Texas Tech University

Call Numbers & Book Stacks

Print materials like books and bound journals are classified and organized according to the Library of Congress (LC) classification system. A call number is an alphanumeric identifier that tells you the area/sub-area of the material and its location on the shelf. 

call number exampleMeaning of Call Numbers

Book title: Letting Go of the Words: Writing Web Content that Works

Author: Janice (Ginny) Redish

Call number: TK 5105.888 R427 2007

  • The first two lines describe the subject of the book.
    TK 5105.888 = General works on website design and development
  • The third line often represents the author's last name.
    R427 = Redish
  • The last line represents the year of publication.

Read Call Numbers Line by Line 

  • Read the first line in alphabetical order: A, B, BF, C, D... L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML...
  • Read the second line as a whole number: 1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, 2430...
  • The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically and then the number in numerical order. Some call numbers have more than one combination letter-number line.
  • The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order: 1985, 1991, 1992...

Here is a shelf of books with the call number order explained.

example of shelf call number, from https://www.usg.edu/galileo/skills/unit03/libraries03_04.phtml

Note: image from online library learning center.

 Call Number, Subject Area & Stacks Floor

Stacks Floor 1 (A - G)

A - General Works

B-BJ - Philosophy

BF - Psychology

BL-BX - Religion

C - Sciences of History

D - World History

E-F - History of the Americas

G-GA - Geography

GB-GC - Hydrology/ Oceanography

GE - Environmental Science

GF-GN - Anthropology

GR-GV - Folklore/ Sports/ Recreation

Stacks Floor 2 (H - L)

H - Economics/ Business

K - Political Science

L - Education

Stacks Floor 3 (M - PS 2999)

M - Music/ Dance

N - Fine Arts

PA - Greek Language and Literature; Latin Language and Literature

PE - English Language

PN - Literature(General)

PS 1-2999 - American Literature

Stacks Floor 4 (PS 3000 - QL, TL - Z)

PS 3000-9999 - American Literature

PZ - Fiction and Juveniles Belles Letters

QA - Mathematics

QB - Astronomy

QC - Physics

QD - Chemistry

QE - Geology

QH - Natural History-Biology

QK - Botany

QL - Zoology

QM - Human Anatomy

QP - Physiology

QR - Microbiology

R - Medicine/ Nursing

S - Agriculture

TA - Engineering(General), Civil Engineering

TC - Hydraulic Engineering, Ocean Engineering

TD - Environmental Technology, Sanitary Engineering

TJ - Mechanical Engineering and Machinery

TP - Chemical Technology

U - Military Science

Z - Library Science, Information Resources