Pelletier Library-a physical guide!
What is a call number?
In brief, it is the address of the book.
Pelletier Library uses Dewey Decimal classification system to keep our books in order.
In the Dewey Decimal classification system, books on similar subjects are grouped together by means of their call numbers.
The main Dewey Decimal classes are:
100 Philosophy and psychology
300 Social Sciences
500 Natural sciences and mathematics
600 Technology (Applied sciences)
700 The arts (fine and decorative)
800 Literature and rhetoric
900 Geography and history
Each class is further subdivided at the hundred divisions and the the thousand sections. Numbers are placed after a decimal point to further identify material more specifically by subject.
Making sense of a call number
The numbers place the book near other books of similiar subjects. So, a biography of Camus would be in a different place than a novel by Camus. A critical work about Camus would be near the actual works by Camus.
Here is a sample of a book title and Dewey decimal call number. Note how, as we analyze the call number, each line leads to more specific information about the book's topic:
Books - Upper Floor 843.91 C159 s c.2 AVAILABLE
The Stranger by Albert Camus
840 French and related literature
843 French novels
.91 Author wrote primarily between 1900-1989
The second line in the call number is called the Cutter number, and it further distinguishes the book. The Cutter Number indicates the author of a book. In the case where there is no author, the title of the book is used.
C159 would place all books by Camus on the same "subject" together on the shelf.
Finding Books in Allecat
Suggestions for searching:
France -- History -- 1945-
France -- Politics and government -- 1940-1945
World War, 1939-1945 -- France
Also look under people's names: Seach them as SUBJECTS rather than AUTHORS. WHY?
Improve Your Search
* (asterisk, Shift + 8) will find the word's variations
nation*---> nation, nation's, national, nationalism...
and will combine search terms
memor* AND deport*
or will find similar terms
vichy OR collabor*
and (or) specifies the order of the search
(theatre or drama) and occupation
" . . ." will search for the terms as a phrase
"sorrow and the pity"
Refine your search by
searching with search
using the subjects or descriptors provided with the item
Finding Background Information
Start here if you are unsure of what to look for. Reference material can give you a basic overview of your topic which allows you to start picking out keywords and narrowing down your subject.