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5.1.8: Library of Congress Classification (LCC)

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    How It Works

    In contrast to the DDC, the Library of Congress Classification system (LCC) strives to divide all the world’s knowledge into 21 topical areas and groups them alphanumerically. That is, they first assign a topic area to a letter, and then divide that topic up by numbers. Created by the U.S. Library of Congress to meet the needs of its collection, the first outline of the LCC was released in 1904 (“Library of Congress Classification”).

    Library of Congress Classification

    A: General Works

    B: Philosophy, Psychology, Religion

    C: Auxiliary Sciences of History

    D: World History

    E: History of the Americas

    F: History of the Americas

    G: Geography, Anthropology, Recreation

    H: Social Sciences

    J: Political Science

    K: Law

    L: Education

    M: 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, Information Resources

    The LCC then adds numbers after each letter to get more specific within each topic area. Our example from before has the call number E203.A5725. This call number falls within the range E201–298, which is reserved for works about the American Revolution.

    OneSearch results record showing book title, author name, publication date, and location

    How to Find a Book on the Shelf

    Please watch this video explanation [1:49], which demonstrates the different elements of LCC call numbers and how they are ordered on a library shelf:

    Note: This video has open captions. You may also use the text transcript(opens in new window) if you prefer to read.


    Library of Congress Classification(opens in new window).” Librarianship Studies & Information Technology, 23 June 2020.

    Understanding Call Numbers (Research Minutes)(opens in new window).” YouTube, uploaded by Ryerson University Library & Archives, 14 Jan. 2011.

    This page titled 5.1.8: Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Daniel Wilson via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.