Library of Congress Classification Outline

A - General Works (Encyclopedias, Almanacs, etc.)

B - Philosophy, Psychology, Religion

  • BF - Psychology
  • BL 300 - 325 Mythology
  • BM - Judaism
  • BP - Islam
  • BQ - Buddhism
  • BR-BV - Christianity, Bible
  • BX - Christian Denominations
C - Auxiliary Sciences of History
  • CB - History of Civilization (General)
  • CC - Archaeology
  • CR - Heraldry
  • CS - Genealogy
  • CT - Biography (General)
D - History : General and Old World
  • D-DJ History (General), History of Europe, Part 1
  • DA - Great Britain
  • DL-DR History of Eastern Europe (General). Soviet Union, Poland
  • DS - History of Asia
  • DT - DX History of Africa, Australia, New Zealand, etc.
E - F History: America (Western Hemisphere)
  • E 1-143 American (General)
  • E 151-857 -United States (General)
  • F 1-957 - United States (Local)
  • F 809.3-820 - Arizona
  • F 1021, etc. - Other individual countries
G Geography. Maps, Anthropology. Recreation.
  • G - Geography (General)
  • GB - Physical Geography
  • GN - Anthropology
  • GR - Folklore
  • GV - Recreation
H Social Sciences
  • HA - Statistics
  • HB - HJ Social Sciences: Economics
  • HM - HX Social Sciences: Sociology
J - Political Science
K - Law (General)
L - Education
  • LB 1051 - 1091 Educational Psychology
  • LB 1140 Preschool Education
  • LB 1501 - 1547 Primary Education
  • LB 1603 - 1659 Secondary Education
M - Music and Books on Music
N - Fine Arts
  • N 5300 - 7415 Art History
  • NA - Architecture
  • NB - Sculpture
  • ND - Painting
  • NK - Decorative Arts
P - Language and Literature
  • P - General Philology and Linguistics
    • PA Classical languages and literature
    • PC 2001-3761 French language
    • PC 4000-4977 Spanish language
    • PD German language
    • PE English language
  • PG - Russian Literature
  • PN - General and Comparative Literature
  • PN 1995 Motion Pictures
  • PN 2080 Monologues
  • PQ 6600 - 6700 Spanish Literature
  • PR - English Literature
  • PS - American Literature
  • PT - Germanic Literatures
Q - Sciences
  • QA - Mathematics/Computer Science
  • QB - Astronomy
  • QC - Physics
  • QD - Chemistry
  • QM - Human Anatomy
R - Medicine
  • RS - Pharmacy
  • RT - Nursing
S - Agriculture
T - Technology
U - Military Science
V - Naval Science
Z - Bibliography, Library Science

Guide to Understanding the LC Classification System

The Library of Congress Classification system (sometimes referred to as "LC") uses a combination of letters, whole numbers, and decimal numbers to classify books by their subject content and to organize them on the shelves. It is commonly used by academic libraries because it allows for more precise organization of books by subject and is expandable to accommodate new areas of knowledge. The Dewey Decimal system, another major classification scheme, uses numbers primarily, and is generally used by schools and public libraries.

In the LC system, the complete call number consists of at least three main parts: the general subject, the specific subject subdivision, and the author. Each part is on a separate line. The top line is a letter or letter comination, the second line is a whole number, and the third line is a decimal letter/number combination. Here is a typical call number:

(letters) BF the first line is the general subject, Psychology
(whole number) 408 the second line is the specific subdivision within psychology, in this case, Memory
(decimal letter/number) .B34 the third line combines the first letter of the author's name, Bates, with numbers. Always assume a decimal point. The numbers on this line are decimal numbers, not whole numbers.

Sometimes the specific subject line, the second line (408) is expanded by another line of alpha-numeric characters. In this case, "love" is a subcategory of "affection, feelings, emotions." It is a decimal number also.

BF Psychology
575 Affections, Feelings, Emotions
.L8 Love
B84 Buscaglia

Additional lines below the third (or fourth) lines are common. These usually provide more specific organization information about the book - publication date, volume number, copy number, etc.

Shelf Arrangement:

Books are shelved by call number classification, reading from left to right.
Line 1: BF arrangement is alphabetical, B, BA, BC,...BF...BH....
Line 2: 408 arrangement of the BF's is numerical, 1,2,3,...223,...355..751...9999
Line 3: .B34 arrangement of the BF 408 area is first alphabetical, and then numerical as if the number is a decimal, .34. Many books will have the deicmal on the spine label; in others, the decimal is implied.

For example, here is the proper arrangement for books in the B-BF range:

B BC BF BF BF BF BF BF BF BF BF
10 322 408 408 408 408 408 408 408 408 553
.C42 .M2 .B3 B35 .B37 B4 .B53 .B6 .C55 C9 .A2
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