Library of Congress Classification

Because the Columbia University Libraries use the standard Library of
Congress Classification, relatively little special explanation is called for
here.  The standard published tables and books about the system are
applicable to Columbia.  Immroth's Guide explains all the main features of
the system and is recommended.

The following notes explain a few peculiarities of the system as used in the
General Library.

Notation of LC Call Numbers.

In LC the first-letter groups (A's, B's...) are called Classes and the two-
or three-letter groups (AC, AE, AG...) are called Subclasses.

The Columbia University Libraries do not write LC call numbers in the same
way as the Library of Congress or, therefore, some other libraries using LC.
The following pairs show Columbia (CUL) contrasted with LC:

CUL     LC              CUL     LC              CUL     LC
Z       Z               Z       Z               Z       Z
668     668             675     675             695.1   695
.W54    .W54            .M94    .M94A53         .E3     .1
1976    1976            A53     1975            C36     .E3C36
                        1975                    1978    1978

In the first pair there is no difference.  In the other two pairs, Columbia's
version appears easier to read.  LC apparently were concerned about missing
the decimal point in numbers like 695.1.  On their catalog cards, LC combine
the first two lines as Z668 over .W54 over 1976, and so on.

Special Columbia Call Numbers.

A,AA-AE,AK,AT,AZ : Avery Library classification, not LC.  Some are not
clearly marked Avery in the catalog, so readers request them at General
Library.  The major architecture class is AA, which is based on LC's NA.
Serials are AB over Cutter number.

CA-CZ : Columbiana Library classification.  Same as Columbia Classification
378.7CA-CZ minus the number.  Should all be marked as Columbiana in the

GA-GZ : Goethe collection (Columbia Classification), in General Library.  May
be distinguished from LC by the two-line call numbers.

JX : Law Library used LC's JX International Law before Columbia generally
used LC.  Many of these were not marked Law in the catalog since JX was only
in Law.  While Law's JX books are now marked as Law, some old cards still
may lack the mark, so the book will appear to belong to General Library.

LD 1237.5D : Special call number for Columbia University Ph.D. dissertations.
Not a true LC call number, and the only "Library of Congress" call number
with a letter in the second line (from the people who modified DDC!).

W : Not an LC call number.  Temporary call number for books awaiting a true
LC call number; all will be reclassed to other call numbers.  Format: W over
serial number.  No longer used.

Cutter numbers: LC uses its own author number table, and not the Cutter
table.  A distinctive difference is that all LC author numbers comprise one
letter plus one or more numbers, where the Cutter table uses small letters
after A, E, I, O, U and S.  At Columbia, for some reason the Cutter table
remained in use for original cataloging until about 1980, so there are some
LC call numbers that contain small letters and that therefore pose problems
in arranging.  The old Columbia Classification rule of number before small
letter is used to resolve it; for example FA 123 .A6 is filed before FA 123