Classification Proposals Melanie Wacker

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Classification Proposals

  • Melanie Wacker

  • May, 2003

The LC Classification

  • The LC classification schedule is a work in progress. New numbers are being added constantly.

  • The schedules were developed over a long period of time, which makes them very inconsistent.

  • First version of Class Z prepared as early as 1898 by Charles Martel.

When do we have to submit a proposal?

  • A) When you establish a new subject heading for which there is no number provided in the LC schedule.

  • B) For some topical cutters

  • C) Certain types of literary authors

Topical Cutters

  • See F 350 in Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification

  • Certain types of topical cutters are not printed in the LC schedule and therefore do not need to be established: personal, corporate, and geographical names, names of languages, and titles of individual works (except literary works up to 1500).

  • In some cases you will see “e.g.” followed by a few examples of the above types of topical cutters. Do not add to those lists.

Literary Author Numbers

  • In some cases we have to submit literary author numbers for printing in the P schedule:

  • A) Literary authors whose name changes significantly due to changes in cataloging rules, marital status, etc.

  • B) Literary authors born before 1875

  • C) Literary authors who have pseudonyms, regardless of date of birth

  • D) anonymous works published before 1899

  • (See Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification, F632)

Classification Proposals

  • Follow instructions in Subject Cataloging Manual: Classification F50.

  • A useful summary and examples of completed proposal forms can be found at:


Classification Worksheet

  • For catalogers in Butler: Please use our local worksheet on the shared drive: U:\shared\053

  • For first time use: Download to your own workstation as a template. Once you completed the form save it to the 053 inbox: U:\shared\053\053inbox

  • Please rename your proposal when saving it to the inbox.

  • Your proposal will be proofed, printed and then faxed to the COOP team.

Classification Worksheet

  • Catalogers outside Butler do not have access to our shared drive.

  • They have the option of either printing the original LC Classification Proposal Form

  • available at:

  • and sending it via interdepartmental mail,

  • or sending our local form via e-mail as attachment.

  • The form will be provided on floppy-disc.

How to Complete the Worksheet

  • The worksheet is divided into three parts.

  • The top of the worksheet is subdivided into 5 boxes:

  • Class letters

  • Page

  • Pattern

  • Better

  • Book, No Book, Coop, NOL


  • A pattern is an existing number that is being used to justify the new proposal.

  • It should be identical or very close to the new proposal in either terminology or location of the caption(s).

  • Enter “none” if no pattern is being cited.


  • Leave blank. For LC staff only.

Body of the Worksheet

  • The body of the worksheet is divided into three columns.

  • Class number

  • Decimal

  • Cutters, Captions, Notes

Class Number

  • Use for the “anchor point” to show where your number will be located within the schedule.

  • Put brackets around the number to show that it already exists.

  • When proposing a whole new class number use either the number preceding or following the location of your proposal.


  • Use for decimal portion of the “anchor point” number. Leave blank if there is none.

  • Put brackets around an already existing number

  • When proposing a new decimal portion for this anchor point, enter it on a separate line.

Cutter, Captions, Notes

  • Use for captions and notes and when proposing new cutter numbers.

  • Remember to bracket everything that already exists in the schedule.

  • Examples on how to fill out the worksheet when proposing new decimal portions and cutter numbers are provided on the SACO web site: Library of Congress Classification Proposal Guidelines and Form (URL on slide 6)

Bottom of the Worksheet

  • Here we have only two fields to fill out:

  • Work Cat. & Coop. Library Code.

  • Work Cat.: Citation of the work for which the new number is needed.

  • Coop. Library Code: NNC for Butler or NNC-EA for East Asian Library

Proposing a New Cutter Number

  • Only provide the alpha portion [the letter(s)]; the numeric portion will be added by LC staff.

  • (Only exception is the M schedule)

  • Example:

  • [2450 .S37 Serapis]

  • .S Serket

Captions for Topical Cutters

  • See F 350.3

  • Follow existing patterns

  • When “including” or several terms are being used in the captions, make a see reference from each part. Always point to the full classification number, even within the same cutter list:

  • NC783.8.C36 Cats. Kittens  

  • Kittens see NC783.8.C36 

Proposing a range of numbers

  • Follow F 195 (Subarrangement Within Disciplines) and, if appropriate, F 210 (Periodicals)

  • F 195 contains models for major new developments within a number of schedules (D; H; Q; R)

  • For other classes follow precedent within that class


  • Architecture of the 21st century:

  • Class Letters: NA

  • Pattern: NA673-NA682.A-Z [Architecture

  • 20th century]

  • [682 .T43 Team 10] Preceding number, used

  • to show placement within the schedule

  • 685 21th century, Periodicals

  • 687 General works

  • 689 .A-Z Special Aspects

New Class numbers for Periodicals

  • Establish only when submitting a major new development and only when many periodicals are expected to be published on that subject (F 210).

Proposing Literary Author Numbers for Printing in the P Schedule

  • See F 632

  • Make “see references” from any pseudonym or from the author’s real name, if his pseudonym is being used as the basis for the class number. Also make references from earlier forms of the name.

  • Do not make “see references” from forms of the name beginning with the same entry element.

Literary Authors Using Pseudonyms

  • Two proposals have to be submitted,

  • one with the name of the author that is not used as the basis for the number. You do not include the number in this proposal, just a see reference to his other name.

  • The other one is the actual classification proposal.

Tables for Literary Authors

  • Always include with the caption for the

  • author's name a reference to the appropriate table for the subarrangement

  • (in most cases this will be Table P-PZ40).

LC Classification Weekly List

  • Once your number has approved it will be published on the CPSO Web site in the Library of Congress Classification Weekly List.


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