Answered By: Anna Wigtil
Last Updated: Sep 02, 2020     Views: 1421

Most of the UNL Libraries' collections are classified using the Library of Congress system. Our books are organized by call numbers, which tell us where to go to find them. The call number is made up of letters, whole numbers, decimals, usually a publication date, and occasionally a volume and/or copy number. Below are some examples and explanations.

Book: Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam by Daniel C. Hallin

Call number: DS559.46 .H35 1986

The first two lines describe the subject of the book:

DS559.45 = Vietnamese Conflict

The third line often represents the author's last name: H = Hallin

The last line represents the date of publication: 1986.



Call numbers are organized as follows:

The first line goes in alphabetical order: D, DA, DB, etc.

The second line goes in order by whole number: 1, 2, 3 ... 100, 101 ... 1001, 1002 ...

The third line is a combination of a letter and numbers. Read the letter alphabetically, then read the number as a decimal: .C654 comes before .C72.

The last line is the year the book was published.

Here is an example of how books are organized on the shelf:

(Images are taken from

Use the links below to learn more about call numbers.

The Call Number Locator link will help you find what floor of the library a particular call number is located on.