What does the shelfmark mean?
The shelfmark indicates where on the shelves the book is located. It refers to the Dewey Decimal Classification system used by Birmingham City University Libraries (amongst many other libraries), in which subjects are allocated a particular number, for example Architecture = 720. The books are arranged numerically on the shelves and then alphabetically within the class number by author and so it simply a case of finding the number indicated for your book on the shelf. It will save you a great deal of time if you can can familiarize yourself with the Class Numbers relating to your particular subjects. The only exception to this is the Special Collections held by a number of Libraries (for example the Artists’ and Photographers’ Collections held within Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD) Libraries). Within these Collections an individual classification has been devised, for example alphabetically by artist/photographer. If you need any assistance using these collections please
Each subject is given a shelfmark (sometimes also called class number or classmark) to help you find the book you want in the Library. For example, the pure sciences are all 500 numbers; Maths and Computing are all 510s; Chemistry 540s; the applied sciences are 600s; Medical sciences are 610s, Management Science 650s, and Chemical Engineering 660s. Full listing of subjects with their corresponding shelfmarks.