Library of Congress Control Number

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The Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is a serially-based system of numbering cataloging records in the Library of Congress in the United States. It has nothing to do with the contents of any book, and should not be confused with Library of Congress Classification.

Serial number unique code assigned for identification of a single unit

A serial number is a unique identifier assigned incrementally or sequentially to an item, to uniquely identify it.

Library of Congress (de facto) national library of the United States of America

The Library of Congress (LOC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The Library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center in Culpeper, Virginia. The Library's functions are overseen by the Librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the Architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress has claimed to be the largest library in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."

The Library of Congress Classification (LCC) is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress. It is used by most research and academic libraries in the U.S. and several other countries.

Contents

History

The LCCN numbering system has been in use since 1898, at which time the acronym LCCN originally stood for Library of Congress Card Number. It has also been called the Library of Congress Catalog Card Number, among other names. The Library of Congress prepared cards of bibliographic information for their library catalog and would sell duplicate sets of the cards to other libraries for use in their catalogs. This is known as centralized cataloging. Each set of cards was given a serial number to help identify it.

Library catalog Register of bibliographic items

A library catalog or library catalogue is a register of all bibliographic items found in a library or group of libraries, such as a network of libraries at several locations. A bibliographic item can be any information entity that is considered library material, or a group of library materials, or linked from the catalog as far as it is relevant to the catalog and to the users (patrons) of the library.

Although most of the bibliographic information is now electronically created, stored, and shared with other libraries, there is still a need to identify each unique record, and the LCCN continues to perform that function.

Librarians all over the world use this unique identifier in the process of cataloging most books which have been published in the United States. It helps them reach the correct cataloging data (known as a cataloging record), which the Library of Congress and third parties make available on the Web and through other media.

Librarian person who works professionally in a library, and is usually trained in librarianship

A librarian is a person who works professionally in a library, providing access to information and sometimes social or technical programming to users. In addition, librarians provide instruction on information literacy.

Identifier name that identifies either a unique object or a unique class of objects

An identifier is a name that identifies either a unique object or a unique class of objects, where the "object" or class may be an idea, physical [countable] object, or physical [noncountable] substance. The abbreviation ID often refers to identity, identification, or an identifier. An identifier may be a word, number, letter, symbol, or any combination of those.

In February 2008, the Library of Congress created the LCCN Permalink service, providing a stable URL for all Library of Congress Control Numbers. [1]

Format

In its most elementary form the number includes a year and a serial number. The year has two digits for 1898 to 2000, and four digits beginning in 2001. The three ambiguous years (1898, 1899, and 1900) are distinguished by the size of the serial number. There are also some peculiarities in numbers beginning with a "7" because of an experiment applied between 1969 and 1972 which added a check digit. [2]

A check digit is a form of redundancy check used for error detection on identification numbers, such as bank account numbers, which are used in an application where they will at least sometimes be input manually. It is analogous to a binary parity bit used to check for errors in computer-generated data. It consists of one or more digits computed by an algorithm from the other digits in the sequence input.


Serial numbers are six digits long and should include leading zeros. The leading zeros padding the number are a more recent addition to the format, so many older works will show less full codes. The hyphen that is often seen separating the year and serial number is optional. More recently, the Library of Congress has instructed publishers not to include a hyphen.

The hyphen () is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. Non-hyphenated is an example of a hyphenated word. The hyphen should not be confused with dashes, which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign (−), which is also longer in some contexts.

See also

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International Standard Serial Number unique eight-digit number used to identify a print or electronic periodical publication

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MARCstandards are a set of digital formats for the description of items catalogued by libraries, such as books. Working with the Library of Congress, American computer scientist Henriette Avram developed MARC in the 1960s to create records that could be read by computers and shared among libraries. By 1971, MARC formats had become the US national standard for dissemination of bibliographic data. Two years later, they became the international standard. There are several versions of MARC in use around the world, the most predominant being MARC 21, created in 1999 as a result of the harmonization of U.S. and Canadian MARC formats, and UNIMARC, widely used in Europe. The MARC 21 family of standards now includes formats for authority records, holdings records, classification schedules, and community information, in addition to the format for bibliographic records.

OCLC global library cooperative

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In library science, authority control is a process that organizes bibliographic information, for example in library catalogs by using a single, distinct spelling of a name (heading) or a numeric identifier for each topic. The word authority in authority control derives from the idea that the names of people, places, things, and concepts are authorized, i.e., they are established in one particular form. These one-of-a-kind headings or identifiers are applied consistently throughout catalogs which make use of the respective authority file, and are applied for other methods of organizing data such as linkages and cross references. Each controlled entry is described in an authority record in terms of its scope and usage, and this organization helps the library staff maintain the catalog and make it user-friendly for researchers.

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Accession number (library science) object identifiers used in galleries, libraries, archives, and museums

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References

  1. "Library of Congress Update for 2008 ALA Annual Conference: January-May, 2008". Archived from the original on 2017-08-28.
  2. "Structure of the LC Control Number".