Classification / Shelflisting Policy
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Princeton University Cataloging Documentation

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Policy & misc. info.

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Classification / shelflisting policy
(See also: Serials Call Number Decisions)

It is the policy of Princeton University Libraries not routinely to "pre-shelflist" materials as part of the cataloging process. Thus, once the cataloger has determined the class number for an item, a book number is assigned according to the Cutter table and the item is sent on for physical processing.

However, as a practical matter it is often wise to fit items into particularly crowded sections of the shelflist (e.g., a critical work on Joyce's Ulysses or a biology textbook with a title main entry of "Biology").

Any call number conflicts that result and are detected will usually be the cataloger's responsibility to correct. These should be quite infrequent.

In addition please note the following classification and shelflisting policies:

  • As of February 5, 1992 we routinely assign three digits to the book number (e.g., .S674 for a main entry of Sorensen, instead of .S67) and add the date of publication. This should greatly reduce the likelihood of conflicts.
  • We never change an existing call number merely to correct variations in a strict alphabetical sequence.
  • When cataloging an edition of a title to which LC assigned only one or two digits in the book number, retain the LC number.
  • When cataloging an item with pre-AACR2 LC copy with a book number derived from obsolete practice (such as an editor as main entry), change the book number to reflect the AACR2 main entry. (N.B.: This does not apply to recons; there the original number is retained and a "Cuttered for ... " note is added.)
  • If a new book is an added copy for the same location (ACX) or a replacement of a title with a Richardson number, give the new book the same Richardson number. If it is an added copy for a different location (AC) of a title with a Richardson number, give it an LC number.
Editions with different call numbers:

When we receive an edition of a work that we already have in the collection, we routinely assign it the same call number as the existing work, differentiating it with a date. Please note however the following instructions for problematic cases:

  • If the existing edition has a Richardson number, assign the new work an LC number and let the editions sit apart on the shelves.
  • If the existing edition has a defunct LC call number (e.g., BL for Buddhism) or an artificial LC call number (e.g., the bogus K numbers), assign the new work a valid LC number and let the editions sit apart on the shelves.
  • If the existing edition is cuttered based on pre-AACR2 practice (most commonly for an editor), cutter the new work to match the old one and add a "Cuttered for ..." note.