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MUS 101: Introduction to Music: Classical

Music Call Numbers

What is a call number?

  • It's like an address. Each item in the library has a unique call number.
  • It determines the book location (or other item) on the shelf.
  • It represents what an item is about based on a classification system.

Like many academic libraries in the U.S., the Denison University Libraries use the Library of Congress Classification System when assigning call numbers to books and other items in our collections. 


Parts of a call number

On an item, the call number will usually appear on a label like this:


ML --The first part of the call number is alphabetic. Locate the ML section in the Music Reading Room on the 3rd floor.

3830 --The second part is numeric and should be read as a whole number. Numbers may or may not have decimal points; but when they do, treat them as such. For example, ML3830.3 comes before ML3830.8 and ML3830 comes before ML3831.

.B97 --This part has to be read in two ways; first alphabetically, then numerically. This time the number should be read as a decimal.

  • ML3830.B would be located between ML3830.L and ML3830.T, for example.
  • ML3830.B97 would be somewhere between ML3830.B831 and  ML3830.B998

2012 --This number generally indicates the year of publication for that particular volume.

LC Guide to Music Call Numbers: M

Denison Libraries, 100 W College, Granville, Ohio 43023
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