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Classification of Material in the Library: Classification of Literature

Goals:This class will teach the basics of the Library of Congress (LC) classification system and how things are arranged using this system within HKUST Library.

Classification of Literature (Novels, Essays, Poetry, etc.)

Literature is more complicated. The classification for Language & Literature is "P". After generalities, all literature is divided up by:

  • Language of original work - This means that all Harry Potter books (versions, translations, etc.) will be shelved in the area for English literature
  • Sub-divided by geographical location - This means that French literature from Quebec is separated from French literature from France.
  • Subdivided by time period of author - This means that the Tang Dynasty authors are shelved together
  • Subdivided - by author's name - This means all of novels, poems, essays, etc. by a single person will be shelved together
  • Subdivided by the name of the work - This means all the different editions or printings of a work will be shelved together
  • Subdivided by whether this is a translation or criticism of that work - This means that all the Chinese translations of Harry Potter should be together, and separate from the French, German, Japanese, Korean, etc. translations of Harry Potter.

Chinese Literature - Basic Classification

Literature (stories, novels, & poetry) are mostly kept on LG3, in classes PJ -> PZ.  Below you can find very general listing of classification for browsing.

PL 2250  -> 3208  = Chinese literature

  •  PL 2450 -> 2452  (General collections; mixed authors & periods)
  • PL 2661 (Individual authors, early to Qin Dynasty)
  • PL 2662 -> 2663 (Qin & Han dynasties)
  • PL 2664 - 2669 (Three Kingdoms  ->  Sui dynasties)
  • PL 2670 -> 2678 (Tang Dynasty)
  • PL 2679 -> 2687  (Song Dynasty)
  • PL 2687.5 -> 2694 (Yuan Dynasty)
  • PL 2694.5 -> 2698  (Ming Dynasty)
  • PL 2699 -> 2735  (Qing Dynasty)
  • PL 2735.5 -> 2832.3  (1912-1949)
  • PL 2832.5 -> 2929.9  (1949-2000)
  • PL 2930 - 2979  (2001 - )

pre-2000 Chinese author names & Wade Giles Romanization

Example E - Two novels by Louis Cha

Call number Title
PL 
2848 
.Y8 
L79 
1981
鹿鼎記
PL 
2848 
.Y8 
S53 
1990
神鵰俠侶

 

金庸, also known as Louis Cha, has written several novels. As an author he has a classification number of PL2848.Y8

This shows that he is a Chinese language author who began writing (or, at least publishing) after 1949. His family name is Chin (PL2848) and his given name is Yong (Y8).

But...why is he listed as "Chin"? His name is 金, which in pin-yin is "Jin" and in Cantonese pin-yin "Gum".


Until 2001, the US Library of Congress used a Romanization system called "Wade-Giles" where Chin meant Jin and Ch'in meant Qin. You can look at the Pinyin & Wade-Giles Conversion Tables for further details.

English Literature - Basic Classification

PR 1 - > PR 6126 - English literature from Britain

  • PR 2199 -> 3195 -  (1500-1640)
  • PR 3291 -> 3785 (1640-1770)
  • PR 3991 -> 5990 ( 1770- 1900)
  • PR 6000 -> 6049 (1900-1960)
  • PR 6050 -> 6076 (1961-2000
  • PR 6100 -> 6126 (2001 - )
  • PR 8309 -> 9680 - English literature from outside Britain & outside the USA

PS 1 -> PS 3576 - English literature from North America

  • PS 700-893 Colonial period (17th and 18th centuries)
  • PS 991-3390 (19th century)
  • PS 3500-3549 (1900-1960)
  • PS 3550-3576 (1961-2000)
  • PS 3600-3626 (2001-
  • PS 8001-8599 - Canadian literature

Literature Classification as a Whole

Here is the overall general classification by language:

Literature Materials Call No.
Literary History & General Collections  PN1-PN6790
American literature  PS1-PS3626
Chinese literature PL2250-PL3208
English literature  PR1-PR9680
French literature  PQ1-PQ3999
German literature  PT1-PT4897
Greek literature  PA3050-PA4505
Italian literature  PQ4001-PQ5999
Japanese literature  PL700-PL889
Russian literature  PG2900-PG3698
Spanish literature PQ6001-PQ8929

HSS Librarian

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