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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

Work Mark & Other Information

Work Mark
In order to distinguish different or additional works by the same author in the same class, a “work mark” is used. Work marks are commonly used with cutter numbers both to help maintain alphabetical order on the shelves and to create a unique call number for each work. The work mark is usually the first letter of the first important word in the title or the author’s 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).

Work marks enable us to maintain alphabetical order within the numerical order of items on the shelves, i.e.:

612 aak
612 jat
612.01 coo
612.01 cor
612.3 jul
612.31 mat
612.4 cuf
613 bur
613.00914 nak


813 K5872bag - Call number for Stephen King’s “Bag of Bones.” The “bag” at the end of the call number comes from the title.

813 K5872ch - Call number for Stephen King’s “Christine.” The “ch” comes from the title, “Christine.”

813 K5872st - Call number for Stephen King’s “The Stand,” published in 1978 by Doubleday. The date of publication was not included in this work mark.

813 K5872st1980 - Call number for Stephen King’s “The Stand,” published in 1980 by New American Library (Signet). The work mark does indicate the date of publication of this book (1980).

813 K587s - Call number for Stephen King’s “The Stand: The Complete & Uncut Edition,” released in 1990 by Doubleday.

823 W46ti1995 - The call number for the Time Machine by H.G. Wells. Time Machine was originally published in 1895, but this title was produced by Penguin Books in 1995.

823 W46def1987 - This a “critical edition” of Time Machine, called, “The Definitive Time machine: A Critical Edition of H.G. Well's Scientific Romance,” and was published in 1987 by Indiana University Press. The def in the work mark comes from the word, Definitive, in the title.

823 W46ti1984 - The Time Machine and, The Invisible Man, both by H.G. Wells, was published by Signet in 1984.

Additional designations (which come after the work mark) may include: copy numbers, volume numbers, index designations, supplement designations, and years of edition.

813 C866a c.1 - This is the call number for the book, “The Andromeda Strain,” by Michael Crichton. "c.1" tells us that this is copy 1 of this title.

Q. 505 n v.402 D(1999) c.9 - This call number is for the journal, Nature. "v.402" tells us the volume (402), "D(1999)" the date of publication (1999), and "c.9" the copy number (9).

Q. 530.5 apph v.72-73 INDEX(1998) c.4 - This call number is for the journal, Applied Physics Letters. "v.72-73" indicates the volumes (72-73), "INDEX" that the item is an index, "(1998)" the date of publication (1998), and "c.4" the copy number (4).

The work mark is omitted for complete or collected works, annual reports, thesis, in a chronological series, or works entered under a title (i.e., where no author or editor is known). When the library collection was very small, it was the practice not to assign a work mark to the first title by an author in any class number. The library has grown to the point where this is no longer possible.

Quick Quiz

To answer, click on the appropriate button next to your answer. (Incorrect answers will provide feedback too!)

1. A Dewey number by itself is always sufficient to identify an item.


2. Additional information does not include which of the following:

Years of publication
Page Numbers
Copy Numbers
Volume Numbers
Index Designation
Supplement Designation

3. A work mark is based on the first few letters of the:

Publisher, Book Title, or Library
Book Title, Publisher, or Author's Last Name
Library or Book Title
Book Title or Author's Last Name
Publisher or Color of the Book

4. The work mark comes after the cutter number.


5. A work mark is:

A.) Always Necessary
B.) Necessary Only if there are Other Books by the Same Author
C.) Necessary for Different Works by the Same Author in the Same Class
D.) Necessary for Additional Works with the Same Title by One Author
A and B
B and C
C and D

Cutter Number
Cutter Number
Putting it Together
Putting it Together

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