Biography Table
email link

Princeton University Cataloging Documentation

index link

  Cutter table
  .A6-.A99 table
  .Z5-.Z999 table
  Biography table
  Table XL

Size symbols
   See also: Miniature bks

Translation table

Use of small x

Preferred order for individual authors

See also:
Classification / Shelflisting policy

Introduction - Biography Table


A biography is a written history of a person's life or a work about an individual's contributions to a specific field.

Biographical works are classed under the topic with which the biographee is most closely identified. However, when an individual who has contributed to several different fields is the subject of a biography, the work is assigned a classification determined by the topic covered in that particular work.

If a biography treats multiple aspects of an individual's wide- ranging life, the work is classed with the subject with which the biographee is most commonly associated.

Library of Congress classifies biographies in two different ways, in a general class and in a biography class.

A general class is any class in the Library of Congress classification schedule other than a biography class.

For example in the pyschology class BF173, .A25-Z is the class for general works including biographies about Freud. A biography class is any class established in the Library of Congress classification schedule specifically for biographical works. A biography class can include a collection of an individual's letters or compilation of a person's speeches.

A work which discusses the lives and contributions of two or more individuals is a collective biography. The biography table should not be used for a collective biography. The work is cuttered as a general work.

For individual biographies under several topics in the classification schedules, special classes termed biography classes have been established especially for biographical works. Such works are clearly identified as an individual biography and may include materials such as collected works, selected works, autobiographies, letters, and speeches.

Biography Table

.x Cutter for the biographee

.xA2 Collected works.
By date
Do not

use the

Translation Table

with the .xA2-.A5


.xA25 Selected works. Selections.
By date
(Including quotations)
.xA3 Autobiography, diaries, etc.
By date
.xA4 Letters.
By date

.xA5 Speeches, essays and lectures.
By date
(Including interviews)

Individual biography, interview and criticism.
By main entry.
Including criticism of selected works, autobiography, quotations, letters, speeches, interviews, etc.


If the main entry of a biographical or critical work begins with A and the work is classed in a biography class, do not cutter lower than A6. See the .A6-.A99 table for the suggested cutters for entries beginning with A.

When a biography class is set up in the schedule so that the cutter which represents the biographee is the second cutter, do not use the Biography table. Instead, establish a span of numbers to represent the biographee.

There are also other tables for biographical works; in these cases one must distinguish between classes about individuals which use the Biography table and those classes which use a separate table which is only contained within the schedule, e.g. the Individual artists's file, Literary authors, and ML410 and ML420.

When the first subject heading of a work consists of a personal name plus the term "personal narratives" and the work is classed in a biography class, the work is treated as an autobiography.

Some biography classes have the term "personal narratives" included in the schedule; however, if the class is specified for personal narratives only, it is not considered a biography class. Here as in a general class, a personal narrative is treated as a separate work of the author.

Some history classes are divided by period according to the reigns of individuals rulers. In these classes, no distinction is made between biographies of the ruler and general works about the period. Cutter all works for the main entry, even works by the ruler.

Note that even though the schedule may indicate that a general class includes biographies that class is not considered a biography class. Only use the biography table when a work is classed in a biography class. Do not use the Biography table in classes that state "Include biography" or "Including biographies."