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RDS@UF: Newspaper Class Schedule

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies


Newspaper Classification:
An Expansion of the Library of Congress “A”
Classification to Accommodate International

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Naomi Kietzke Young
Principal Serials Cataloger
George A. Smathers Libraries
University of Florida


Classifying Newspapers : an Expansion of the Library of Congress AN Schedule

Why devise a classification system for newspapers at all?
           It may at first seem foolish to devise a system for the classification of newspapers. Catalogers who look to the Library of Congress (LC) as a guide to practice will find only limited warrant for such a system. The AN schedule has been reserved in the Library of Congress Classification (LCC), but never developed or used. A description of LC practice may be found in the classification schedules under AN:

Domestic newspapers at the Library of Congress are arranged in checklists and on shelves as follows: [1] By state; [2] By city, town, etc.; [3] By important word in title. Eighteenth century newspapers are arranged by first word of title (excluding the initial article of the title); [4] By date
Foreign newspapers at the Library of Congress are arranged in checklists and on the shelves as follows: [1] By country; [2] By city, town, etc.; [3] By first word in title (excluding the initial article of the title); [4] By date

Additionally, PN4899-5650 has been reserved for the history and description of individual newspapers.

          So if LC doesn’t bother, why should we? There are arguments against going to the trouble of classifying newspapers. It is true that Freeland and Bailey’s study (2008) indicated that use of current print newspapers has dwindled significantly. And for current, print newspapers alone, an alphabetic arrangement might well suffice for all but the largest collections. Digital archives do not require a call number for sorting and retrieval. However, digitization projects have not yet approached anything like creating access for the entire corpus of newspaper production. Partially as a result of the Tasini decision (N.Y. Times Co. v. Tasini, 533 U.S. 483, 505 (2001)), many digitized collections contain only some articles, omitting advertisements, freelancer-created articles and syndicated content. Furthermore, digitization projects are not yet practical in much of the developing world (Loubser, 2006), and there are doubts about the viability of digital formats for long-term preservation. As Brown and Fenton (2006, p.65) contend:

         “Preservation microfilming reduces the potential of significant risk of loss inherent in both the nature of the acidic hardcopy papers and in the digital repositories which need to be systematically backed up, refreshed and/or migrated to ensure their ongoing accessibility. Microfilm then becomes an integral step in the expanding future of newspaper digitisation programs." Until and unless these shortcomings can be overcome, microfilm collections are likely to remain important for genealogists, social historians, and others seeking primary source material.

Why this classification system: The existing situation
         The need for a new classification system for microfilm newspapers arose at the University of Florida when library renovations made it desirable to collocate several separate microform collections into a single location. Newspapers in these collections were classified in Library of Congress Classification (LCC), primarily the F schedule; Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC) and a DDC-like, locally-created Florida History classification system. Some papers were shelved by title, and some reels that had scattered issues of various titles could only be used with the assistance of a curator. The collection managers of the Florida newspapers expressed a strong desire, based on observed patterns of use, for all the newspaper microfilm to be shelved in its own sequence. Library administration was strongly discouraging separate sequences of shelving within the collection, opting for a single A-Z LCC sequence. The only way we could avoid creating a separate sequence, or intershelving the newspaper film with other film in the same subject area was to create a sequence specifically for newspapers that would integrate seamlessly with the rest of the LCC materials in the collection. We decided that the best way to meet local needs was to develop the AN schedule, using a geographic hierarchical structure similar to that used in the MARC 752 field. We had initially intended this classification system primarily for the Florida newspapers, although a few regional newspapers of national interest were included. (One title, the Wall Street Journal, was not integrated into this system, as it was considered more appropriate to shelve it with other business and finance periodicals than with general newspapers.) However, the Selectors in our area studies departments wanted us to expand the system so that it covered their materials as well.
        In order to expand the scheme to accommodate international papers, we adapted Table H8 from the LCC H schedule. This table arranged all regions and nations in a reasonably logical arrangement, although some areas (such as the Caribbean) were more compressed than what would be ideal, requiring decimal numbers, while in other places there were large gaps. Still, adapting an existing list was more expedient than creating a new one, and allows catalogers accustomed to LCC’s divisions of the world to find the desired country quickly. There are similar tables that could be used, but this one had a suitable degree of specificity for our needs.
        For US and Canadian titles, each number has three Cutters: the first for the state or province, the second for the city or county, and the third for the title. City or county codes may be taken from the LCC G schedule, or derived according to the standard Cutter table. If the geographic area a paper serves is not immediately evident, check the 752 field of the catalog record to identify it. See the examples below.

Gainesville Sun, Gainesville, Florida
AN2 ← designates the item as a US newspaper
.F6 ← geographic Cutter for the state of Florida
G2 ← geographic Cutter for the city (can be derived from LCC G schedule)
G35 ← title Cutter

Edmonton Sun, Edmonton, Alberta
AN10 designates the item as a Canadian newspaper
.A3 geographic Cutter for province of Alberta
E36 ← derived Cutter for Edmonton
E37 ← title Cutter

       The final Cutter is based on the first title cataloged (not necessarily the earliest title in the title history!), and retained for subsequent major changes in title as long as no mergers or splits were involved, in conformance with our general practice regarding serials.

A unique call number is assigned to the merged title, but retained for the subsequent titles, because there are no further mergers and splits

When the “family tree” of a newspaper is complex, call numbers may need to be changed. Numbering of the newspaper (if any exists apart from chronology) can be useful in determining possible titles to group together.

       The problem of reels with scattered issues of various titles was particularly difficult to solve. We classified these according to the state, with a final cutter of Z99, and added an additional holding record to the records for the relevant titles where possible.
AN2 ← US newspaper
.F6 ← Florida
Z99 ← Miscellaneous titles

Refinements and options

       Title selection
       Libraries may choose to Cutter for title according to the first major word in the title after the name of the city, when the name of the city is the first major word. This would avoid creating long Cutters when there are several newspapers cataloged for a given area beginning with the name of the city or locale.

       National newspapers
       For national newspapers, rather than interfiling them with local newspapers published in the same city, classify with the AN number for the country of publication, then the Cutter .A1, then the title cutter This puts all national newspapers at the head of the sequence for their country of publication, but requires cataloger (or bibliographer) judgment about which titles should be considered “national.”

       Expanding the scheme
       Collections that have a focus on a specific regions or countries may wish to create additional tables for the states, provinces, or subdivisions of that country, or they may wish to exploit the gaps in the existing schedule to integrate greater specificity at the top-level classification number.

Works Cited

  • Brown, Heather, and Andy Fenton. (2006) “Time's pivotal point-- preserving the past for the future-- now," p.63-72 in Walravens, Hartmut, ed. International Newspaper Librarianship for the 21st Century. (IFLA Publications 118) München : K.G. Saur
  • Freeland, Marija, and Marcia Bailey. (2008) “Print Newspapers: Are They Still Being Used in Academic and Research Libraries?” Serials Librarian 55 (1/2) 210-226.
  • Library of Congress Classification Schedules, (A and H)
  • Loubser, Johan. (2006) “Preserving newspapers in Namibia" in Walravens, Hartmut, ed. International Newspaper Librarianship for the 21st Century. (IFLA Publications 118) München : K.G. Saur

Table 1: Regions and Countries
Append the number below to AN to create the base classification number.
2                      United States*
10                    Canada *
10.25               Saint Pierre and Miquelon Islands 11 Latin America -- General
15                    Mexico
21                    Central America -- General
26                    Belize. British Honduras
31                    Costa Rica
41                    Guatemala
51                    Honduras
61                    Nicaragua
71                    Panama
76                    Panama Canal Zone
81                    El Salvador
96                    Bahamas
101                  Cuba
111                  Haiti
116                  Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo
121                  Jamaica
131                  Puerto Rico
141                  Virgin Islands of the United States
142                  British West Indies. English-Speaking Caribbean
142.5               Barbados
144                  Leeward Islands -- General
144.2               Anguilla
144.4               Antigua and Barbuda
144.6               Monserrat
144.8               Saint Kitts-Nevis
145                  Windward Islands – General
145.3               Dominica
145.5               Grenada
145.7               Saint Lucia
145.9               Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
146                  Trinidad and Tobago
147                  Netherlands Antilles. Dutch West Indies--General
147.5               Aruba
147.6               Bonaire
147.7               Curaçao
147.8               Saba
147.85             Saint Eustatius
147.9              Saint Martin
148                 French West Indies -- General
149                 Guadeloupe
150                 Martinique
151                 South America-- General
161                 Argentina
171                 Bolivia
181                 Brazil
191                 Chile
201                 Colombia
211                 Ecuador
230                 Guianas -- General
230.3              Guyana. British Guiana
230.5              Suriname. Dutch Guiana
230.7              French Guiana
231                 Paraguay
241                 Peru
251                 Uruguay
261                 Venezuela
280                 Europe and European Union - General
280.5              European Economic Community countries
280.7              Eastern Europe. Central Europe
280.8              Commonwealth countries
281                 Great Britain -- General
285                 England
290                 Scotland
295                 Wales
300.3              Ireland. Irish Republic
320                 Austria
320.3              Czechoslovakia. Czech Republic
320.4              Slovakia
320.5              Hungary
320.9              Liechtenstein
340                 France
340.5              Monaco
360                 Germany Including West Germany
360.5              East Germany
390                 Italy
390.3              San Marino
390.5              Malta
400        Benelux countries. Low countries -General
401                 Belgium
411                 Netherlands
415                 Luxembourg
430        Russia. Soviet Union. Former Soviet republics
430.2              Russia (Federation)
430.7              Belarus
430.8              Moldova
430.9              Ukraine
435                 Finland
439.6              Baltic States -- General
439.7              Estonia
439.8              Latvia
439.9              Lithuania
440                 Scandinavia -General
441                 Denmark
451                 Iceland
461                 Norway
471                 Sweden
490                 Spain
490.3              Andorra
490.5              Gibraltar
491-500          Portugal
501-510          Switzerland
520                 Balkan States -- General
520.5              Albania
521                 Bulgaria
531                 Yugoslavia. Serbia and Montenegro

Class here works on Yugoslavia as a whole during the period 1918-1992 as well as on the country of Serbia and Montenegro during the period 2003-2006. Class works about an individual republic or locality with the republic, regardless of time period covered.
536                 Serbia
536.5              Montenegro
537                 Slovenia
538                 Croatia
539                 Bosnia and Hercegovina
540                 Macedonia (Republic)
550                 Romania
550.5              Greece
550.7              Mediterranean Region. Southern Europe
550.8              Black Sea Region
551                 Asia -- General
556                 Middle East. Near East -- General
556.15            Caucasus -- General
556.2              Armenia
556.3              Azerbaijan
556.4              Georgia (Republic)
556.5              Turkey
557                 Cyprus
558                 Syria
559                 Lebanon
560                 Israel. Palestine
560.5              West Bank
560.7              Gaza Strip
561                 Jordan
562                 Arabian Peninsula. Arabia. Persian Gulf States --General
563                 Saudi Arabia
564                 Yemen Including the Yemen Arab Republic prior to 1990
564.5              Yemen (People's Democratic Republic). Southern Yemen. Aden (Colony and Protectorate)
565                 Oman. Muscat and Oman
566                 United Arab Emirates. Trucial States
567                 Qatar
568                 Bahrain
569                 Kuwait
570                 Iraq
570.2              Iran
570.22            Central Asia --General
570.23            Kazakhstan
570.24            Kyrgyzstan
570.25            Tajikistan
570.26            Turkmenistan
570.27            Uzbekistan
570.3              South Asia -- General
570.6              Afghanistan
570.7              Burma. Myanmar
570.8              Sri Lanka. Ceylon
570.9              Nepal
590                 India
590.3              Bhutan
590.5              Pakistan
590.6              Bangladesh
590.8              Southeast Asia. Indochina Including French Indochina -- General
600.3              Kampuchea. Cambodia
600.4              Laos
600.5              Vietnam
600.55            Thailand
600.6              Malaysia. Malaya
600.67            Singapore
600.68            Brunei
610                 Indonesia
610.3              Timor-Leste. East Timor
615                 Philippines
621                 East Asia. Far East -- General
625                 Japan
630.5              Korea Including South Korea
630.6              North Korea (Democratic People's Republic)
630.8              Outer Mongolia. Mongolian People's Republic
635                 China
641                 Macau
646                 Taiwan. Formosa
655                 Hong Kong
666                 Arab countries (Collective)
668                 Islamic countries (Collective)
680                 Africa Including Sub-Saharan Africa -- General
681                 North Africa --General
682                 Morocco
683                 Algeria
684                 Tunisia
685                 Libya
686                 Egypt. United Arab Republic
687                 Sudan
688                 Northeast Africa -- General
688.9              Eritrea
689                 Ethiopia
690                 Somalia Including British and Italian Somaliland
691                 Djibouti. French Territory of the Afars and Isas
692                 Southeast Africa Including East Africa -- General
693                 Kenya
694                 Uganda
695                 Rwanda
696                 Burundi
697                 Tanzania. Tanganyika. Zanzibar
698                 Mozambique
699                 Madagascar. Malagasy Republic
700                 Southern Africa -- General
701                 South Africa
702                 Rhodesia Including Zimbabwe (Southern Rhodesia)
703                 Zambia. Northern Rhodesia
704                 Lesotho. Basutoland
705                 Swaziland
706                 Botswana. Bechuanaland

707                 Malawi. Nyasaland
708                 Namibia. Southwest Africa
709                 Central Africa. Equatorial Africa -- General
710                 Angola
711                 Zaire. Congo (Democratic Republic)
712                 Equatorial Guinea
713                 Sao Tome and Principe
714                 French-speaking Equatorial Africa. French Congo
715                 Gabon
716                 Congo (Brazzaville). Middle Congo
717                 Central African Republic. Ubangi-Shari
718                 Chad
719                 Cameroon
720                 West Africa. West Coast -- General
720.5              Sahel
721                 French-speaking West Africa
722                 Benin. Dahomey
723                 Togo
724                 Niger
725                 Côte d'Ivoire. Ivory Coast
726                 Guinea
727                 Mali
728                 Burkina Faso. Upper Volta
729                 Senegal
730                 Mauritania
731                 Nigeria
732                 Ghana
733                 Sierra Leone
734                 Gambia
735                 Liberia
736                 Guinea-Bissau. Portuguese Guinea
737                 Western Sahara. Spanish Sahara
737.85            Atlantic Area. Atlantic Ocean islands General
738                 Azores
738.3              Bermuda
738.5              Madeira Islands
738.7              Canary Islands
738.9              Cape Verde Islands
739                 Saint Helena
739.3              Tristan da Cunha
739.5              Falkland Islands
739.6              Indian Ocean islands -- General
739.7              Maldive Islands
739.9              Seychelles
740                 Comoros
740.3              Mauritius
740.5              Réunion
740.7              Kerguelen Islands
740.8              Mayotte
750                 Australia
830.5              New Zealand
830.7              Pacific Area. Pacific Ocean islands General
830.9              Melanesia
831                 Trust Territory of the Pacific. Micronesia
831.2              Marshall Islands
831.3              Mariana Islands Including Northern Mariana Islands
831.4              Palau
831.5              Guam
832                 Papua New Guinea
832.3              Kiribati. Gilbert Islands
832.33            Nauru
832.35            Tuvalu. Ellice Islands
833                 Solomon Islands
834                 New Caledonia
835                 Vanuatu. New Hebrides
836                 Fiji Islands
837                 Tonga
837.5              Cook Islands
838                 Samoan Islands -- General
838                 American Samoa
839                 Samoa. Western Samoa
839.5              French Polynesia
840                 Arctic regions -- General
842.5              Greenland
842.7              Antarctic regions

*For the first cutter for these countries, see Table 2.

Table 2: Cutters for States and Provinces (from the Classification and Shelving Manual: Shelflisting)
Alabama                          .A2
Alaska                             .A4
Arizona                            .A6
Arkansas                         .A8
California                        .C2
Colorado                         .C6
Connecticut                     .C8
Delaware                         .D3
Florida                             .F6
Georgia                           .G4
Hawaii                              .H3
Idaho                               .I2
Illinois                              .I3
Indiana                            .I6
Iowa                                .I8
Kansas                            .K2
Kentucky                         .K4
Louisiana                        .L8
Maine                              .M2
Maryland                         .M3
Massachusetts                .M4
Michigan                         .M5
Minnesota                       .M6
Mississippi                      .M7
Missouri                          .M8
Montana                         .M9
Nebraska                        .N2
Nevada                           .N3
New Hampshire               .N4
New Jersey                      .N5
New Mexico                      .N6
New York                          .N7
North Carolina                  .N8
North Dakota                    .N9
Ohio                                 .O3
Oklahoma                        .O5
Oregon                            .O7
Pennsylvania                   .P4
Rhode Island                   .R4
South Carolina                .S6
South Dakota                  .S8
Tennessee                      .T2
Texas                              .T4
Utah                                .U8
Vermont                          .V5
Virginia                           .V8
Washington (D.C.           .W18
Washington (State)        .W2
West Virginia                  .W4
Wisconsin                       .W6
Wyoming                        .W8


Canada (Provinces)
Alberta                            .A3
British Columbia              .B8
Manitoba                         .M3
New Brunswick                .N5
Newfoundland                 .N6
Northwest Territories       .N7
Nova Scotia                    .N8
Nunavut                          .N9
Ontario                           .O6
Prince Edward Island      .P8
Quebec (Province)         .Q3
Saskatchewan                .S2
Yukon Territory               .Y8

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