Please don't credit sources with a reference to your library catalog's call number.

+12 votes
129 views
Could we please avoid using call numbers from our local libraries to cite sources used in the biography of profiles?  While there are standards for library classification, there's also room for different interpretations--not to mention different systems of classification.  A major public library may use a Dewey number, but across town, the same title might have a LC number in an university library.  And search access through a call number search is disappearing from some library catalogs. (People wishing to be more specific could include the ISBN.)  

Thanks.
Jo
asked in Policy and Style by Jo McCaleb G2G6 (8.7k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith

I have never cited anything by the LC number, Dewey Decimal number, or the like, but I have left this information on other people's citations because it seems to me that it could be useful to have this in addition to a complete standard bibliographic reference citation.

Some genealogy programs have data fields for a repository, which can be useful for hard to find sources. This could be an artifact of that.

1 Answer

+4 votes
A call number actually isn't part of a citation, so there's no reason to include one.  However, speaking as a librarian, call numbers, except in rare occasions are actually standardized.  Yes, most academic libraries use the Library of Congress call numbers (LC) while most public libraries use Dewey Decimal numbers--at least in the U.S.--but those numbers should be fairly standard from library to library, especially since most are derived from Cataloging in Publication data.  There's absolutely no problem with using a call number, even though a call number isn't part of a standard citation.
answered by J. Crook G2G6 Pilot (151k points)
That's what I was getting at--there is no reason to include the call number.  In this instance, though, for me, it is a problem. The information was included in the biography, not as a citation in sources .  It clutters the text with notation that may be useless and interferes with reading what appears to be a carefully constructed story.  And each use includes the library name and shelving number (Cutter, maybe?).  Repeated, over and over. It was more aggravating when I followed a citation in the source section and discovered the biography was copied, complete with library information, from another web site.  <edited for clarity>
Probably remnants of old gedcom uploads.
My interest in a well-written biography of an ancestor got the best of me--I usually let those things roll by.

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