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University Library, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Cataloging Services: Dewey Decimal Classification

A guide on using DDC at Illinois.

Lincoln Classification

973.7L63 is to be used as the first part of the call number for all works by and about Lincoln.

Works about Lincoln

Use the appropriate classification (letters/numbers taken from the first column in the tables below) to construct the topical cutter in the call number. This is the first cutter.

For works about Lincoln, the second cutter is derived from the authors of the works, and the work marks are derived from the titles.


For works that are collections of essays, determine if the essays have a specific focus per one of the classes below, rather than using classification G by default. Please consult Alisha.

Classify collections of essay as follows:

  • Collection of historical essays that focus on interpreting the historical facts, rather than considering Lincoln as a person. Classify under the Illinois History Collection using Dewey Decimal Classification.
  • Collection of essays that focus on Lincoln as a president. Classify under B (Biography).
  • Collections of essays that focus on Lincoln's political views (classification B7) and Lincoln's personal character/psychological traits (classification B3). These are too broad to classify under either B7 or B3. Classify under B.



NOTE: Use V for a bibliography of a particular work, e.g. For a work listing various publications on the Emancipation Proclamation:

M1863e Va [where a represents the cutter for the author name]

A2 Dealers' catalogs, sale catalogs, auction catalogs
A3 Collections and collectors (Works about collections of private collectors, and collections in institutions)

Biography of Lincoln (Fixed field Biog = b in bibliographic record)

Classify biographical works on the Lincoln presidency under B. Comprehensive works (including campaign biographies, 1860, 1864), Lincoln as President.

Look at contents to determine the scope of the biography. 

  • Classify broad works under B that include both Lincoln's political views and personal views/psychological aspects. Bibliographic record contains LCSH: Lincoln, Abraham, 1808-1865 -- Political and social values
  • Even if the bibliographic record contains LCSH: Lincoln, Abraham, 1808-1865 -- Political and social values, determine if the focus of the biography is limited to one aspect such as political views (in which case classify as B7) or Lincoln's personal values and traits (classify as B3)


Classify historical accounts under the Illinois History Collection using Dewey Decimal Classification 973.71 (Civil War -- Political and economic history)

Historical accounts that contain only some biographical information (Fixed field Biog =d in bibliographic record) are classified under the Illinois History Collection (using Dewey Decimal Classification)

Works about the political history of the country (1861-1865) are classified in the Illinois History Collection (using Dewey Decimal Classification 973.7) 

B2 Anecdotes relating to Lincoln.  Personal reminiscences of contemporaries (not including formal biographies)
B3 Lincoln's personal values and traits. Special biographical aspects: Character, idealism, kindness, friendship, personal finances, medicine, etc.
B4 Religion
B5 Analysis of Lincoln as a writer

Lincoln as a lawyer. 

NOTE: Classify Lincoln as a statesman under B

B7 Lincoln's political values and traits. Attitudes and ideas towards politics and political issues. Views on government. Attitude toward slavery, temperance, etc.
B8 Relations with special classes and groups: Jews, private soldiers, etc.
By Period:

General works: Early life to 1861. 

NOTE: Classify campaign biographies under B


Antecedents. Family and parents. Life in Kentucky and Indiana. (To 1830) Mary Lincoln and children (except Robert Todd)

NOTE: Works/biographies on people associated with Lincoln (not family) do not go in the Lincoln collection. Classify such works under the Illinois History Collection (using Dewey Decimal Classification) LCSHLincoln, Abraham, 1808-1865 -- Friends and associates.


Works that focus on:

First years in Illinois.

Black Hawk War.

Illinois Legislature.

Professional career (1830-1846)


Works that focus on:

Lincoln as the President-Elect.

Lincoln-Douglas debates (series of seven debates August 1858-October 1858)  

In the Presidential Campaign of 1860.

Inaugural journey from Springfield to Washington (1861) 

In national politics (1846-1861) 

Congressional service. 

D Assassination. The conspirators (Booth, Surratt, etc.) Their trials. Use for works that deal mainly with the assassination and aftermath.
D2 Death of Lincoln. Funeral journey to Springfield. Burial. Memorial services throughout the country and abroad.  (Use subject heading, Funeral and memorial services, rather than Addresses - as LC does)  Guard of honor. Tomb.
E Monuments. Statues, Life and death masks. Portraits. Local monuments and statues.  (Lincoln tomb, Springfield, Ill.: D2) New Salem, Lincoln Memorial, Washington, D.C., etc.
E3 Photographs. Photos of portraits. Iconography.
E4 Cartoons. Caricatures. Satirical and comic works/strips from periodicals and newspapers of the era.
E5 Specific Lincoln relics. Museums. Exhibitions.
E6 Homes and haunts of Lincoln (General)  (e.g. buildings where he stayed briefly)
F Celebrations. Anniversaries. Memorials (since 1865 only; funeral and memorial services in D2); Lincoln day; centennials

Addresses. Sermons. Lectures. Essays.  (Those delivered since his assassination).

NOTE: Historical essays (interpreting historical facts) are classified under the Illinois History Collection (using Dewey Decimal Classification)

H Poetry. Drama. Fiction.
H2 Poetry
H3 Drama

Fiction (for all members of Lincoln family)

Fictional graphic novel adaptations.

NOTE: Treat the genre graphic novels as secondary. Classify works that are graphic novels on the basis of the subject matter. For example, a graphic novel adaptation of the Gettysburg Address is classified under N1863gY (a commentary on the Gettysburg Address)

H5 Music
H6 Serials that do not classify elsewhere in this scheme. Use regular serial book number.


Example: A biography on Lincoln

Bibliographic record:

Holdings record:

Item record:


Writings of Lincoln

Use the appropriate classification (letters taken from the first column in the tables below) to construct the cutter in the call number. 

For writings of Lincoln, the cutter is followed by a date and a work mark for the title (see instructions below).

Note: For criticisms and commentaries on the writings of Lincoln (by other authors), after the date + work mark for the title, use "Y" followed by a second work mark for the author.


Collected works. Includes complete collections of writings, speeches, addresses, lectures.

Classified by publication date.




Selected works. Partial editions. Includes partial writings, speeches, addresses, lectures.

Classified by publication date.





Specific state papers. (Includes proclamations and addresses that are legal documents such as the Emancipation Proclamation, State of the Union, addresses to Congress, message of the president to the House of Congress, 1861 insurrection in the U.S. etc.)

Classified by year of original state paper.

For commentaries and criticisms, add Y and a work mark for the author to the end of the call number for the state paper. 

Publication date of a later edition is on the third line of the call number. 

Example 1:


Example 2




Specific addresses, speeches, lectures, etc. Not collections of speeches.

Classified by year of original speech.  

Publication date of a later edition is on the third line of the call number. 

For commentaries and criticisms, add Y and a work mark for the author to the end of the call number for the speech. 

Common speeches:

Kalamazoo speech: N1856k

Speech in reply to Douglas (prior to Lincoln-Douglas debates): N1857s

House Divided speech: N1858h

Cooper Union Address: N1860a

Inaugural speech: N1861i

Gettysburg Address: N1863g

Last speech: N1865l 

NOTE: Use classification C4 (from Works about Lincoln - national politics) for the Lincoln-Douglas debates (seven debates in 1858)



Note: jo is used as the work mark for the author to avoid a conflict with an existing commentary by Jacobs with work mark j


Letters. By date of publication.

Single letters. Use work mark, after P, for the recipient of the letter, followed by the date of publication.

Special collections of just letters (without other documents) By date of publication. For a work encompassing selections of letters by Lincoln to multiple recipients, after the P, omit the work mark for recipient, and use the date of publication. 

NOTE: For selected letters with other types of documents, classify as K.




(alphabetically by editor or title)

R Stories, anecdotes, axioms, brief extracts, etc. attributed to Lincoln (alphabetically by editor or title)


IHLC Rare Books

Citation/Reference Note for Selected Bibliographies (Byrd & Monaghan)

Insert a 510 field (with first indicator 4in the bibliographic record for selected bibliographies such as Byrd (Byrd, C.K. Illinois) or Monaghan (Monaghan, J. Lincoln) followed by the reference number in subfield c

Example of Byrd:

510 4_    Byrd, C.K. Illinois, ǂc 191

Bib record


Example of Monaghan:

510 4_    Monaghan, J. Lincoln, ǂc 2459

Bib record


Copy-Specific Notes

Add a copy-specific note to the MFHD in a 562 field for autographed or inscribed books, or for books with missing pages.


Books with pages printed on both sides

The use of the term "pages" in the 300 field in the bibliographic record implies that the book is printed on both sides of each page.

Example:  Book with pages printed on both sides:

Bib record:


Books with leaves printed on one side only

The use of the term "leaves" in the 300 field in the bibliographic record implies that the book is printed only on one side of each pageAdd a 500 note to clarify:

500     Printed on recto only.

Example: Book with leaves printed on one side only:

Bib record:


Editions of the same work published in different years

For editions of the same work published in different yearsadd the the year of publication to the cutter.

Example: Earlier edition published in 1892

Bib record:



Example: Later edition published in 1893

Bib record:



Multiple editions published in the same year

For different editions published in the same yearafter the cutteradd the year of publication with a work letter (b-z) to distinguish between the editions.

ExampleEarlier edition (published in 1893)

Bib record:



Example: Later edition published in the same year (1893)

Bib record:



Marking Books

Do not mark the piece in any way. This applies to all books in IHLC. 

  • Do not write the library location code in the book.
  • Write the call number on the rare book ID strip.
  • Affix the barcode to the rare book ID strip.
  • Insert the rare book ID strip inside the book.