Skip to main content

Assigning California Document Call Numbers (January 2004)

The document collections at UCSD (EU, United States, and California documents)  are shelved according to agency based classifications rather than the subject based classification which we use for our general collection. Since there is no official agency that assigns EU call numbers, we created a scheme locally and assign numbers from that.   California has official call numbers assigned from the California State Library and the United States  documents have official call numbers that come from the Superintendent of Documents.

If you have searched in OCLC and the California State Library and have been unable to find the officially assigned (086  $2 cadocs) call numbers, this document will help you create CSL-like call numbers.

The most current "gathered" list of California State classification numbers is called the California State Agency Classification scheme and is housed in the Serials Cataloging Unit (SCU) section in the Catalog Dept.   It is "supplemented" by the monthly listings of new and corrected titles of California State Publications. 

Assigning the classification number

  • First determine who is responsible for publishing the item. Look on the title page, title page verso, introductory pages, colophon, and pages 1-4 of the cover for the specific body. It is usually apparent which agency is responsible.  Often a personal author has actual intellectual responsibility.  The person will be named in the author field (100 1 ) but the classification is still for the responsible agency, not the person who was the author.
  • Agency number (first line).  The first line, or agency number, consists of a single capital letter followed by 3 or 4 digits.  A separate number is created (usually)  for subdivision of agencies. 
  • In recent years sometimes a second agency line has been used when space is no longer available in a section of the classification.  The second line is an alphanumeric code consisting of a capital letter for the subagency followed by one or two digits.  The book number becomes the third line.  This technique is only used when a first line agency number cannot be created


                 E2015              Energy Commission
                 .P6                     Office of Policy and Program Evaluation
                 I52                   Innovative regulatory incentives

  • Try to look for the specific sub-body responsible for the item, rather than the larger body.  If there is no agency class number for the specific sub-body of the agency, then use the broader agency class number

  • Oftentimes, two or more California state agencies will be responsible for an item. Use the classification number of the agency listed first on the piece.

  • Once the issuing body has been determined, look on the list of the California state agency classification numbers for the corresponding number. If it is not on the list, search the state agency on Innopac, try to find other records also issued by that agency, and use the classification number found on those records. Note: if two or more agencies are listed in the Innopac record make sure the classification number corresponds to your agency. You might have to look at several records to make a determination.

  • If the item you are cataloging is issued by an agency that is not in Innopac, bounce to Becky and she will assign a classification number.
Assigning cutter numbers (i.e. book numbers)
  • Book Number.  The book number, usually the second line, is constructed of a capital letter followed by one or more digits. UCSD will cutter on the first filing word of the title. This is in contrast to the practice followed by the California State Library. They choose a book number reflecting the KEY WORD in the title, NOT the first FILING word in the title.   The standard cutter table is used to construct most book numbers.  There are also a number of "standard" book numbers that are used.  Listed here:

        A4        Addresses, speeches, etc.
        B5        Bibliography (use with work mark denoting subject)
        B9        Bulletin
        C3        Catalog
        D4        Decision
        D5        Directory
        F5        Film Catalog
        H4        Hearing (other than legislative)
        H5        History
        I5         General information
        M3       Manual
        M5       Minutes
        O7        Order
        O8        Organization chart
        P8        Press release
        P9        List of publications
        R4        Report (annual, biennial, etc.)
        R45      Resolution

  • Book numbers for counties:  The book numbers listed below are used as a third line when a publication is issued with a separate part for each county.  This number follows the book number line.

  • For example:
       E1950   Employment Data and Research Division
       .W3        Wage and salary and employment
             C6         Contra Costa County

        A3        Alameda
        A4        Alpine
        A5        Amador
        B8        Butte
        C3        Calaveras
        C5        Colusa
        C6        Contra Costa
        D4        Del Norte
        E4        El Dorado
        F7        Fresno
        G5        Glenn
        H8        Humboldt
        I5        Imperial
        I6        Inyo
        K4        Kern
        K5        Kings
        L2        Lake
        L3        Lassen
        L6        Los Angeles
        M1        Madera
        M2        Marin
        M3        Mariposa
        M4        Mendocino
        M5        Merced
        M6        Modoc
        M7        Mono
        M8        Monterey
        N3        Napa
        N4        Nevada
        O7        Orange
        P5        Placer
        P6        Plumas
        R5        Riverside
        S2        Sacramento
        S22      San Benito
        S23      San Bernadino
        S24      San Diego
        S25      San Francisco
        S26      San Joaquin
        S27      San Luis Obispo
        S28      San Mateo
        S3        Santa Barbara
        S4        Santa Clara
        S5        Santa Cruz
        S6        Shasta
        S63      Sierra
        S66      Siskiyou
        S7        Solano
        S75      Sonoma
        S8        Stanislaus
        S9        Sutter
        T4        Tehama
        T7        Trinity
        T8        Tulare
        T9        Tuolumne
        V4        Ventura
        Y6        Yolo
        Y8        Yuba

  • When a book number is assigned locally, add a small "x" at the end of the book number. For example, T4320 $a R27x;
    H1313 $a C6x $a 1998
  • The whole call number is entered in an 099 field in the bibliographic and item records. Separate each element in the call number with $a. In the above example, "Wage and salary and employment. Contra Costa County," is issued by the California Employment Data and Research Division. The whole call number would then be "099      E1950 $a .W3 $a C6."

  • Normally, there is no date in the call number. Add a date of publication to the end of the call number ONLY if the publication is an edition of an earlier California state document.
Last updated: December 14, 2012
Document owner: Becky Culbertson