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Using the Library of Congress Classification System in the Main Library: About

This guide is a tutorial for using the LOC Classification System in the Anderson Academic Commons.

The LC Classification System

The Library of Congress Classification system (LCC) is the classification system the Anderson Academic Commons uses to organize and arrange our collection. Originally developed by the Library of Congress in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the LCC is currently one of the most widely used library classification systems in the world.

The LCC divides the entirety of all human knowledge into twenty-one classes. These classes are indicated by the first letter in the Call Number. Most of the classes are divided into subclasses, identified by two-letter, or sometimes three-letter, combinations. For example, class H (Social Sciences) has subclasses HA (statistics), HG (finance), and HX (socialism, communism, and anarchism).


Each subclass contains topics, going from the general to the more specific. Each topic (also known as a caption) is defined by a number of one to four digits. Whole numbers used by the LCC range from one to four digits, and are further extended by using decimals. Subtopics may be arranged hierarchically or alphabetically. Alphabetical lists are represented by decimal numbers that combine a letter of the alphabet with a numeral (e.g. .B72 or .K535).

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Visit our "Make an Appointment" page to schedule a research consultation with a reference librarian.

You can also get in touch with the Research Center Desk during our operating hours at (303) 871-2905.