About Classification and Call Number

Classification of TUFS Library collections

The majority of the books in the library’s collection are classified according to two main concepts: language and subject.

Based on these concepts, each book is assigned a call number, which is affixed to the spine of the book as a book label.
The materials on each floor are arranged according to these call numbers.

Other collections, such as rare books and special collections, are also classified according to their own system.

For an overview of the TUFS library’s collections, please click here.

How to read Call Numbers (book label)


Shin-Bunrui collection


Kyû-Bunrui collectionon


Rare Books


Privately Donated Collection

These images are examples of the Call Number labels that is attached to the spine of library books.
Each call number label consists of four columns.

In this section, each concept are explained using the label “Shin-Bunrui” as an example.
(Please refer to the respective catalogues for the classification concepts of other materials.)

In Shin-Bunrui and Kyû-Bunrui collections, the alphabet indicates the language in which the book is written, or the language on which the book is focusing.

Please refer to the Language Classification Table (Shin-Bunrui / Kyu-Bunrui) to find out which language each symbol represents.
In the case of rare books and special collections, the first line of the label will indicate that the book is a special collection.

Shin-Bunrui collectios are classified according to the Nippon Decimal Classification (NDC).

We use the three-digit NDC subject classification system, but in the field of linguistics and literature, our main collections, we have developed our own classification system based on the NDC.
For more information, please refer to the Subject Classification Table (Shin-Bunrui / Old Classification).

These are the numbers in order of receipt within the same subject.
This ensures that the materials are arranged by subject and roughly by publication date.

A Japanese kana sign like “ア, イ, …” indicates that the book is an added copy, and a lower case letter like “a, b, …,” indicates that the book is from a different edition (new edition, revised edition, etc.).

Please note that we have adopted registration numbers (accession number within the whole library collections: six digits) in 2001 instead of the accession number within the same subject classification. Furthermore, the duplicate number and the revision number have been abolished. In the shelves, the books are placed at the end of the same classification.

This is used to indicate the volume number and year of publication for multi-volume books (series books, serialized books).
It is not used for single-volume books.