval Science
  • Z -- Bibliography, Library Science

Each book is given a unique call number chosen according to the LC system, and the books are arranged on the shelves in order by that call number.  The following call numbers are in order as you would find them on the shelf. Note that the first number in the call number is treated as a whole number (PS25 comes before PS132) and that the second number is treated as a decimal (G294 comes before G38).

 Call Number Examples in Order

PA

2143

.R24

PS

25

.F12   

PS

132

.G294

PS

132

.G38

PS

1163

.B26

See the Library of Congress Classification Outline for the complete classification system.