Call Number Systems in the Law Library
A call number is an identifier placed on the spine of each book that helps the library arrange books on the shelf by subject. Knowing a book's call number helps you find the book in the library stacks once you know the general location. Both the general location and the call number can be found in the book's record in Pegasus, the Library Catalog.
Knowing the call number of a book related to your research can also help you locate other books in the same subject area, by browsing the shelf or searching Pegasus by call number.
The Arthur W. Diamond Law Library uses three classification systems to assign call numbers to books: Library of Congress, Hicks, and Schiller. All three systems use both letters and numbers. To learn more about these systems, see below or contact our reference librarians.
Library of Congress Classification System
The Library of Congress system is used in the Diamond Law Library for material on the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand. For information about the arrangement of subjects, see the schedule at the Library of Congress website. Note that the majority of law is found in Class K. For older primary source material for the United States and British law, see the Hicks Classification System below.
Hicks Classification System
The Hicks system is a locally developed classification system used for early primary source material, such as statutes and reports, in American and British law. Hicks is used for original material only; reprints of early material are classed using the Library of Congress system.
Schiller Classification System
The Schiller system is a locally developed system for classifying foreign, comparative, pre-literate, ancient, medieval, and religious law materials. A call number in the Schiller classification system is comprised of an abbreviation to designate a legal system, followed by a number indicating the specific subject area within the system. Please refer to our Quick Guide to Schiller Classification.