Verifying and Assigning Classification and Call Numbers for 20th- and 21st-Century Literary Authors

This document covers the procedures for verifying and assigning specific classification and call numbers for literary authors writing during the twentietch century.  For general background on such classification numbers, see also "Classifying Works by and about Individual Literary Authors of the 20th and 21st Centuries."

Document sections

General procedures
I.Verifying literary class number and problems IV.Completing call number
II.Assigning literary class number V.Authority record creation and editing
III.Call number conflicts VI.Recats

General procedures

When copy-cataloging literary works, it is necessary to confirm that the call number fits into proper alphabetical location in Howard-Tilton’s shelf list.  It is also important that the call number not conflict with the Library of Congress’s shelf list.  If a name authority record with an 053 field can be found in the Voyager database that was created either by LC or by another OCLC member library (and in order to appear in OCLC’s Authority File it had to have been approved, or at least used, by LC), the class number located in that 053 field can generally safely be used, unless you suspect a problem.  Whenever such is the case, the cataloger may proceed to steps 6 and 7 below.

The easiest way to check for the presence in Voyager of a name authority record is to click on the Record menu in the upper left of the screen to pull down a list of commands, one of which is “Retrieve Authorities.”  (The keyboard shortcut:  Alt-R, A.)   If an authority record for the author’s name as it appears in the bibliographic record exists, then this command should fetch it.  (Be aware, however, that if your author’s name appears in a variant form that is not cross-referenced in the authority record, the command will not retrieve it.)

On the other hand,

the first course of action is to look in OCLC for an authority record that matches the author of the piece in hand (or the subject of the book, if it is a work of literary criticism).

Three possibilities present themselves at this point:

*A locally assigned class number that has not been verified will appear in the 053 field of an authority record with only ‡5 HT after the class number.

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I.    Verifying a literary class number

In the case of (B) and (C) above, the cataloger must supply the class number for the authority record.  The easiest way to do this is to start with the class number found in the bibliographic record for the piece in hand.  However, it cannot be accepted as is without being verified by the cataloger.  This is not usually a difficult matter, so long as the following steps are taken:

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II.    Assigning a literary class number

However, you must also make sure that a class number that fits into the Library’s shelf list also conforms to the Library of Congress’s.  LC’s shelf list can be searched online via LC’s Web site.

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III.    When class number conflicts occur

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IV.    Completing the call number

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V.    Authority record creation and editing

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VI.    Recats

If there are other works in the Library’s collection by the author to whom you have just assigned a class number, and those other works have a class number that varies from yours, they will (eventually) have to be recataloged using the new class number.  For now, all you need to do is call up the Holdings record of the offending work(s), and add a subfield “‡x” with the following:

‡x recat: [new class no. as given in 053 field of authority record]

Then print the Holdings record and place it in a folder for Database Maintenance review.

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5 May 2000

HTML document last reviewed:  14 July 2010