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All about entering LCCNs

Library Systems Newsletter [January 1990]

Readers of our recent article on recording standard numbers in local library data bases (LSN, December, 1989) who want more detail may find the following information about Library of Congress Card Numbers useful.

A printed LCCN may have up to six separate components:

  1. an alphabetic prefix of up to three characters,
  2. two numerals signifying the year of cataloging (except from 1969 to 1972 when "7 series" numbers from 70 to 79 were used, rather than the year)
  3. a hyphen,
  4. up to 6 numerals,
  5. a blank space, and
  6. a suffix of any length containing a mixture of alphabetic, numeric and special characters.
Only the second, third, and fourth elements are present in all LCCNs; the others may or may not be present. The proper way to key an LCCN is:
  1. record the LCCN which applies to the item in hand in field 010, subfield $a. Both indicators are blank
  2. if the LCCN has an alphabetic prefix, key those letters as the first characters of data in $a; if there are fewer than three alphabetic characters--or no alphabetic prefix is present--fill (the remainder of) the first three character positions with blanks.
  3. key the two numbers that appear in front of the hyphen (representing the year of cataloging) in the fourth and fifth character positions of subfield $a.
  4. inspect the numbers following the hyphen. If there are fewer than six numerals "pad" the number to six characters by inserting leading zeros. Enter these six numerals in character positions six through eleven of subfield $a. (The hyphen is not input.)
  5. these eleven characters (blanks are counted as characters) constitute a complete LCCN for most applications. If a suffix is present, the library may choose whether or not to record it. If a suffix is to be recorded, it should be prefaced by a slash (/) unless a slash or double slash (//) appears as the first character(s) of the suffix.
This may be illustrated as follows (where b is a blank)

Printed LCCNInput As
a66-11 abb666000011
ac66-111 acb66000111
68-4897 bbb68004897
86-33653 bbb86033653

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Publication Year:1990
Type of Material:Article
Language English
Published in: Library Systems Newsletter
Publication Info:Volume 10 Number 01
Issue:January 1990
Page(s):4
Publisher:American Library Association
Place of Publication:Chicago, IL
Notes:Howard S. White, Editor-in-Chief; Richard W. Boss and Judy McQueen Contributing Editors
Subject: Cataloging
ISSN:0277-0288
Record Number:4696
Last Update:2022-08-06 23:17:21
Date Created:0000-00-00 00:00:00
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