Council of Australian University Librarians (CAUL)

Libraries using Dewey Numbers - CAUL Survey

Updated 30 July, 1997

Many thanks for your response to my question on unique call numbers. In reality there are as many systems as there are libraries, but essentially they fall into four broad categories -

1. no unique identifiers,
2. running numbers,
3. Cutter,
4. first letters from author/title/main entry.

Your responses have been summarised and are grouped according to the categories listed above. If you would like a detailed copy of the the responses please contact Graham Black, Associate Librarian - Technical Services (; phone 079 -309414; fax 079-309972)

1. No Unique Identifiers

University of Melbourne - we no longer have any unique call numbers with Dewey numbers in them

Victoria University of Technology - we use unique call numbers ONLY for titles in our Periodicals collection. library (NOTE: This policy is applied within a specific campus library and NOT across campuses).

2. Running Numbers

University of New South Wales - unique running numbers; different editions and other copies are assigned to the same numbers with a letter to differentiate copies

The University of Western Sydney, Hawkesbury - a shelf list number (running) eg 664.02/12 664.02/13 etc However, we use the Sanborn Cutter tables for all literature plus the running shelf list number eg 821/P825/2

Univeristy of Wollongong - a consecutive shelflist number eg 994.004/1, 994.004/2 but add three letters from author's name for literature eg 822.4/CON/6 ; music ; art and some other areas, inc. computing languages

3. Cutter

Flinders University A Cutter number is constructed according to the main entry and then further extended as required by workmarks for titles, editions, translations, uniform titles, supplements, collected works for literary authors, publisher (where we hold the same title but in different imprints) and different titles for the same author.

Univeristy of Adelaide - libraries have used all three of the book number types you mention, and others, but by far the major usage is of Cutter-Sanborn numbers, to build unique alphabetising identifiers.

La Trobe University - Bundoora Library creates unique numbers using Cutter for the author, followed by a title symbol, and a date for later editions

University of Tasmania - uses Cutter numbers based on the Cutter-Sanborn tables.

Univeristy of New England - Cutter numbers based on author surname. Title used if no author. Editor's surname used if no author and title is generic to that number e.g. Economics at 330. A workmark is added after the cutter number - usually the first letter of the title, to distinguish different titles by the same author on the same subject

University of Ballarat - In the case of an author main entry the first letter is taken from the author's name, followed by the appropriate Cutter number and then followed by the first letter taken from the title When the main entry for a work is the title the first letter of the call number is derived from the title, followed by the Cutter number and then two letters are taken from the next significant words in the title

4. First Letters from Author/Title/Main Entry.

University of Western Australia - uses two forms of shelf mark (notation following the DDC number): 1. date of publication, followed by the first three letters of the title 2. The "persons" form is used for biography, autobiography, description and critical appraisal of work, diaries, reminiscences, correspondence (persons treatment, in other words). It comprises the first three letters of the name of the person who is the subject of the work. In some cases, a Cutter number is used instead of the first three letters, where the collection is large, and where greater precision is required (such as in literature).

Northern Territory University - the dewey number, followed by the first four letters of the author's surname. If no author, the first 4 letters of the main entry are used.

Southern Cross University - Serials we use a unique running no. For monos we use an alpha device consisting of the first four letters of the main entry, without worrying about whether there is more than one item with the same shelving device.

Charles Sturt University - All 3 campus libraries use DDC 21 but call number construction does vary between Bathurst and Albury & Wagga becauses of their separate beginnings. All 3 libaries use a unique call number for titles but no longer distinguish copies Albury & Wagga use the first letter of the 'main' author's name or of the title where there is no author, followed by a running number Bathurst uses the first three letters of the 'main' author's name, or of the title where there is no author, followed by a running number

James Cook University - the first three letters of the main entry. We also add a publication date for a later edition of a text already held

Swinburne University of Technology - the first three letter of the author's surname followed by a dash followed by the first letter of the title,

University of Newcastle - we add the first four letters of the author's surname. If the author only has a 2 or 3 letter surname then we include those letters only. If a work is other than the first edition of a work we add the date of publication

Murdoch University - Dewey 21 number (curently Dewey 21 ed), using up to 7 numbers only following the decimal point with the final number truncated at the last number before a zero. First three letters of the main entry + Year of copyright. Cutter Sanborn numbers are used in the areas of literature and philosophy (for individual authors) instead of the first three letters of the main entry.

Edith Cowan University - a general policy of adding a 3-letter cutter to the Dewey. This usually consists of the first 3 letters of the main entry of the bib. record, either title or author

Judith Edwards
Director of Division of Library,
Information and Media Services
Central Queensland University
Rockhampton M C Q 4702
Tel: 079 309435
Fax: 079 306436

[CAUL Home Page] [What's New] [Survey Register] [Conference Register] [Highlights from the Press] [Australian University Web Sites] [Other Web Sites] [Web Search Tools]

Send comments/suggestions/requests about this site ....