[Classweb-users] Library users looking up name of LC codes

Noble, Richard richard_noble at brown.edu
Mon Feb 25 10:30:45 EST 2013

The Classification Outline is available at


with headnote

"Listed below are the letters and titles of the main classes of the Library
of Congress Classification. Click on any class to view an outline of its
subclasses. The complete text of the classification schedules in printed
volumes may be purchased from the Cataloging Distribution
Online access to the complete text of the schedules is available in
Classification Web, a subscription product that may also be purchased from
the Cataloging Distribution Service.

The files are also available for downloading in WordPerfect format (noted
as WP version) and in Word format (noted as Word version)."
Reverse searching from SH to classification is possible in some cases by
searching the LC authority files (http://authorities.loc.gov/), in which
many but by no means all records include a specific class number or range
of numbers.

Obviously there's a hit-or-miss quality to some of this, but these are
freely available resources that I'm aware of. I sometimes wonder whether it
serves our ultimate purposes to maintain the details as a mystery of the
guild;  but I know equally well that maintenance is not cheap.

PROVIDENCE, RI 02912 : 401-863-1187/FAX 863-3384 : RICHARD_NOBLE at BROWN.EDU

On Mon, Feb 25, 2013 at 6:52 AM, Pietris, Mary Kay <mpie at loc.gov> wrote:

> Since the LC classification system is available in paper and through
> Classification Web, these seem to me to be the only way to search to for
> the meaning of a number.  However, a user could always look at the
> bibliographic record for the book and inspect the subject headings, the
> first of which should bear some relation to the class number.
> In addition to the schedules themselves, the Library publishes three paper
> products which lay out the classification schedules in more or less detail.
>  There are:
> LC Classification Outline  (the most detailed)
> LC Classification Poster        (class letters only)
> LC Classification Quick Reference Guide  (class letters only)
> These are available for purchase in bulk, and provide a handy way to see
> what the class letters mean.
> See the CDS website for information, specifically
> http://www.loc.gov/cds/products/lcClass.php
> Mary K. D. Pietris
> Library of Congress
> Acquisitions and Bibliographic Access Directorate
> Policy and Standards Division
> -----Original Message-----
> From: classweb-users-bounces at classificationweb.net [mailto:
> classweb-users-bounces at classificationweb.net] On Behalf Of Mark Weiler
> Sent: Friday, February 22, 2013 9:59 PM
> To: classweb-users at classificationweb.net
> Subject: [Classweb-users] Library users looking up name of LC codes
> While working a reference desk a student asked me if we had a "Sympathy"
> section in our library. The only way I could show the student how to do
> this on the OPAC was to trace a candidate book to find it's call number.
> This prompted to me think: Is there any way a library user could search
> the LC classification system to find out what sections are about a
> particular topic? Classification Web can do this, but library users don't
> have access to it.  Related to this, given a book's call number, how could
> a library user determine the name of the section the book is in?
> mark
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