Library of Congress Classification

Library of Congress Classification

The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. It is used by most research and academic libraries in the U.S. and several other countries; for example, Australia[1][2] and Taiwan, R.O.C.[3] It is not to be confused with the Library of Congress Subject Headings or Library of Congress Control Number. Most public libraries and small academic libraries continue to use the Dewey Decimal Classification (DDC).[4][citation needed]

The classification was originally developed by Herbert Putnam in 1897, just before he assumed the librarianship of Congress. With advice from Charles Ammi Cutter, it was influenced by his Cutter Expansive Classification and by the DDC, and was designed specifically for the purposes and collection of the Library of Congress. The new system replaced a fixed location system developed by Thomas Jefferson. By the time Putnam departed from his post in 1939, all the classes except K (Law) and parts of B (Philosophy and Religion) were well developed. It has been criticized as lacking a sound theoretical basis; many of the classification decisions were driven by the practical needs of that library, rather than epistemological considerations.

Although it divides subjects into broad categories, it is essentially enumerative in nature. It provides a guide to the books actually in the library, not a classification of the world.

The National Library of Medicine classification system (NLM) uses the classification scheme's unused letters W and QSQZ. Some libraries use NLM in conjunction with LCC, eschewing LCC's R (Medicine). Others prefer to use the LCC scheme's QP-QR schedules and include Medicine R.


The system

Java programming books in the QA subclass.
Letter Subject area
A General Works
B Philosophy, Psychology, and Religion
C Auxiliary Sciences of History
D General and Old World History
E History of America
F History of the United States and British, Dutch, French, and Latin America
G Geography, Anthropology, and Recreation
H Social Sciences
J Political Science
K Law
L Education
M Music
N Fine Arts
P Language and Literature
Q Science
R Medicine
S Agriculture
T Technology
U Military Science
V Naval Science
Z Bibliography, Library Science, and General Information Resources

Class A - General Works

  • Subclass AC - Collections. Series. Collected works
  • Subclass AE - Encyclopedias
  • Subclass AG - Dictionaries and other general reference works
  • Subclass AI - Indexes
  • Subclass AM - Museums. Collectors and collecting
  • Subclass AN - Newspapers
  • Subclass AP - Periodicals
  • Subclass AS - Academies and learned societies
  • Subclass AY - Yearbooks. Almanacs. Directories
  • Subclass AZ - History of scholarship and learning. The humanities

Class B - Philosophy, Psychology, Religion

Class C - Auxiliary Sciences of History (General)

Class D - World History (except American History)

Class E and F - American History

Class F - Local History of the United States and British, Dutch, French, and Latin America

Class G - Geography, Anthropology, Recreation

Class H - Social Sciences

Class J - Political Science

  • Subclass J - General legislative and executive papers
  • Subclass JA - Political science (General)
  • Subclass JC - Political theory
  • Subclass JF - Political institutions and public administration
  • Subclass JJ - Political institutions and public administration (North America)
  • Subclass JK - Political institutions and public administration (United States)
  • Subclass JL - Political institutions and public administration (Canada, Latin America, etc.)
  • Subclass JN - Political institutions and public administration (Europe)
  • Subclass JQ - Political institutions and public administration (Asia, Africa, Australia, Pacific Area, etc.)
  • Subclass JS - Local government. Municipal government
  • Subclass JV - Colonies and colonization. Emigration and immigration. International migration
  • Subclass JX - International law, see JZ and KZ (obsolete)
  • Subclass JZ - International relations

Class K - Law

  • Subclass K - Law in general. Comparative and uniform law. Jurisprudence
  • Subclass KB - Religious law in general. Comparative religious law. Jurisprudence
  • Subclass KBM -Jewish law
  • Subclass KBP - Islamic law
  • Subclass KBR - History of canon law
  • Subclass KBU - Law of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy See
  • Subclasses - KD-KDK United Kingdom and Ireland
  • Subclass KDZ - America. North America
  • Subclass KE - Canada
  • Subclass KF - United States
  • Subclass KG - Latin America - Mexico and Central America - West Indies. Caribbean area
  • Subclass KH - South America
  • Subclasses KJ-KKZ - Europe
  • Subclasses KL-KWX - Asia and Eurasia, Africa, Pacific Area, and Antarctica
  • Subclass KZ - Law of nations

Class L - Education

  • Subclass L - Education (General)
  • Subclass LA - History of education
  • Subclass LB - Theory and practice of education
  • Subclass LC - Special aspects of education
  • Subclass LD - Individual institutions - United States
  • Subclass LE - Individual institutions - America (except United States)
  • Subclass LF - Individual institutions - Europe
  • Subclass LG - Individual institutions - Asia, Africa, Indian Ocean islands, Australia, New Zealand, Pacific islands
  • Subclass LH - College and school magazines and papers
  • Subclass LJ - Student fraternities and societies, United States
  • Subclass LT - Textbooks

Class M - Music

  • Subclass M - Music
  • Subclass ML - Literature on music
  • Subclass MT - Instruction and study

Class N - Fine arts

Class P - Language and Literature

Class Q - Science

Class R - Medicine

Class S - Agriculture

Class T - Technology

Class U - Military Science

Class V - Naval Science

  • Subclass V - Naval science (General)
  • Subclass VA - Navies: Organization, distribution, naval situation
  • Subclass VB - Naval administration
  • Subclass VC - Naval maintenance
  • Subclass VD - Naval seamen
  • Subclass VE - Marines
  • Subclass VF - Naval ordnance
  • Subclass VG - Minor services of navies
  • Subclass VK - Navigation. Merchant marine
  • Subclass VM - Naval architecture. Shipbuilding. Marine engineering

Class Z - Bibliography, Library Science

  • Subclass Z - Books (General). Writing. Paleography. Book industries and trade. Libraries. Bibliography
  • Subclass ZA - Information resources (General)

See also


  1. ^ "Using the Library Catalogue - Library of Congress Classification". University of the Sunshine Coast, Qld, Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  2. ^ "Libraries Australia Cataloguing". National Library of Australia. Retrieved 16 March 2011. 
  3. ^ "National Taiwan University Library Online Catalog". National Taiwan University. March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011. 
  4. ^ "e-Library OPAC link - A Division of SIRSI". Taipei Public Library. March 14, 2011. Retrieved March 14, 2011.  It can be seen that the Taipei public library use DDC for the English books after clicking Classifications Search.

External links

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