Reclassification of HFL books starts next week

The reclassification of Bodleian History Faculty material with old style shelfmarks will begin next week (from 12 September onwards). A team of reclassifying staff will work through the HFL collections to create a single sequence of books in Library of Congress Classification (LCC).  The books will run from A-Z in the LCC system, beginning in the Lower Radcliffe Camera and continuing down into both levels of the Gladstone Link.  The main project work is due to be completed by the end of week 1 of Michaelmas Term (12  October 2012).

Can I still borrow and access books?

The collection will still be available to consult and Oxford University members will still be able to borrow and return books.  However, sections of the collection will be inaccessible for short periods of time while the team are working on reclassifying and moving the books into their final locations.  We will be posting regular updates on this blog about which areas are being worked on.

Who can I ask for help?

HFL library staff are available to assist you in locating material or arranging access to alternative copies.  You can contact us by phone on 01865 277262, email at or in person at the Lower Camera Reserve Desk.

What do LC Classmarks look like?

Many will already be familiar with LC classmarks from the Social Science Library, the Radcliffe Science Library or the Vere Harmsworth Library. There are two main elements: Class number and Item number.

The Class number element describes the main subject of a book e.g. History/Philosophy/etc. As well as class and/or sub-class it may also contain a topical or form Cutter number, which can identify, for example, a place or person under discussion.

The Item number element consists of a Cutter number for the main entry – Oxford uses the first three letters of the author’s surname or the title in the case of edited works. Dates of publication are added to achieve a further level of division


Bernard G.W., The Power of the Early Tudor Nobility (1985)

Shelfmark: HT653.G7 BER 1985

HT653.G7 = class number

BER 1985 = item number

Related Links

Contact us | Locate the library | HFL LCC webpage

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