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Understanding Our Call Numbers

When looking for a document in Government Publications, check the labels at the end of the shelves.  As you look through the examples below, you will see that the labels are color coded.

You can ask for help:

Library of Congress (LC)

Shelved in GovPub Stacks (yellow labels)

HJ
8899
W672
2008

HJ: in alphabetical order
8899: read as a whole number
W672: alphabetical, then numerical with the number read as a decimal number ( i.e., W.672; further alpha-numeric lines are read this way)
2008: the year, usually the year of publication

Canadian

Shelved in GovPub Canada Stacks (pink labels)

CS65-122

Canadian Catalogue numbers are written on one or two lines, with numbers read as whole numbers.

CAN
Ag3
B392

The rest of the numbers in Canadian call numbers are read as decimal numbers.

International

Shelved in GovPub International Stacks (green labels)

ADB
C832
C14
1998

International numbers usually consist of a letter combination representing the international agency first, followed by numbers which are read as decimal numbers, not whole numbers.

FAO/C/COM/2/DEF

Numbers assigned by agencies are read as whole numbers.  They can sometimes resemble United Nations numbers.  Check the ends of the shelves to see if the documents there are U.N. or international.

United Nations (U.N.)

Shelved in GovPub U.N. Stacks (blue labels)

E/ESCWA/TECH/1999/4

UN official symbols are written on one line. All the numbers are read as whole numbers.

Superintendent of Documents (SuDoc)

Shelved in GovPub U.S. Stacks (white labels)

S 1.128:
N 88/4/991

SuDoc numbers have a letter and number combination before the first period, followed by a colon or a line break.  The numbers are read as whole numbers.