Call numbers at Syracuse

Most items received by the SUL are assigned call numbers. A few formats: microfilm, sound cassettes, and videos are assigned accession numbers. (A straight numbering system with no subject meaning i.e. Microfilm 300)

Call numbers should reflect the general subject of the material and indicate a unique location.

When your bibliographic record has a COMPLETE call number

SU allows all call numbers, except for


Accept call numbers in OCLC records unless they look obviously incorrect.

When multiple LC numbers are in a record delete the fields with numbers that are not used.

When your record has an incomplete call number

SUMMIT contains items cuttered following both LC and Cutter Sanborn; as a result, they are not uniform.

     *Do NOT spend time on this (unless you are dealing with a an author's literary number) 
     *Do NOT reject the call number in a member record because of the Cutter. 
      *If you are creating a call number, using the Cutter Sanborn tables add an author cutter. Cutter to two places.   

There is a handout for the title cutters. If you don't have one see your supervisor.

Add the date to the monograph call numbers

The following is from the LC Subject Cataloging Manual : Shelf-listing

1. General rule. 

Add the date of imprint to all monographs. Examples:

    1976?                         use 1976
    ca. 1976                      use 1976
    1981, cl980                   use 1981
    1971, cl972                   use 1972
    1979 [i.e.1978]               use 1978 
    1962 or 1963                  use 1962
    1969 (1973 printing)          use 1969 
    1980 printing, c1957          use 1957
    1979 [distributed] 1980       use 1979
    1979-1981 use 1979            use 1977
    between 1977 and 1980         use 1978
    1978/79 [i.e. 1978 or 1979]   use 1978
    1977 (cover 1978)             use 1970z [if corporate body, use 1970]
    197-                          use 1970z [if corporate body, use 1970]
    197-?                         use 1900z [if corporate body, use 1900]
    19--                          use 1900z [if corporate body, use 1900]
    19--?                         use 1900z [if corporate body, use 1900]

2. Special situations.

====Congress or conference headings==== If the date of a congress or conference is present in the heading, use the date of the congress or conference. If a date is not present, use the imprint date.

    111 20 $adc$NISER Staff Seminar$(1979-1980 :$Ibadan, Nigeria)
    use 1980
    111 20 $andc$International Congress of Navigation$(25th :$1981 :$Edinburgh, Scotland)
    use 1981

b. Photocopy or facsimile editions.

Add the date from the 260 field.

c. Other editions.

For later editions of the same work, use the imprint date. If another edition is received with the same imprint date, use the work letters starting with b. Examples:

   .I33 1982
   .I33 1982b
   .I33 1982c, etc.

d. Corporate authorship

For works entered under a corporate body, use the imprint date. If another work by the same corporate body is received, use work letters starting with a Examples:

   .R37 1981
   .R37 1981a
   .R37 1981b, etc.

e. Printing dates in the note area

Disregard the printing dates in the note area and use the imprint date. Example:

260 $c$[1982-<1984>

500 $a$Vol. 1: 1983 printing; vol. 2: 1984 printing.

use 1982 in the call number

f. Date in main entry uniform title area

When there is a date in the main entry uniform title area, use the imprint date. Example:

130 $a$Survey of minority owned business enterprises (1982)

260 $bc$U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,$1985

use 1985 in the call number

3. Exceptions to adding a date

a. Supplement and indexes. 

Do not add a date to the call number after the designations Suppl. or Index. Examples:

   .C64 1977
   .C64 1977 Suppl.
   .C64 1977 Suppl. 2
   .C64 1977
   .C64 1977 Index
   .C64 1977 Index 2

b. Classes sub-arranged by date only. 

If a work is classed in an area which is sub-arranged by date only, do not add another date to the call number. Instead, add a work letter starting with a to the date. Example:

   CD1106 1918
   CD1106 1918a, etc.

c. Classes sub-arranged by date and main entry. 

If a class is sub-arranged by date and main entry add the imprint date to the number. Follow this instruction even if a date appears as part of the classification number.


GV722 1952 .W4 1981

d. Loose-leaf materials. 

Do not add a date to call numbers for the following types of publications:

Loose-leaf services that are cataloged as such and continuously kept up to date.

Note: Although this rule applies to all classes, the vast majority of such publications are in Class K.

Legal publications where the final Cutter is selected from a span based on dates. For these publications, the date is "built in" to the final Cutter and the further addition of a numerical date is superfluous.

For example, in KFA-KFW, KFZ 30.A3-39, the instruction is to subarrange chronologically. The choice of Cutter in the span .A3-39 is based on the date of the publication, and the further addition of a numerical date is unnecessary.

For a later edition, add the date of publication of the later edition to the LC call number for the original

For a reprint, add the date of publication of the reprint to the LC call number for the original.

For a facsimile edition, add the date of publication of the original followed by a lowercase a to the LC call number for the original.

For another edition published in the same year by a different publisher, add the date and a lower case letter b to the LC call number.


For a translation of a work, use the same cutter that LC used for the original title and add digits to this cutter according to the following table so that the translation will be shelved next to the original. See Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelf listing Sheet G150. See also Dartmouth's local translation Cutter Tables for guidance

Original work

.L312 Chinese translation

.L313 English translation

.L314 French translation

.L315 German translation

.L3152 Hebrew translation

.L3153 Hindi translation

.L3155 Korean translation

.L316 Italian translation

.L3165 Polish translation

.L3167 Portuguese

.L317 Russian translation

.L3175 Arabic translation

.L318 Spanish translation

.L319 Ukrainian translation

CHECK CALL NUMBERS online in Summit to verify that it is unique.

   **If you are not confident of the number let a supervisor review it.**

Work letters

Work letters help avoid using identical call numbers for different works. LC adds work letters to distinguish between editions published in the same year. The first edition cataloged takes the date alone. The second edition published in the same year takes a work letter “b”. If a third and fourth appeared they would get c and d. If a publication date is uncertain, LC adds z to the date expressed as a decade. (1990z indicates an item was published in the 1990s.)

Problem call numbers

The following call numbers cause problems:


-PS8001-PS8599 for Canadian literature

-Z1200 and over (we use subject classification)

-Any collected call number that we don’t collect

In general when you find one of these:

When your record has no call number

If you have a record with no LC number you have to take additional steps.


Call number selection in the case of fiction is fortunately simplified by the fact that the authority record for the author (should) contain(s) the unique call number assigned to the author/artist. When this happens, use it and be thankful. If not, go to the catalog (Voyager or LOC -- use the OPACs for this, it's easier) and search for the author/artist and use the call number found there to be customary for that individual. Failing at this, identify a contemporary of the author who has an authority record and call number and follow the rules obtained by looking that author up in Classweb (lookup by call number identified, of course). Don't forget to consider that a book about an author is not the same as a work of fiction by the author. Classweb will address this, too.

The 852 subfield z

Some units choose to display public notes in a subfield z, for example serials will add notes about the location of current issues. This is not a practice that we are encouraging for monographs. If there additional information you feel would help the public regarding the item in hand, talk to a supervisor, do not just add a public note to the MFHD record.