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At Westminster College, we use the Library of Congress Classification System. It is important for you to understand this system so you can retrieve materials identified in the Online Catalog. The Library of Congress is the national library of the United States. Its mission is "to sustain, to celebrate, and to preserve for future generations a universal collection of knowledge and creativity."

Two very tangible results of the work of the Library of Congress are the Subject Headings and the Classification Schedules which enable libraries around the world to organize, manage, and locate resources within the smallest or the largest collections. The Classification Schedule uses a combination of letters and numbers to create book categories. These categories arrange similar subjects together on the shelf. All classification systems are simply devices to help users locate specific works. The call number is the same for the same book in any library which uses LC Classification and applies regardless of whether the book is placed in circulation, reference, oversize, or elsewhere.

Books are shelved in alphabetical order by the letter(s) on the top line . . .

. . . and then in numerical order by the second line.
The third and succeeding lines in the call number are arranged in alphabetical and decimal order.  There is a decimal point placed at the beginning of the third line . . .
Some call numbers may have a fourth line.  This line may be the year the book was published, a copy number, or a volume number . . .

Only circulating books may be checked out.  The libraries also have books that are in special collections or locations. All books listed in the Online Catalog and in the Library Handbook are housed in McGill Library. References to Sci Lib are no longer relevent as the Mack Science Library was closed in May 2010.

· Reference Books (REF) - books you may use in the reference room, but are not to be checked out.  They are located in the Reference Room on the first floor of McGill Library.

· Juvenile Books (JUV) - a collection of children’s literature and are located on the first floor of McGill Library.  These books may be checked out.

· Oversize Books (OV) - books that are too large to fit on the standard shelf.  These books are shelved on the ground floor.  Most oversize books may be checked out.

· Community College Bookshelf (CCB) - books that are current fiction and non-fiction of general interest. These books are located in the Williamson Room on the first floor of the library.

· Special Collections (SPEC COLL) - books that are rare or unique and are shelved in the Miller Board Room of McGill Library.  These books may not be checked out.

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    For your information, we have included a broad outline of the Library of Congress Classification System. The books in McGill Library are arranged on the shelves according to the Library of Congress Classification System, which separates knowledge into twenty-one (21) classes.  Each class is identified by a letter of the alphabet, subclasses by combinations of letters, and subtopics within classes and subclasses by a numerical notation. This systems allows materials dealing with the same topics to be placed together on the shelves. This makes it possible to browse the shelves in your area of interest.
A General Works   L Education
  AE Encyclopedias   LA History of Education
AG Dictionaries LB Theory and Practice of Education
AI Indexes LC Special Aspects of Education
AY Yearbooks, Almanacs, Directories LD Individual Institutions - U.S.
  LF Individual Institutions - Europe
LG Individual Institutions - Asia, Africa, Oceania
B Philosophy, Psychology, Religion
LJ Student Fraternities and Sororities
  B Philosophy (General)
BC Logic
M   Music
BF Psychology, Parapsychology, Occultism
  M General
BJ Ethics, Social Usages, Etiquette
ML Literature of Music
BL Religions, Mythology
MT Music Instruction
BM Judaism
BP Islam, Bahaism, Theosophy, etc.
BQ Buddhism
N Fine Arts
BR Christianity
  N Visual Arts (General)
BS Bible
NA Architecture
BT Christianity: Doctrinal Theology
NB Sculpture
BV Christianity: Practical Theology
NC Drawing, Design
BX Christian Denominations
ND Painting
NE Print Media
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
NK Decorative Arts, Applied Arts
  CB History of Civilization NX Arts in General
CC Archaeology  
CD Diplomatics, Archives, Seals
P Language and Literature
CR Heraldry
  P Philology and Linguistics
CS Genealogy
PA Classical Languages and Literature
CT Biography
PC Romance Languages
PD Germanic Languages, Scandinavian Languages
D History: General and Old World
PE English Language
  D General PF West Germanic Languages, Dutch, German
DA Great Britain PG Slavic, Baltic, Armenian Languages and Literature
DB Austria, Hungary, Czechoslovakia PJ Oriental Languages and Literature
DC France PK Indo-Iranian Languages and Literatures
DD Germany PL East Asian Languages and Literatures
DE Mediterranean Region - Classical PN Literature, General Literary History and
Collections, Performing Arts
DF Greece
DG Italy PQ Romance Literatures
DKJ Eastern Europe PR English Literature
DK Soviet Union, Poland PS American Literature
DL Northern Europe, Scandinavia PT Germanic Literatures
DP Spain, Portugal PZ Juvenile
DQ Switzerland  
DR Balkan Peninsula, Turkey
Q Science
DS Asia
  QA Mathematics
DT Africa
QB Astronomy
DU Oceania, Australia, New Zealand
QC Physics
QD Chemistry
E-F History: Western Hemisphere
QE Geology
  E America QH Natural history, Biology
F U.S. Local History, Canada, Latin America QK Botany
  QL Zoology
QM Human Anatomy
G Geography, Anthropology, Recreation
QP Physiology
  G General, Atlases, Maps
QR Microbiology
GA Mathematical Geography, Cartography
GB Physical Geography
R Medicine
GC Oceanography
GF Human Ecology, Anthropogeography   R General
GN Anthropology RA Public Aspects of Medicine
GR Folklore RB Pathology
GT Manners and Customs RC Neurology and Psychiatry
RZ Other Systems of Medicine
GV Recreation, Sports, Games
S Agriculture
H Social Sciences
  SB Plant Culture
  HA Statistics
SD Forestry
HB Economics
SF Animal Culture
HC Economic History
HD Land, Agriculture, Industry, Labor
T Technology
HE Transportation and Communications
HF Commerce
  TA Engineering--General and Civil
HG Finance
TD Environmental Technology, Sanitary Engineering
HM Sociology
TL Motor Vehicles, Aeronautics, Astronautics
HN Social History
TP Chemical Technology
HQ Family, Marriage, Women
TR Photography
HT Communities, Classes, Races
TS Manufacturers
HV Social pathology, Social Service, Criminology
TT Handicrafts, Arts and Crafts
HX Socialism, Communism
U Military Science
J Political Science
  U General
  J General Legislative and Executive Papers
UA Armies
JA Political Science - General
UB Military Administration
JC Political Theory, The State
UD Infantry
JF Constitutional History - General
UE Cavalry, Armored Cavalry
JK Constitutional History - United States
UF Artillery
JS Local Government
UG Military Engineering, Air Forces, Air Warfare
JV Colonies and Colonization
JX International Law, International Relations
V Naval Science
  V General
K Law
VA Navies
  KD United Kingdom and Ireland
VB Naval Administration
KDZ America, North America, OAS
KE Canada
Z Bibliography: Library Science
KF United States
  Z Books, Book Industries, Libraries,
Library Science, Bibliography
KG-KH Latin America
KJ-KK Europe