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Library of Congress Classification
System of library classification developed by the United States Library of Congress
LCC should not be confused with LCCN, the system of Library of Congress Control Numbers assigned to all books (and authors), which also defines URLs of their online catalog entries, such as "82006074" and "http://lccn.loc.gov/82006074".[a] The Classification is also distinct from Library of Congress Subject Headings, the system of labels such as "Boarding schools" and "Boarding schools--Fiction" that describe contents systematically.[b] Finally, the classifications may be distinguished from the call numbers assigned to particular copies of books in the collection, such as "PZ7.J684 Wj 1982 FT MEADE Copy 1" where the classification is "PZ7.J684 Wj 1982".[c]
LCC has been criticized for lacking a sound theoretical basis; many of the classification decisions were driven by the practical needs of that library rather than epistemological considerations. Although it divides subjects into broad categories, it is essentially enumerative in nature. That is, it provides a guide to the books actually in one library's collections, not a classification of the world.
Class F does not have any subclasses, however Canadian Universities and the Canadian National Library use FC for Canadian History, a subclass that the LC has not officially adopted, but which it has agreed not to use for anything else
LCCN also covers authors, which LCC does not. For authors (people), the letter 'n' accompanies the number, and they too define URLs in a parallel catalog, such as "n83160096" and "http://lccn.loc.gov/n83160096". (So LCCN may be called alphanumeric.)
LCSH too is developed by the Library and assigns alphanumeric IDs. A closer look at this example shows refinements defined in 2004, 2007, and 2009. LCSH: Boarding schools.
"FT MEADE" and "Copy 1" are specific to the Library of Congress collection, where FT MEADE refers to a facility located at Fort George G. Meade. All libraries that use LCC assign call numbers that begin "PZ7.J684 Wj 1982" to their copies of the 1982 edition of this book.