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Online Catalog (OPAC): A Guide to Use: Finding Materials Using Call Numbers

Tips on Using the Online Catalog and an Introduction to the Library of Congress Classification System

Call Numbers in the Stacks

Books and other materials are organized on the shelves alphabetically by the letters of the call number, then numerically by the whole number, then decimally by everything following the first ".", and finally, by the date. So in the shelf of books to the left, PN1995.9 .H55 comes before PN1995.9 .H6 B48, which comes before PN1995.9 H6 C5. Sometimes the library has multiple copies of the same book. You can see in the example that the abbreviation "c.2" is used to indicate that the book is the second copy.

When looking for library materials by call number its best to know not just the full call number, but also the item's location and status. This information will help you to determine where the book is in the library and whether or not its available to be checked out. To the right are two guides that will help you understand where library materials are located within the library and what the status field means.

Browsing Call Numbers in the Catalog

If you cannot make it to the library but would still like to browse the shelves, you can do so virtually by clicking either on the call number in any record, or by searching by call number in either the simple or advanced catalog searches. The results list will display a list of surrounding call numbers.

Pay attention to the item location in bold. The results are arranged strictly by call number, not by location. Therefore all Suffolk University locations will be retrieved when you browse by call number, including the Sawyer, Law, NESAD, and Madrid libraries, as well as the Moakley Archives. If you want to limit your browsing to a particular location, search the catalog by call number and limit the location to the specific library you would like to browse.


Click on a call number to do a virtual browse of the shelf.


Material Location

Location Field Library Location
Sawyer 4th Floor Stacks
Sawyer Reference Backfile 4th Floor Stacks
Sawyer Thesis 4th Floor Stacks
Sawyer Oversize 4th Floor Stacks
Sawyer Reserve 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Circ CD-ROM 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer DVD 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer Videos 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer Circ. CD-ROM (Ref) 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer Audio CD 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer Disk 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer DVD Rom 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Circ Cassette 2nd Floor Circulation Desk
Sawyer New Books 2nd Floor Reference Desk
Sawyer Reference Desk 2nd Floor Reference Desk
Sawyer Ref. Indexes 2nd Floor Reference Stacks
Sawyer Reference 2nd Floor Reference Stacks
Zieman Poetry Collection 3rd Floor Poetry Center

Material Status

Status Field Item Availability

Check Shelf Available on the shelf for checkout
Non-Circ Cannot be checked out of the library
On Holdshelf Temporarily unavailable
In Transit
Repl. On Order
Billed Unavailable
Clms Retd
Lost And Paid