Classification Systems in Use at Princeton
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Princeton University Cataloging Documentation

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Policy & misc. info.

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Classification systems
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Old practices
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Classification systems -- general information
There are two main systems of classification in use at Princeton University Libraries:

  • The Library of Congress system has been the primary classification system at Princeton since Feb. 1, 1976. However, the GN, GR, GT, and H classes have been used since the 1930's; the location (Clas) did not adopt LC until 1985.

    Nearly all newly-acquired books and serials are classified in LC.

    Basic reference tools include: Library of Congress Classification Schedules, Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification, and Subject Cataloging Manual: Shelflisting.

  • The Richardson system was created by former University Librarian Ernest Cushing Richardson and is unique to Princeton. Except for certain types of books cataloged by Near East Technical Services and some monographic series classed as a set, no new titles are assigned Richardson numbers.

In addition Princeton uses a system of Accession numbers for materials such as microforms, computer files, and recordings.

Another local scheme no longer in use, the Pitney classification (a decimal scheme along the lines of Richardson), can be found under its own location symbol (PITN).