Skip to Main Content

RDS@UF: Call Number Classifications Used in Smathers Libraries

Resource Description Services department procedures and policies

Last reviewed March 2024 by Greg Allen

Call Number Classifications Used in Smathers Libraries

OCLC's Introduction to Call Numbers


Many different classification systems have been used to arrange books in University of Florida Libraries over the years and are listed below. Dewey was the primary system used until the mid-1970s when the LC Classification system was adopted.  

Accession Number

Accession numbers are used for videos in Library West, music sound recordings in AFA, and for some other special materials. These are shelving control numbers assigned sequentially and are unrelated to topic, but result in recently acquired items being shelved together. Macros have been developed to efficiently provide unique accession numbers for new items being cataloged


Alma:  852  4   $a FU $b UFSWE $c DVD $h DVD 6701
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, Other (OTH)”

Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature Call Numbers

  • 15(Accession number)  (shorter hard bound books)
    • Up to 15 cm
  • 15p(Accession number) (paper cover that cannot stand on shelf by themselves, stapled books under 50 pages, small chapbooks, tiny books)
    • Up to 27 cm
  • 23h(Accession number) (hardbound backs and sturdy paperbacks)
    • 16 cm – 23 cm only
  • 39p(Accession number)  only for envelopes (paperbacks, flimsy, under 50 pages)
    • 24 cm - 30 cm
  • 39h(Accession number)  (tall hardbound books or paperbacks that can stand on their own)
    • 28 cm or 30 cm taller

Dewey Classification

The Dewey Classification system is not used for newly received Smathers Libraries’ materials, but is used by many public and school libraries, including Mead Library at P.K. Yonge Developmental Research School. Many thousands of UF books in storage and some branches are still classified in Dewey. Based on the 1876 work of Melvil Dewey, the system continues to grow internationally and is now based at OCLC: 

Alma: 852  1   $a FU $b UFSTO $c AUX $h 653.05 $i G819 
OCLC: 082 04  $a 653.05 $b G819  (or 092     $a 653.05 $b G819)
Note: Reference books were sometimes labeled with R preceding the no. (e.g., R123 F13)
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, Dewey (DDC)”

Florida History Numbers

This shelving control system is no longer used for new materials, but was used in the past for P.K. Yonge Library of Florida History materials and will still be seen in the catalog. LC numbers are now used for new Florida History materials.

Alma:  852  4   $a FU $b UFSPE $c FLAH $h F.2A31 $i D262h2
OCLC: 099       $a F.2 $a A31 $a D262h2
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, Other (OTH)”

LC Classification (most used)

This is the Library of Congress classification system. There are print copies of the LC Schedules available, but the primary source used for assigning and interpreting these classification numbers is Classification Web, an online subscription-based tool at

Alma:  852  0   $a FU $b UFSCI $c GEN $h QC344 $i .S45 2013
OCLC: 050    4  $a QC344 $b .S45 2013
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, LC/NLM (LCI)”

NAL Classification

The National Agriculture Library Classification System was used in the University of Florida agricultural libraries, especially Hume Agriculture Library. Books formerly in Hume Library and now primarily at ALF still use this system. On the surface NAL resembles Dewey, but is entirely different.

NAL call no. range:
R1 - R25 (1-25) Reference books, many have the ‘R’ for reference removed
  30 – 79   Agriculture
  80 – 98   Horticulture and plant culture
     99        Forests and Forestry
100 – 102  Agricultural Experiment Station, Service
103 – 109  Federal Documents
110 – 145  General Literature
    243         Libraries and Library Economy
249 – 286  Economic Sciences
287 – 316  Technology
321 – 324  Home Economics
330 – 464  Other Sciences
472 – 475  Learned Society Publications

Alma:  852  8    $a FU $b UFSTO $c AUX $h 99 $i G822
OCLC: 070  1    $a 99 $b G822

Note: Books in NAL classification were often mistakenly coded in Alma as though they were Dewey. Reference books were sometimes labeled with R preceding the number.

Search in Alma:  browse search “Call Number, Other (OTH)” [but some were coded as Dewey and must be found using “Call Number, Dewey (DDC)”]

Newspaper Classification

This system was developed in order to arrange the large newspaper collection in Library West by Naomi Young. It builds on the LC classification system and is available at:

Alma: 852  0  $$a FU $$b UFSWE $$c MFM $$h AN2.F6 $$i F8 T75
OCLC:  050 04 AN2.F6 ǂb F8 T75
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, LC/NLM (LCI)”

NLM Classification

This system is specific to medical library resources and provided by the National Library of Medicine. The online National Library of Medicine Classification is available at

Alma:  852  2  $a FU $b UFHHC $c GEN $h QZ 267 C215 1976
OCLC: 060      $a QZ 267 C215 1976
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, LC/NLM (LCI)”

Planning Documents Classification

This system is used only for the collection of Florida planning documents housed in the Documents Department. The numbers are assigned by staff in Documents.

Alma:  852  8   $a FU $b UFDOC $c PL $h FL8;Pasco;.D121;23;1989
OCLC: 099       $a FL8;Pasco;.D121;23;1989
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, Other (OTH)”

SuDoc Classification

The Superintendent of Documents Classification Scheme is used by GPO to arrange and identify United States federal documents distributed in the Depository system.  It is an important identifier for federal documents as well as a scheme for arranging them –                                         

Alma:  852  3   $a FU $b UFSTO $c DOC $h Y 2.W 89/2:13/5-3
OCLC: 086  0   Y 3.W 89/2:13/5-3
Search in Alma: browse search “Call Number, SuDoc (GVD)”


In some areas such as the print periodicals section of the Health Science Center Library arrangement is alphabetical by title.

Alma:  852  5   $a FU-HC $b UFHHC $c PER $z JOURNALS Shelved by Title on 3rd Floor
Search in Alma: browse call number search not available


OCLC Introduction to Call Numbers
(Clicking the numbered tag will direct you to related page in OCLC's call number guide)

050 -- Library of Congress Call Number (R)

055 -- Classification Numbers Assigned in Canada (R)

060 -- National Library of Medicine Call Number (R)

070 -- National Agricultural Library Call Number (R)

080 -- Universal Decimal Classification Number (R)

086 -- Government Document Classification Number (R)

090 -- Locally Assigned LC-type Call Number (R)

092 -- Locally Assigned Dewey Call Number (R)

096 -- Locally Assigned NLM-type Call Number (R)

098 -- Other Classification Schemes (R)

099 -- Local Free-Text Call Number (R)

University of Florida Home Page

This page uses Google Analytics - (Google Privacy Policy)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.