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Research Resources at Crossett: Finding Books in the Library

A primer on the various resources available for research at Crossett.

Searching the Library Catalog

The location tells you where the book is.  The call number tells you where the book can be found on that floor, and the status tells you if the book is available, or if it is checked out.

Bring the book to the front desk to check it out. If you can't find the book let us know. We are here to help!

How to Read Call Numbers

First and Second Line

How to read it: Read the first line in alphabetical order (A, B, BF, BL, C, GH, GV...)

Read the second line as a whole number (1, 2, 3, 37, 300, 301, 1000...)

Third Line

The third line of a call number often indicates the author's last name. Sometimes it indicates the title. Some books have more than one combination letter-number line.

How to read it: The third line is a mixture of letters and numbers. Read the letters alphabetically and the numbers as decimals ( .V58 = .58).

Last Line

The last line of a call number indicates the date of publication.

  How to read it: Read in chronological order (1954, 1983, 2012...)

Additional Labels

Sometimes there will be an additional label above the call number. This indicates a special location in the library.  Examples are "Textbooks" or "Oversize".  These will also be indicated in the location field of the catalog record for the book.


Items not classified using LC

Some items in Crossett Library are not organized by Library of Congress classification.  The most prominent examples of these are the DVDs on the Lower Level, and the Newpapers and Current Periodicals on the Main Level.

The DVDs are organized by genre (Animation, Comedy, Drama, Documentary, Foreign Language, Musicals and Performance), and then by a simple number system.  Please note that some titles could fall into multiple categories, so be sure to check the library catalog for exact location.

Newspapers and Current Periodicals are organized alphabetically by title, and then by date.  Please note that some periodicals are housed alongside books in the regular stacks, and these titles are assigned LC call numbers.  Also, many other periodicals- in fact thousands of titles- are available through our databases.

Library of Congress Classification System

Crossett Library uses the Library of Congress (LC) Classification System to organize its books. The LC system uses a combination of letters and numbers. Each book has a unique call number and place in the stacks.

A - General Works (Crossett Lower Level)
B - Philosophy, Psychology, Religion (Crossett Lower Level)
C - Auxiliary Sciences of History (Crossett Lower Level)
D - World History and History of Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia (Crossett Lower Level)
E - History of the Americas (Crossett Lower Level)
F - History of the Americas (Crossett Lower Level)
G - Geography, Anthropology, Dance (Crossett Lower Level)
H - Social Sciences (Crossett Lower Level)
J - Political Science (Crossett Lower Level)
K - Law (Crossett Lower Level)
L - Education (Crossett Lower Level)
M - Music (Crossett Lower Level or Jennings Library)
N - Fine Arts (Crossett Main Level)
P - Language and Literature (Crossett Upper Level)
Q - Science (Crossett Lower Level)
R - Medicine (Crossett Lower Level)
S - Agriculture (Crossett Lower Level)
T - Technology, Photography (Crossett Main Level)
U - Military Science (Crossett Lower Level)
V - Naval Science (Crossett Lower Level)
Z - Bibliography, Library Science (Crossett Upper Level)

Why Organize This Way?

Library of Congress Classification may seem confusing at first, and you may wonder why Crossett Library chooses to organize its books this way.  The simplest explanation is that collections tend to be organized in the best possible way depending on the size and scope of the collections and the kind of people who will be using them.  For example, if you have a collection of books about gardening at home, you probably aren't using LC or the Dewey Decimal system to organize them.  There probably aren't so many titles that you would need to organize them with such complex systems.  On the other hand, academic libraries require call number systems that possess the versatility to handle a wide variety of subjects, the flexibility to accommodate new topical developments, and sufficient complexity to allow for growth and expansion over a long period of time.