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Locating and Using Library Books

What is a Call Number?

Call numbers are a method to keep books in order. At UCSC, we use the Library of Congress (LC) Classification system for most of our books and periodicals, an alphanumeric system which groups books by subject categories. Call numbers can usually be located on the lower part of the spine of the book. Search for the book in our Library Search. The results screen will tell you the location, call number, and whether or not the book is available on shelf.




Anatomy of a LC Call Number

  • The first two lines describe the subject of the book.
  • The third line often represents the author’s last name
  • The last line represents the date of publication.


Preceeding the call number in Library Search will be the location of the item. It might say something like "McHenry Library General Collection." For information on where these locations are in the library, visit the Item Locations page. 

Library of Congress Classification System

To view this list on the Library of Congress webpage please visit

A : General Works 

AC: Collections, Series, Collected works

AE: Encyclopedias

AG: Dictionaries and other general reference works (other than Encyclopedias)

AI: Indexes

AM: Museums

AN: Newspapers

AP: Periodicals

AS: Societies, Academies

AY: Yearbooks, Almanacs, Directories

AZ: General history of scholarship and learning

B : Philosophy, Psychology, Religion 

B: Philosophy (General)

BC: Logic

BD: Speculative philosophy

BF Psychology

BH: Aesthetics

BJ: Ethics

BL: Religions, Mythology, Rationalism, Hinduism

BM: Judaism

BP: Islam, Bahai Faith

BQ: Buddhism

BR: Christianity

BS: Bible and exegesis

BT: Doctrinal theology

BV: Practical theology

BX: Christian Denominations

C : Auxiliary Sciences of History (General) 

CB: History of Civilization (General and general special only)

CC: Archaeology

CD: Diplomatics, Archives, Seals

CE: Technical Chronology, Calendar

CJ: Numismatics (Coins, Tokes, Medals, Medallions)

CN: Inscriptions, Epigraphy

CR: Heraldry

CS: Genealogy

CT: Biography

D: History (General) and History of Europe 

D: General History

DA: Great Britain

DAW: Central Europe

DB: History of Austria, Austro-Hungarian Empire

DC: France, Andorra, Monaco

DD: Germany

DE: Greco-Roman World

DF: Greece

DG: Italy – Malta

DH: Low countries, Benelux Countries (Belgium, Luxembourg)

DJ: Netherlands (Holland)

DJK: Eastern Europe (General)

DK: Russia, Soviet Union, Former Soviet Republics, Poland

DL: Northern Europe, Scandinavia

DP: Spain, Portugal

DQ: Switzerland

DR: Balkan Peninsula

DS: Asia


DU: Oceania (South Seas - Australia, New Zealand, Polynesia)

DX: Gypsies

E: American and the United States History (general) 

F: United States (local) and America Outside of U.S. History

G : Geography, Anthropology, Recreation 

G: General Geography, Atlases and Maps

GN: Anthropology

GR: Folklore

GT: Manners and customs (general)

GV: Recreation, Leisure

H : Social Sciences 

HA: Statistics

HB: Economic theory, Demography

HC: Economic history and conditions

HD: Industries, Land use, Labor

HE: Transportation and communications

HF: Commerce (including tariff)

HG: Finance 

HJ: Public Finance

HM: Sociology (General)

HN: Social history and conditions, Social problems, Social reform

HQ: Sexual Life, Family, Marriage, Women

HS: Societies: secret, benevolent, etc.

HT: Communities, Classes, Races

HV: Social Pathology, Social and public welfare, Criminology

HX: Socialism, Communism, Anarchism

J : Political Science 

J: General Legislative and Executive papers

JA: Political Science (general)

JC: Political theory

JF-JJ: Political insitutions and public administration - General

JK:Polical institutions and public adminsitration - United States

JL: Political institutions and public adminstration - America outside U.S.

JN: Political Institutions and public administration – Europe

JQ: Political institutions and public administration - Asia, Africa, Australia, Oceania

JS: Local government. Municipal government.

JV: Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration

JX: International Law (See also KZ for International Law)

JZ: International relations

K : Law 

K: General law. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence 

KBM: Jewish law

KBP: Isamic law

KBR: History of canon law

KBU: Law of the Roman Catholic Church

KD-KDK: United Kingdom and Ireland

KDZ: America. North America

KE: Canada

KF: United States

KG: Latin America, Mexico and Central America, West Indies, Caribbean area

KH: South America

KJ-KKZ: Europe

KL-KWX: Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific area and Antarctica

KZ: Law of nations

L : Education 

L: General works

LA: History of Education

LB: Theory and practice of education

LC: Special aspects of education

LD: Individual institutions - United States

LE: Individual institutions - America outside of U.S.

LF: Individual institutions - Europe

LG: Individual institutions - Asia, Africa, Oceania

LH: College and school magazines and papers

LJ: Student fraternities and societies, United States

LT: Textbooks

M : Music 

ML: Literature of Music 

MT: Musical instruction and study

N : Fine Arts 

N: Visual Arts

NA: Architexture

NB Sculpture

NC: Drawing, Design, Illustration

ND: Painting

NE Print Media

NK: Decorative arts

NX: Arts in general

P : Language and Literature 

P: Philology. Linguistics

PA: Greek and Latin language and literature

PB: Modern languages. Celtic languages

PC: Romantic languages

PD: Germanic, Scandinavian laguages.

PE: English language

PF: West Germanic Languages

PG: Slavic, Baltic, Albanian languages.

PH: Uralic, Basque languages 

PJ: Oriental languages and literatures

PK: Indo-Iranian languages and literatures

PL: Languages and literatures of Eastern Asia, Africa, Oceania 

PM: Hyperborean, Indian, and artificial languages

PN: Literature - General

PQ: French, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese literature

PR: Engish literature

PS: American literature

PT: German literature

PZ Fiction and juvenile literature

Q : Science (General) 

QA: Mathematics

QB: Astronomy

QC: Physics

QD: Chemistry

QE: Geology

QH: Natural History - Biology 

QK: Botany

QL: Zoology

QM: Human anatomy

QP: Physiology


R : Medicine 

RA: Public aspects of medicine

RB: Pathology

RC: Internal Medicine

RD: Surgery

RE: Ophthalmology

RF: Otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose, Throat)

RG: Gynecology and obstetrics

RJ: Pediatrics

RK: Dentistry

RL: Dermatology

RM: Therapeutics. Pharmacology

RS: Pharmacy and materia medica

RT: Nursing

RV: Botanic, Thomsonian, and Eclectic Medicine

RX: Homeopathy

RZ: Other systems of medicine

S : Agriculture 

SB: Plant culture

SD: Forestry

SF: Animal culture

SH: Aquaculture. Fisheries, Angling

SK: Hunting sports

T : Technology 

TA: General engineering

TC: Hydraulic and ocean engineering.

TD: Environmental technology, Sanitary engineering

TE: Highway engineering (roads and pavements)

TF: Railroad engineering and operation

TG: Bridge engineering

TH: Building construction

TJ: Mechanical engineering and machinery

TK: Electrical engineering, Electronics, Nuclear engineering

TL: Motor vehicles, Aeronautics, Astronautics

TN: Mining engineering, Metallurgy

TP: Chemical technology

TR: Photography

TS: Manufactures

TT: Handicrafts and Arts & Crafts

TX: Home economics

U : Military Science 

UA: Organization, distrubution, military situation

UB: Military administration

UC: Maintenance and transporation

UD: Infantry

UE: Cavalry, Armor

UF: Artillery

UG: Military engineering

UH: Other military services

V : Naval Science 

VA: Navies: Organization, distribution, naval situation

VB: Naval administration

VC: Naval maintenance

VD: Naval seaman

VE: Marines

VF: Naval ordinance

VG: Other naval services

VK: Navigation, Merchant marine

VM: Naval architecture and engineering, Shipbuilding

Z : Bibliography, Library Science, Information Resources 

Z: Books (general) writing, Book industries, Libraries, and Bibliography

ZA: Information resources (General)