Thesis Call Numbers

I guess we hear this several times a day, “I’ve got the call number for this thesis, it’s checked in, but I can’t find it.” OK, here’s the scoop:

Thesis call numbers

Think of  T in the call number above as a mnemonic device for theses, just as JB is a reminder for juvenile biographies. The second line identifies the year the thesis was completed and presented to the library. The third line which is the important part of the call number is a combination of letters and numbers. The first letter (always upper case) and set of numbers that follow is called a cutter-sanborn number.  In the example above S378 stands for anyone whose surname begins with Schrei. The last letter (always lower case) in this example w indicates the first word in the thesis’ title.

Believe it or not, it is much easier to re-shelve books that are organized in this way, and now that you know it will be much easier for you to find a thesis in the future.

Reference librarian at Bank Street College Library.

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