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Library of Congress Call Numbers for Music: Locating it on the Shelf

A brief description of how Library of Congress (LC) numbers work for music

Locations for Music Materials

In the online catalog, you will find a number of different locations for music materials.  In an item record display you'll find a map on the right which will help you see where these materials can be found.

Sorting Rules for LC Call Numbers

  • Start with looking for the first letters.  These will be alphabetical on the shelf:  M, ML, MT. 
  • Within each letter, items will be in order according to the subject number, from lowest to highest.  For example, a call number that begins ML 134 will precede a call number that begins ML 134.5, which will precede one that begins ML 135.
  • Within each subject number, items will be alphabetical by the Cutter number.  The numbers within the Cutter number should be sorted as if a  decimal point precedes them.  For example, to understand why ML 134 B1 precedes ML 134 B175 which, in turn, precedes ML 134 B2, imagine the numbers as:
    • ML 134 B.1
    • ML 134 B.175
    • ML 134 B.2.
  • For additional information that comes after the Cutter number, sort alphabetically or numerically depending on the content, and keep in mind that numbers listed on their own (i.e. not combined into a Cutter number) will precede letters.