4.3 Classification of Subject Bibliography


Classify subject bibliography with the subject. Follow this policy when assigning a call number to a work consisting mainly of references to books on a given subject.


Chan, Lois Mai. Immroth’s guide to the Library of Congress classification. 4th ed. p. 287-288, 347.


The Library of Congress classifies all bibliographies in numbers in the Z schedule. At BYU we do not use the Z schedule for bibliographies on a subject for which a regular class number exists. In such cases the bibliography is classed with other material on the same subject. Bibliographies on multiple subjects, such as all the books published in a given country or held by a given library, etc. may be classified in Z. Generally this means that numbers in the range Z1200-Z8999 should not be used. Exceptions include Z1200-Z4999 (national bibliography–see below), Z5051-Z5056 (general bibliography), Z6601-Z6625 (bibliography of manuscripts) and Z6940-Z6964 (general bibliography of newspapers and periodicals). Allowing for these exceptions, books received in the Z1200-Z8999 range should be routed to the appropriate subject cataloger.

National bibliography is defined as follows:

  1. Multi-subject bibliographies of books printed and/or published in a country or region (e.g., A short-title catalogue of books printed in England, Scotland, & Ireland … 1475-1640).
  2. Multi-subject bibliographies of books held in a library (e.g., the British Museum catalog) or libraries (e.g., NUC), or a collection or collections. This may include bibliographies which are essentially local, rather than national, in nature (e.g., A catalogue of the library of Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts).

Bibliographies which might otherwise be defined as “national bibliography” but which are on a single subject should be classified with the subject.

To formulate call numbers for subject bibliographies:

  • Select the classification number that best fits the overall topic of the bibliography and corresponds to the first subject heading you have assigned. For topics that are broken down in the classification schedules, choose the “General works” or “Bibliography” number, if one exists. If LC copy is available and an alternate class number has been assigned (a second sub field $a in the 050 field of the MARC record) that number may be used (see Immroth, p. 287-288).
  • Check the online call number index or shelf list to determine if the number you have chosen has been used before with a cutter beginning with “X”. Make sure the number you assign does not conflict with numbers already in the file.
  • If the class number does not include a cutter, add .X1 as the first cutter, then assign a second cutter based on the main entry. If the class number includes a cutter as an extension for a special topic, country, state, etc., formulate a second cutter with X plus one or two digits to place the author in an alphabetical sequence with other authors for which the number has been assigned or may be assigned. (Optionally, use the .Z5-99 sliding scale described below to determine the second cutter.) Do not add the lowercase x to the last cutter as you would with other locally assigned cutters. Add the date of the work to the call number as usual.

.Z5-99 Sliding Scale:

A     B     C     D     E     F     G     H     I     J     K     L     M    
5     52   53   55   56   58    6    62   63  65    66   68    7

N     O     P     Q     R     S    T     U    V     W     X     Y     Z                    72   74   76  78     8    83   85   87   9    93    95   96   97


  1. You have the book A selected bibliography on modern French history, 1600 to the present by John Bowditch, published in 1989. From the class schedules, you find the general works number for French history/Modern, 1515- is DC110. You add to this the .X1 cutter, a second cutter B6 for Bowditch formulated according to the LC cutter table (Immroth, p. 347) and the date. The completed number is
    DC 110 .X1 B68 1989.
  2. You have a book by John Barber entitled Notes on historic sites in Utah County : a bibliography, published in 1954. The class number for Utah County history is F832.U8. Since this number already includes a cutter, you can only add one more. You choose X3, the X for bibliography and the 3 because Barber falls near the beginning of the alphabet. The resulting call number, with date, is F 832 .U8 X37 1954.

Last updated: August 2012

Maintained by: John Wright

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The Catalog Department is located on Level 6 of the Harold B. Lee Library. The Department is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.