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Dewey Decimal in the UIUC Bookstacks


-Anatomy of a
  Call Number

  *Size Designation
  *Dewey Number
  *Cutter Number
  *Work Mark
  *Putting it Together
-Other Resources
  *Web Resources


Go Directly to:
A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

- A -

Analytic: A bibliographic record for a part of a publication, such as a part of a book, or an individual volume of a multi-volume work or monographic series, where each volume has its own unique title.

Annotated Bibliography: A list of works with descriptions and a brief summary or critical statement about each.

Arrangement: The order in which information is presented in a book (i.e. alphabetical, chronological, by subject, etc.). Determining arrangement contributes to the effective use of that work.

Audience : The people for whom a work is written.

Audiovisual : Information in a non-print format. Includes films, slides, audiotapes, videocassettes, records, software. Also called media.

Autobiography : A book about a person's life written by that person.

- B -

Bibliography : A list of citations or references to books or articles on a particular topic. Bibliographies can appear at the end of a book, journal or encyclopedia article, or as a separate publication.

Biography : A book about a person's life written by some other person.

Bound Periodical : A hardback volume containing several issues of a periodical title.

- C -

Call Number : A combination of numbers and letters that provide a unique description of each item in a library collection. Items are arranged on the bookshelves by call number, so the call number is the "address" of materials on the shelf. Call numbers are determined by the classification scheme used by the library.

Card Catalog : A card file, arranged by author, title, and subject, listing all items owned by a library. The Main Card Catalog, located on the Second Floor of the Main Library Building, contains cards for every item in the Univeristy Library System purchased between 1868 and 1975. Most departmental libraries have a card catalog for its own collection.

CD-ROM : (Compact Disc Read-Only-Memory). An information technology which is used to store large databases and provides access to them via computer. These discs look like the compact discs you'd see in a music store. Instead of storing music, they store text.

Check out or Charge : To borrow books or other materials from the Library for a certain period of time.

Circulate : Materials which can be charged are said to circulate.

Citation : A reference to an item (such a book or article). A citation contains the author, title, date of publication and any other information needed to locate the item.

Class Number : The top part (first three numbers) of a call number which stands for the subject matter of the book.

Classification Scheme : A system used to organize library materials. The classification scheme a library uses determines the type of call number you will see. The University of Illinois Library uses primarily the Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme; some departmental libraries use the Library of Congress or the U.S. Government's Superintendent of Documents Classification systems.

Controlled Vocabulary : A set of preferred terms used by an index or database. There is usually a published listing or thesaurus which identifies the system's vocabulary. Example: Library of Congress Subject Headings

Cutter Number : A system created by C. A. Cutter which combines letters from an author's name and numbers assigned from a table to form part of an item's call number. The Cutter number, combined with the work mark, provides each item with a unique alphanumeric code which makes items within a given subject class fall into alphabetical order by author. In general, the Cutter number is based on the main entry (whether author or title) and the work mark is based on the title (if the main entry is not a title).

- D -

Database : A searchable computer file of records containing information such as citations, abstracts, full text, or other information.

Departmental Libraries : Subject libraries located in either the Main Library or in other buildings on campus that provide materials and services in a specialized area such as history, engineering, agriculture, music, art, etc.

Dewey Decimal Classification Scheme : A method developed in the nineteenth century by Melville Dewey to classify and shelve items by using numbers to represent subject content. Dewey divides knowledge into ten main classes, with further subdivisions, accompanied by decimal notation. This classification scheme is used in most University of Illinois libraries. Dewey call numbers look like this: 808.02B212c

Dewey Decimal Number : A Dewey Decimal Number is the three digit number (between 000 and 999) used to indicate the subject area for which an item belongs. For a list of these categories, see the Dewey Schedules.

Discipline : Organized field of learning dealing with basic subject areas into which all knowledge can be divided. The major disciplines are Sciences, Social Sciences, and Humanities.

- E -

Entry : An item or fact that has been "entered" (placed on a list or into a catalog, index, or database).

Evaluation : A critical assessment of an information source.

- F -

Field : 1) A part of a database record that contains one piece of information. For example, the author field would contain the name of an author. 2) an area of study. Example: law, business, education, etc.

Foliio : An oversized book, too large for normal shelving. Folio call numbers begin with an F., for example F. 912 R15C (The Commercial Atlas and Marketing Guide). Folios are generally housed in special cases in the various libraries.

Format : The physical form in which information appears. Examples include paper, microfilm, microfiche, etc.

Full text : A digital (computerized) version of the entire text of an article, book, etc.

- G -

General Information Sources : Sources which offer general or background information. General information sources include handbooks, encyclopedias, and dictionaries.

Government Documents : Sources printed by or for government agencies.

- H -

Handbook : A general information source that provides concise information on a given subject.

Holdings : The materials owned by a library.

- I -

ILLINET Online : The statewide online catalog used by 45 academic libraries in Illinois. The University of Illinois' Online Catalog is a subset of ILLINET Online.

Index : Points to where information can be found. 1) A finding aid that arranges (by author, title, or subject) citations to articles from a selected group of periodicals. 2) A listing at the end of books, encyclopedias, etc. that indicates by author, title and/or subject the location of information within the book or encyclopedia.

Interlibrary Loan : Exchange of books or articles between libraries for a brief period. A service you can use to borrow library materials not owned by the University of Illinois from other libraries.

Internet : The largest computer network in the world which links local networks operated by universities, governments, non-profit organizations, commerical organizations and other research institutions.

Issue : A single, discrete unit of a periodical title formed when several articles are combined for publication. Usually uniquely numbered or dated. Example: Newsweek, July 14, 1997 represents a particular issue of the magazine Newsweek.

- J -

Journal : A type of periodical which contains signed scholarly articles. Journals are usually published by academic or association presses and include bibliographies.

- K -

Keyword : 1) A way of searching a database using your vocabulary instead of the system's controlled vocabulary. 2) The most important word(s) in a title. Example: in the title Passage to India, the keywords are Passage and India.

- L -

Library Gateway : The Library's web page which provides access to the online catalog, article databases, and information about the libraries.

Library ID Number : The 14-digit barcode number on your I-Card beginning with 20111.

Library of Congress Classification Scheme (LC) : A classification scheme developed and used at the Library of Congress since 1897. It divides the field of knowledge into twenty large classes with an additional class on general works. This system has been adopted by many academic libraries, and at the U of I, the Law Library, Music Library and Asian Library use LC classification schemes for all or part of their collections. LC call numbers look like this: R726.A741995

Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH) : List of accepted subject headings used in the Library's catalogs. Copies of LCSH are usually located near the catalogs. Also known as the "big red books".

Locator List : A list that provides the call number and location of journals and magazines included in indexes and databases available in the library.

- M -

Magazine : A type of periodical containing popular articles which are usually shorter or less authoritative than journal articles on the same subject.

Magazine Collection : A set of microfilm cartridges providing articles from over 300 popular magazines from 1980 to the present.

Main Library : Building that houses the main Card Catalog, 65% of the total UIUC collection and approximately 20 departmental libraries. Often erroneously referred to as the "graduate library."

Manuscript : A handwritten or typed composition, rather than printed. Includes groups of personal papers which have some unifying characteristic and individual documents which have some special importance.

Microfiche : A type of format; photographically reduced images of printed pages reproduced on small 5" x 8" sheets of film.

Microfilm : A type of format; photographically reduced images of printed pages on 35mm film.

Microform : Formats for storing photographically reduced images onto plastic film. Photographically reduced images. Microfiche and microfilm are two types of microforms. A microform reader/printer is required to read or copy microforms.

Monograph : A book, especially a scholarly one, on a single subject.

Monographic Series : A monographic series is a set of books that have a number of volumes with a definite end. An encyclopedia is a good example.

Monographic Set : So called because unlike a periodical, the monographic set has a finite number of volumes. Example would be an encyclopedia.

- N -

- O -

Online Catalog : A computer database of items that a library owns. ILLINET Online is the online catalog for the University of Illinois and several other libraries within the state.

OPAC (Online Public Access Catalog) : A computerized catalog of books and other items in the library.

Oversize : Books that are too large for normal shelves; usually designated with a Q (quarto) or F (folio) before the call number; stored in a special location.

- P -

Periodicals : Materials published at regular intervals (at least 3 times a year) and intended to be continued indefinitely. Examples: magazines, journals, and newspapers.

Publication : A book, periodical, musical score, etc. that has been "brought before the public," in other words, a work that has been printed and distributed.

- Q -

Quarto : An oversized book, being over 11.5" (29 cm.) in height or width.

- R -

Record : A collection of related data fields. For example, a record for an article in a database might have information from the article's author, title, journal title, volume, and pages numbers fields. In most databases you have the ability to decide which fields of a record you would like to view.

Reference : An indication of where specific information can be found. Used interchangeably with citation. Example: a reference for an article provides information (journal name, issue, and page number) about how to locate the article.

Reprint : 1.) A new impression of an edition; 2.) A new edition from a new setting of type, for which an impression of a new setting of type, for which an impression of a previous edition has been used as copy; 3.) A separately issued article, chapter, or other portion of a previously published larger work, usually a reproduction of an original, but sometimes made from a new setting of type.

Retrospective Materials : Sources of information published after an event has occurred.

- S -

Scope : The content of a work; what is included and what is excluded.

Serial : Materials issued at regular or irregular intervals and intended to continue indefinitely. Includes periodicals, magazines, journals, and yearbooks. Might be used interchangeably with "periodical".

Series : A group of separate bibliographic items related to one another by the fact that each item bears, in addition to its own title proper, a collective title applying to the group as a whole. The individual items may or may not be numbered. For example, The Death Penalty is a book in the Opposing Viewpoints series.

Shelf List : The part of the UIUC Library card catalog which arranges cards by Dewey Decimal call number rather than by author or title (i.e., a classified catalog). The shelflist was used formerly to give location and holdings information, but has been replaced for this purpose since 1978 by the online catalog. Some holdings for serials which ceased publication before 1950 are ONLY listed in the shelflist. Holdings for these items are gradually being added to the online catalog.

Size Designation : Since not all materials are the same size, special sections in each library have been set aside for books that do not "fit in" with the normal sized items. To indicate where these items are located, a size designation has been assigned to these oversized materials. At the University of Illinois, "F" stands for folio and "Q" stands for quarto.

Subject Area : The field, such as law, business, education, etc, that studies a particular topic.

Subject Heading : A term or phrase used in indexes and library catalogs to identify material on a given topic.

Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) Classification Scheme : The U.S. Superintendent of Documents developed this system (also called SuDocs) for the arrangement of federal government publications. Arrangement is by issuing agency. The Documents Library uses this classification system. SuDocs call numbers look like this: Doc.C3.2:P69/4

- T -

Thesis : a document prepared as a condition for the award of a degree or diploma. For example, a Masters or Doctorate thesis.

Topic : The broad subject content of a paper, article, book, etc.

- U -

URL : An acronym for Uniform Resource Locator. It represents a unique location, or "address" of a resource located on the World Wide Web. Similar to a call number for library materials.

Unbound Periodical : Current, individual issues of a periodical title that are not yet gathered together as a hardback volume.

- V -

Volume : Contains the total collection of all sequential issues of a serial over a given time period.

- W -

World Wide Web : A client-server information system that uses the Internet to access computers containing hypertext documents. Also just called "the Web."

Work Mark : The work mark is usually the first letter of the first important word in the title or the authorís last name, and is placed after the Cutter number. The Cutter number and work mark make the call number for a title distinct from all other call numbers in the same classification. In general, the Cutter number is based on the main entry (whether author or title) and the work mark is based on the title (if the main entry is not a title).

- Y -

Yearbook : An annual compendium of facts and statistics on a particular subject for the preceding year.

- Z -

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