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NLM Classification 2016: Worldwide source of medical library classification

Table G Practices

Table of Contents

Table G Principles
        Naming Conventions for the Table G Name
        Construction of Table G Notation
        Maintenance of Table G
Instructions for Applying Table G
        Historical Geographic Locations
        United States Government Publications
        Application of Table G to W2 Serial Documents
        Application of Table G to WX 2 Hospital Reports
Local Modifications

Table G Principles


Table G is a cutter system of notations that provides geographical or jurisdictional arrangement of materials under specific class numbers in the NLM Classification. The use of Table G permits a shelving order which is controlled geographically and alphabetically.

The geographic tables of the NLM Classification consist of nine geographic regions. Additionally, special provision is made for international agencies that frequently publish materials related to medicine. Each region or group is identified by a letter.

A--United States
F--Great Britain
J--Middle East and Asia
L--Islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans
M--International Agencies
P--Polar Regions


  • Although specific states, the District of Columbia, and regions of the United States are listed, no specific breakdowns are given for other countries, e.g., Canadian provinces or Australian states.
  • With the exception of New York City, no cities are included in Table G. See Local Modifications for additional information.
  • Cross references (Entry Terms) already included in the MeSH vocabulary generally are not duplicated in Table G.

Naming Conventions for the Table G Name

Generally, the current name of the country is used as recorded in the MARC Code List for Countries. The name is in direct order. Qualifiers may be added as needed.

Construction of Table G Notation

The notation is composed of two letters and one or two numbers. The first letter of a notation represents the geographical region or jurisdiction, and the second one is the first letter of the name of a country or, in the case for the states of the United States, a state. Additional numbers may be added to the notation as needed.

Maintenance of Table G

New geographic notations are interpolated into Table G when needed following the established pattern. When a country changes its name the existing Table G notation is assigned to the new name. For example, when East Timor became Timor-Leste, the cutter remained LE1.

Instructions for Applying Table G


Table G is applied only when an NLM class number is annotated by "(Table G)." When LC Classification numbers are used, the geographical breakdown or tables provided in the LC schedules are applied.

The notation for the latest form of a name is used regardless of which form of name is found in the item or when the item was produced. For example, for a work about Lahore prior to the 1940s, when the city was under Indian jurisdiction, use the cutter for Pakistan where the city is currently located.

Exception: For serials classed in W2, use the appropriate Table G notation for the country name used at the time of publication. For serial publications from the government of Lahore prior to the 1940s, use the cutter for India.

Exception: For works about historic regions that no longer exist, use the cutter from the "Historical Geographic Locations section. For example, for a work about Yugoslavia, use the cutter for Yugoslavia.

Historical Geographic Locations

With the 2009 edition of the NLM Classification, a new Table G Section was created for historical jurisdictions or entities that existed in the past and whose former territories are not encompassed by a single present day country. Some of the jurisdictions listed in this section were removed from the Obsolete Table G Notations section. Some cutters of present day countries are also being used for the historical lands even though these are not one-to-one matches. For example, GR9, the cutter assigned to Russia (Federation), is also assigned to the USSR and Russia (Pre-1917).

United States Government Publications

Special provisions are made for United States government documents published at the federal, state or local level. Works pertaining to the internal affairs of the various departments or agencies of the U.S. Federal Government, with the exception of the Armed Forces, take the designation "A."

Publications pertaining to the internal affairs of the Armed Forces take the following designations:

A1 Department of Defense
A2 Department of the Army
A3 Army Air Forces (to 1947)
A4 Department of the Air Force
A5 Department of the Navy

Call NumberMain Entry/Title
United States. Army Air Forces. Matériel Command.
AAF technical report

Application of Table G to W2 Serial Documents

In addition to the standard Table G cutters, when cataloging local government documents, apply the instructions for the subordinate political units in the Local Modifications section of this document.

Call NumberMain Entry/Title
Great Britain. General Register Office
Quarterly return of marriages, births, and death ...
Saskatchewan. Bureau of Public Health
Annual report

Application of Table G to WX 2 Hospital Reports

WX 2 serial hospital reports are assigned an appropriate Table G cutter followed by a notation for the specific location of the hospital if applicable. The notation should begin with the letter of the local place followed by numbers to allow the title the item to fit in alphabetically with other material in the collection.

Civilian Hospitals

Call NumberMain Entry/Title
Hahnemann Hospital tidings
[hospital located in Philadelphia, PA]
Kuranstalt Neuwittelsbach bei München.
Aerztlicher Bericht der Kuranstalt Neuwittelsbach bei München.
[hospital located in Munich, Germany]
St. Luke's Hospital (Jacksonville, Fla.)
Annual report

U.S. Military Hospitals

Named military hospitals have fixed locations and are assigned a Table G notation for the appropriate United States government body followed by the appropriate Table G notation dropping the initial “A.” Foreign military hospitals follow the instructions for civilian hospitals.

Numbered military hospitals do not have fixed locations and geographical notation is not applied. The number of the hospital is added instead.

Call NumberMain Entry/Title
United States. Army. Walter Reed Army Hospital, Washington, D.C.
Annual report
United States. Army. General Hospital No. 141
Year book

Local Modifications

While not practiced at NLM (with the exception of W2 serials), local institutions may expand Table G to better accommodate materials in their collection.

Table G provides a state or political unit breakdown only for the United States and Great Britain. A work that is limited to a city, or a state, province or its equivalent, takes the geographic notation for the state or country, or for the smallest area below the national level that has its own notation. Other heavily used state or country notations may be modified to form county (province, state, etc.) or city notations by the addition of .1 (county) or .2 (city) to the appropriate notation.


Table GSubordinate Political Unit
AM3.1 M7Montgomery County
AM3.2 B2Baltimore
DC2.1 B8British Columbia
DC2.2 V2Vancouver
FE5.1 M6Middlesex
FE5.2 L6London

The expanded country notation below for Australia is an example of how a cataloging agency may expand the notation of a state, country, etc. when the need arises. This kind of pattern can be used for any single country number.

Table GOrganizational Entity
KA8 Australia
.C6 Commission of Inquiry into Poverty
.D3 Department of Health
.D32 Department of Labor and Immigration
.D34 Department of Science
.D4 Department of Social Security
.H6 Hospitals and Health Services, etc.
.A8 Australian Capital Territory
.N3 New South Wales
.N6 Northern Territory
.Q3 Queensland, etc.
.A3 Adelaide
.B8 Brisbane
.C2 Canberra, etc.