Ask a Pratt Librarian
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:
This number breaks down like so:
- 720 = Architecture
-- 720.9 = Architecture of a geographic area
--- 720.947 = Eastern European architecture
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:
720.9471 A112ALVARAALTO = Alvar Aalto: con articulos de Anton Capitel
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
300-399 – Social sciences
-- 391 – Costume and appearance
700 – Fine Arts
710 – Civic & landscape art
720 – Architecture
730 – Sculpture
740 – Drawing & Decorative Arts
-- 745 – Decorative Arts & Design
-- 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)