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Music 1253 Worksheet no. 1.
Classification of Materials; Call Numbers 1

The purpose of this and subsequent worksheets is to help the student become familiar with the use of the Acadia University Library, as it relates to the study of music, and to become familiar with the various tools of music study and research. The Library is one of the most useful resources you have in the study of music history. Do these worksheets very carefully. Your care now will pay off in the future.

In completing these worksheets be as neat as possible. It will affect your grade.

NOTE: When you are through with a book in the library, if you have removed it from the shelf, DO NOT put it back on the shelf. Place it on a table AS NEAR AS POSSIBLE to its proper location. Certain sections of the Library have special shelves where items to be reshelved must be placed when the user is finished with them. Library staff will reshelve the book. Do not remove books from the immediate vicinity of their proper location.

(These suggestions are made to prevent books from being placed in an incorrect location and thus being misplaced. There are limited resources available and many people [especially in courses such as this] are trying to use them in a short period of time, so even a displacement of a few hours or days can have serious resultsi.e., an incomplete or late assignment.)


Books in libraries are generally organised (Classified) and arranged by Call Numbers. These are numbers assigned to books according to their subject matter, author/editor/composer, date, etc. Most books specifically concerned with music in the Library of Congress Classification System have Call Numbers beginning with the letters M or ML or MT followed by a combination of numbers and letters.

Most North American Libraries, including Acadia, now use the (U.S.) Library of Congress Classification System for determining their Call Numbers. Among various advantages of this system are two of immediate use to the student: i. It is an easy system to learn, and once one is familiar with the main classification numbers and how they work it is very simple to find books on any subject, even without a library catalogue; ii. In most North American academic libraries and many other libraries most books will have almost the same numbers in each library; hence once you know the number assigned to a book at Acadia, the same book will likely have a very similar number elsewhere. (There are exceptions, however, partly because often a single book may deal with more than one subject area and potentially be classified under one or another.) For more information, ask library reference staff.

The first part (or first line) of a Call Number places the book in a general classification. For example, Call Numbers beginning with ML410 deal with biographies of composers and closely related topics.

For a summary of the Library of Congress Classification System on the World Wide Web, see:

Outline of the Library of Congress Classification:


Music and Books on Music:

http://lcweb.loc.gov/catdir/cpso/lcco/lcco_m.pdf    [PDF file, so requires Acrobat Reader or Adobe Acrobat]

[Alternate source with similar information: http://geography.miningco.com/library/congress/bllc.htm]

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Links to these sites are provided at the Music 2273 WWW site, under Libraries, Archives, and Museums.

The assignment:

Below are given the beginning of several Call Numbers. For each, indicate, in general, the type of book located under the symbol.

Be sure to look at all the books in each Call Number group to get a complete overall picture of the types of books included in the classification.

/ 100
[4 points each]

[Books located in the general stacks:]
[Books located in Reference:]
[Items located in the Music Collection:]
[Do not forget to refer to the miniature scores and compact disks as well as normal scores.]
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Last updated: 5 September 2006.
Copyright © 2006 by Gordon J. Callon. All rights reserved. e-mail: gordon.callon @ acadiau.ca
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