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Reading Call Numbers

Penn's online catalog Franklin contains records of books, journals, newspapers and other items owned by all the libraries of the University of Pennsylvania except the law library. When you find records for books or journals, you will most often be given a call number with which you can locate it. The Penn Libraries mainly use the Library of Congress call number system, which is explained here. To learn more about the subjects associated with call numbers, look at the Library of Congress classification outline.

Some books and journals at Penn are still classified with the Dewey Decimal System.

1) Books are arranged alphabetically by the initial letters in the call number ...
H451
.Z682
1998
HA126
.I90 1987
HB12
.I90
2000
HC13
.C55
1952
2) ... then numerically by the numbers after the letter or letters.These numbers are read as whole numbers - 1, 2, 3 ... 101, 102... 1001, 1002, etc.
BF1
.J575
BF699
.D46
BF1028
.B45
1993b

BF1125
.G38
1992
3) The letters that follow the
decimal point are read
alphabetically.
BF699
.D46
BF699
.H5
BF699
.J6
BF699
.P7
4) The numbers that follow the
the decimal point are in
decimal order.
PS3569
.A462345
D45
PS3569
.A5137
F4
1984
PS3569
.A52
B58
1999
PS3569
.A5452
A44
1996
5) There may be a second
letter-number combination after
the decimal. These should also
be read in decimal order.
PS3566
.A6948
B3
1994
PS3566
.A6948
E43
1998
PS3566
.A6948
J64
2000
PS3566
.A6948
W5
1997
6) The four numbers at the end
of the record are the
publication date.
BF1028
.B45
1993
BF1028
.B45
1993b
BF1125
.G38
1992
BF1125
.G38
1995
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