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Finding English Faculty Library Items: In-house Classification

Intended for students and researchers using the English Faculty Library, Bodleian Libraries.


The In-house Classification scheme used at the English Faculty Library is being replaced by the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) scheme. At present, a small portion of the books in the library is still organised according to the original In-house Classification scheme.

Photograph of books classified according to the In-house Classification scheme

Classification overview

The following is a list of in-house classes still in use at the English Faculty Library.

  • A: Reference works
  • AW: Dictionaries
  • H: Shakespeare films


  1. Each letter of the alphabet represents a chronological period.
  2. Authors are arranged alphabetically within each period.
  3. Authors' works are shelved first, followed by criticism. For example:
  • Moll Flanders by Defoe would have the shelf mark 'L31.1 [Mol]'. For original works, the first three letters of the title are in brackets, i.e. '[Mol]'. Characters in brackets precede those not in brackets. For example, 'L31.1 [Mol]' would precede 'L31.1 BRI'.
  • Daniel Defoe by Richetti would have the shelf mark 'L31.9 RIC'. For critical works, the first three letters of the author's name in uppercase are given, i.e. 'RIC'.
  1. The In-house Classification scheme is not decimal; the numbers following the point are in a simple numerical sequence. For example, 'H70.12' (critical works on individual Shakespeare plays) comes after after H70.9 (general Shakespeare criticism).

Example shelf marks

This box is made up of example shelf marks, ordered according to their would-be arrangement on the shelves - 'N19.9 ALL' would be shelved before 'N19.21 [Ten]' and so on.

Allott, M. (1974) The Brontës: The critical heritage

In-house Classification scheme shelf mark: N19.9 ALL

Image of shelf mark: N19.9 ALL


Brontë, A. (2008) The tenant of Wildfell Hall

In-house Classification scheme shelf mark: N19.21 [Ten]

Image of shelf mark: N 19.21 [Ten]


Collins, W. (2007) The woman in white

In-house Classification scheme shelf mark: N29.66 [Wom]

Image of shelf mark: N 29.66 [Wom]

Taylor, J. (2006) The Cambridge companion to Wilkie Collins

In-house Classification scheme shelf mark: N29.66 TAY

Image of shelf mark: N 29.66 TAY

Arrangement in the library

The remainder of the in-house collection is kept in the Ground Floor Reading Room. See the floorplan for this room at the link below.

Background to the reclassification project

For consistency, the Bodleian Libraries are retiring some in-house classification schemes.

The English Faculty Library (EFL) began by classifying to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC) scheme any new books purchased from January 2009 onwards. At present, about 91% of the collections are classified to LCC and this number will grow as we continue to reclassify items.