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Cataloging: Fundamentals of the NLM® Classification

Module 3—Components of NLM Call Numbers

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Types of Call Numbers used by NLM

  • NLM Call Number
    • A unique topical call number assigned to each piece showing its shelving location in the library
      • Provided for all items shelved in Reference or in the History of Medicine Division
      • Provided for all print serials
      • Provided for print monographs cataloged prior to 1994
      • Provided for all AV materials cataloged prior to 2004
  • Accession Numbers
    • Sequential numbers based on date of receipt
      • Provided for all monographs in the General Collection cataloged 1994- and all AV materials shelved in the General Collection 2004-
  • Alternate Call Number
    • A call number assigned to individual titles of analyzed serials classed in W1 or W3 and monographic items with an accession number
      • Items cataloged at the limited level and intangible e-resources receive only a classification number and not a full call number
    • Not used for shelving at NLM but provided for use by other libraries


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