Answered By: Brendan Higgins
Last Updated: Sep 20, 2016     Views: 267

Call numbers are the unique combination of letters and numbers that identify a particular book, score, CD or DVD at the library. We use a modified version of a system called Library of Congress (or LC for short).

For audio-visual or reserve materials, this number is used to request a specific item. For non-reserve books and scores, this number is the unique address for this item on the library shelves.


Book and score call numbers look like this on our website:

MP1630 . W7 2001


But usually on the spine of a book or score they look like this:



Each part of the call number is important to locating the book or score. Some call numbers can be quite long (e.g. ML1630.28 .N5 1995 v.3). Be sure to write down the COMPLETE call number when requesting or looking for an item!


The first one or two letters of the call number mean—

M : Classical Music Scores

ML : Literature on Music

MP : Popular Music and Jazz Scores

MT : Musical Instruction and Study

CD : Audio disc

DVD : Video disc

LVD : Instructional video disc


If you need more help with call numbers, please ask a library staff person for help. They do take some practice and we're happy to help until you're more comfortable with them!