Walker Library

The Dewey Decimal System, page 5

About Call Numbers

The Dewey Decimal System

An Example

Filing Order

Cutter Numbers

Literary Criticism

Biographies

Last but Not Least

Cutter Numbers:

In large libraries, it is possible that many books will be classified with the same Dewey classification number.  The library must give each book a unique number that serves as the address for locating each book on the shelf.

To create this unique number, a Cutter number is added to the classification number.

The Cutter number for a book usually consists of the first letter of the author's last name and a series of numbers. This series of numbers comes from a table that is designed to help maintain an alphabetical arrangement of names.

Conley, Ellen C767
Conley, Robert C768
Cook, Robin C77
Cook, Thomas C773

When the library has several works by the same author, a "work mark" is used to distinguish the various works of a single author. The work mark is a lower case letter that is usually the first letter of the title of the book. Let’s use the Harry Potter books as an example:

Rowling, J.K.; ...Chamber of Secrets 823.914 R797c
Rowling, J.K.; ...Prisoner of Azkaban 823.914 R797p
Rowling, J.K.; ...Goblet of Fire 823.914 R797g

Remember that the Cutter number is a decimal not a whole number and is also read digit by digit.

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