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Library Subject Guides

Mathematics: Books and eBooks

What Are Call Numbers?

What Are Call Numbers?

Call numbers explained

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High Demand

High Demand

Textbooks and recommended readings are often put on short-term loan in the High Demand collection.

Search for your course code:


If you cannot find it at UC Library or online, request an Interloan and we will get it for you from another library. There is no charge for this service

Google Books

Google Books

A good way to find out whether the details you seek are located in a book. Search previews of books and some full text of out-of-copyright titles; search terms are highlighted in results.

Google Book Search

Recommend an Item for Purchase by the Library

Finding eBooks

Finding eBooks

  • Most eBooks can be found by a normal search in the Library Catalogue, or via MultiSearch, and are identified with an electronic book icon.

  • Use the search box to find eBooks by subject (the correct options are already chosen: refine your search – ”Items with full text online“, and Content Type – ”Book / eBook“)

Finding Mathematics Books

Shelf Arrangement of Mathematics Books

QA 1-939 Mathematics
1-43 General
9-10.3 Mathematical Logic
11-14 Study and Teaching, Research
16-20 Special Teaching Methods and Aids
21-35 History
36-39 General Works
40 Handbooks, Manuals, etc.
47-59 Tables
71-90 Instruments and Machines
73 Slide Rules
75-76.95 Calculating Machines
75.5-76.95 Electronic Computers, Computer Science
76.75-76.765 Computer Software
99 Miscellany and Curiosa
101-145 Elementary Mathematics, Arithmetic
150-272.5 Algebra
184-205 Linear and Multilinear Algebra, Matrices
211-218 Theory of Equations
273-274.76 Probabilities
276-280 Mathematical Analysis
297-299.4 Numerical Analysis
299.6-433 Analysis
303-316 Calculus
319-329 Functional Analysis
331-355 Theory of Functions
370-387 Differential Equations
440-699 Geometry
451-469 Elementary Geometry
501-521 Descriptive Geometry
531-538 Trigonometry
551-563 Analytic Geometry
564-581 Algebraic Geometry
601-608 Transformations, Correspondences, and General Methods for Algebraic Configurations
611-614 Topology
615-640 Infinitesimal Geometry
641-660 Projective Differential Geometry
801-939 Analytic Mechanics

Call Numbers Explained

Call Numbers Explained

Find a Book on the Shelf

To find a book on the Library shelves you will need to know its call number. Call numbers are printed on the spine of the book and are also listed in the Library Catalogue. They tell you where the book is located in the library.

The University of Canterbury library, like most academic libraries, uses the Library of Congress Classification system. In this system, the call numbers start with letters of the alphabet.

  • The first letter refers to the subject area, e.g. Q – Science
  • Sometimes another letter is added to refer to a more specific aspect of the subject, e.g. QD – Chemistry

Reading Call Numbers: Library of Congress Classification System

Read the call number line by line:

  • Read the first line in alphabetical order.
  • The first set of numbers that follow are read as whole numbers and are arranged numerically on the shelves.


This diagram explains how Library of Congress call numbers work on the library shelves:


Call Numbers

(This image was produced by librarians at the University of Maryland Libraries (User Education Services), College Park, MD.)

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