Libraries use classification systems to organize books and materials on he shelves. As discussed in a previously lesson, here at MPC we use the Library of Congress Classification System (LC). LC uses letters and numbers to arrange books and materials on the same topic and in doing so they are grouped together on the shelf. The call number is the 'address' for the book that you are looking for. If you get the call number for a book that you want and you go to the shelf to get that book, you will see other books on the same topic. This is sometimes a great way to 'stumble upon' other books covering your topic.
When you look up a book or other materials such as DVDs in the MPC Library Catalog you get the bibliographic record for that item. If you look at the record below, the red arrow points to where the call number is for that item.
When you go to the shelf to get a book, the call number is located on the spine of a book.
Book Title: Uncensored War: The Media and Vietnam
Author: Daniel C. Hallin
Call Number: DS559.45 .H35 1986
The first two lines describe the subject of the book.
DS559.45 = Vietnamese Conflict
The third line often represents the author's last name.
H - Hallin
The last line represents the date of publication
Read call numbers line by line.
Read the first line in alphabetical order:
A, B, BF, C, D...L, LA, LB, LC, M, ML
Read the second line as a whole number:
1, 2, 3, 45, 100, 101, 1000, 2000, 2430...
The third line is a combination of letters and numbers. Read the letter
alphabetically. Read the number as a decimal (for example: .C65 = .65, .C724 = .724)
The last line is the year the book was published. Read in chronological order:
1985, 1991, 2004, 2013...
Here is a shelf of books with the call number order explained:
The following video has a very helpful tutorial on Library of Congress Call Numbers:
Library of Congress Call Numbers Tutorial
Here is a list of some recommended books on the topic. Most of the books that would be helpful are in the California history section of our collection that goes from F 860- F 869 section. I recommend browsing that section of the book collection for additional resources. Make sure you look at chapter titles and especially the index of a book for Hartnell, William and Vasquez, Tiburcio. In the index, if they are mentioned in the book the index will give you the page number(s) where they are.