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Welcome to Pratt Institute Libraries!: A Guide to Our Shelves

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Call Numbers

Books and movies in our libraries are organized using the Dewey Decimal Classification. Every book has a call number made up of numbers and letters. Dewey allows books to be classified as specifically as possible and in relation to the books before and after it, so that you will always find a book based on its exact number.

A sample call number looks like this:
720.9471 A112FI

This number breaks down like so:

700 = Fine Arts

- 720 = Architecture

-- 720.9 = Architecture of a geographic area

--- 720.947 = Eastern European architecture
---- 720.9471 = Finnish architecture
Then what's known as a Cutter number is added on, to narrow it down further:
A112 = Alvar Aalto (A for Aalto)
---> 720.9471 A112FI = Finlandia Hall : Helsinki

The FI in this case relates to the title of the book, "FInlandia Hall." The more books we have on a subject, the more has to get tacked on to the Cutter number for each specific book. Thus, as several books on Aalto start with his name ("Alvar Aalto: ..."), the Cutter number can get extremely specific:
Here, the Cutter number includes the entire title of the book.

How to Navigate Call Numbers

Call numbers are organized first numerically and then alphabetically, and every digit counts, even the spaces. Nothing comes before something, so if you were looking for a book with a call number 701.023 A543, the books around it would lead you there:



*The space between 700 and A123 is important, it's as much a marker as is a number, letter, or decimal point.

*Alphabetical order within the larger numerical order.

*The space after .02_ puts it before .023

*.0__ will always come before .1__

*701.anything will always come before 702

Etc! Questions? Ask the reference desk!

Where the Books Are

1st Floor

000-099 – Computer science, information & general works
100-199 – Philosophy and psychology

200-299 – Religion

300-399 – Social sciences
-- 391 – Costume and appearance

400-499 – Language

500-599 – Science

600-699 – Technology

1st Mezzanine

700 – Fine Arts

710 – Civic & landscape art

720 – Architecture

730 – Sculpture

740 – Drawing & Decorative Arts

-- 745 – Decorative Arts & Design

2nd Floor

-- 746 – Textile Arts

750 – Painting & Paintings

760 – Printmaking & Prints

770 – Photography & Photographs

780 – Music

790-799 – Recreational & Performing Arts

2nd Mezzanine (top floor of stacks)

800-899 – Literature

900-999 – History, Geography, & Biography

Children's books

Map of the Stacks

Stacks Guide