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050–099  Introduction to Call Numbers

Call number fields

This section explains printing of call numbers in the following call number fields:

050 Library of Congress Call Number (R)
055 Classification Numbers Assigned in Canada (R)
060 National Library of Medicine Call Number (R)
086 Government Document Classification Number (R)
090 Locally Assigned LC-type Call Number (R)
092 Locally Assigned Dewey Call Number (R)
096 Locally Assigned NLM-type Call Number (R)
098 Other Classification Schemes (R)
099 Local Free-Text Call Number (R)

Your profile specifies each holding library as using Library of Congress (LC), Dewey, National Library of Medicine (NLM), Government Document (Gov Doc) or Library and Archives Canada (NLC) call numbers. The call number selected to print depends on the class scheme of the holding library in field 049 (Local Holdings) and the default call number priority for that scheme.

Default LC Dewey NLM Gov Doc NLC
1st 099 099 099 099 099
2nd 098 098 098 098 098
3rd 090 092 096 086 055
4th 050 zc 060 zc 090
5th zc   090   050
6th     050   zc
7th     zc    

The print program checks for field 099, then field 098. If neither is in the record, the print program follows the priority list, according to the holding library's classification. When the print program finds a field in the default list, it prints that call number. For example, if the record does not contain field 099 or field 098, the print program selects field 090 for an LC holding library. If no field 090 is present, it selects field 050.

If the print program does not find a field that is on the priority list, it generates a unit ( zc) card. If the record contains two or more of the same field (e.g., an LC holding library with two 099 fields), it selects the field with the highest line number.


For indexing and searching information, see Searching WorldCat Indexes, 0xx fields.


Your profile determines how the print program parses LC (field 050 and field 090) and Dewey (field 092) call numbers for printing.

The appearance of the data at the time of produce determines how the print program parses NLM (field 060 and field 096), Library and Archives Canada (field 055) and local or other (field 098 or field 099) call numbers for printing.

Government Document numbers (field 086) always print on one line.

For all call numbers, your profile specifies the position in which the call number prints relative to stamps (automatic stamps and input stamps) and oversize designations.

Empty call number fields

The system displays an empty call number field each time your retrieve a record. Your authorization number's default classification scheme determines which field the system displays.

If your authorization number defaults to LC classification, the system displays field 090. If your authorization number defaults to Dewey classification, the system displays field 092 and so forth.

The system-displayed empty call number field does not limit your selection of call numbers for card production. For example, if you have an LC authorization number and you are cataloging an item for a non-LC holding library, enter a non-LC call number in the empty field 090, then change the field 090 to the appropriate call number field (i.e., field 092, field 098 or field 099).

Call number suppression (x-suppression)

You may want some card sets to print with no call number or with other information in the call number area.

To produce cards without call numbers, enter "nonprinting" data (usually x) in the local call number field for the holding library's default classification scheme. The x in the local call number field indicates to the system that no call numbers should be printed. Your profile specifies the character you should use for call number suppression.

Profile Field Example
Library of Congress 090 050 0  LB890 ‡b .B52 1978

082     370.14

090     x
Dewey 092 050 0  LB890 ‡b .B52 1978

082     370.14

092     x
National Library of Medicine 096 050 0  LB890 ‡b .B52 1978

082     370.14

096     x
Library and Archives Canada 055 050 0  LB890 ‡b .B52 1978

082     370.14

055     x
Guidelines: call number suppression

Use the following guidelines:

  • If your use x-suppression, cards print without a call number, but retain any automatic stamp profiled for the holding library and any imprint stamp present in field 049 (Local Holdings).
  • Call number suppression works only for data programmed as nonprinting for a holding library. The print program treats other data in the call number field as a call number.
  • Call number suppression is not available for holding libraries profiled for Government Document Numbers (field 086).
  • Do not use field 098 or field 099 if you intend to produce cards with no call numbers.
  • The system removes local call number fields (field 055, field 090, field 092 and field 096) containing x or X when you input master records or when you replace existing records.
Master record

When you input a new record, the following call number fields do not become part of the master record, except as noted:

Field Retention
090 Not retained if the record has field 050

Retained if the record has no field 050 or if field 050 has a word or phrase instead of a call number
092 Not retained if the record has field 082

Retained if the record has no field 082
096 Not retained if record has field 060

Retained if the record has no field 060
098 Not retained
099 Not retained

Unit (zc) cards

Cards in zc packs are errors in card production. These cards are single cards printed instead of the full set of cards. The following errors usually cause the unit cards:

  • The record lacks a printing call number (i.e., it has none of the fields that may be selected according to the holding library's classification scheme)
  • The call number does not conform to the spacing, formatting or punctuation requirements of the field
  • The call number has letter l (el) instead of digit 1 (one) or vice versa
  • The call number has letter O (oh) instead of digit 0 (zero) or vice versa
Accessions lists

The Accessions List Service selects the call number according to the classification scheme (e.g., LC, Dewey, NLM, Government Document or local call numbers) in your profile. You cannot select Canadian call numbers for use in OCLC Accessions Lists.

OCLC-MARC records

OCLC-MARC records carry all call numbers that were present in the record at the time of produce, update or export.

Call numbers in label displays

The system selects a call number for label display based on the default classification scheme of your authorization number and the following label display priority:

Default LC Dewey NLM Gov Doc NLC NAL
1st 099 099 099 099 099 099
2nd 098 098 098 098 098 098
3rd 090 092 096 090 055 070
4th 050 090 060 050 090 090
5th 092 050 090 092 050 050
6th     050