General Principles:


Always use UPPER CASE letters.   Lower case letters were used prior to September 1992.


No word in a Superintendent of Documents class may exceed 7 characters.


A classification number may have as many characters as can be input in the 099 field of an OCLC record. The current limit is 47 characters.   The current UNICORN limit in the call number field is 40 characters.  Consult a documents librarian if a SuDoc class number needs adjustment.  In general, the book number or cutter should be shortened, eliminating punctuation and/or abbreviating words where possible and logical.


Use the abbreviations listed in the GPO Classification Manual. Note that periods are used in some cases and not in others.  See Appendix A in:


For state abbreviations, use the 2-letter U.S. postal codes.


Roman numerals (I, II, III) are not used.


SuDoc numbers always abbreviate years to three digits, except for the year 2000+




SuDoc class structure:




A space must be inserted between letters and numbers in the class number unless there is intervening punctuation. Parentheses are the only exception. One space must be inserted before and after a parenthesis, unless there is adjacent punctuation. No spaces precede or follow symbols, such as the ampersand (&).


Correct formatting:


A 1.10:B 68

C 16.21/a:17

D 5.317:616 (717-5) A

AE 2.106/3:26/pt.1 (sec.1.641-1.850)/990

D 101.11:9-2330-363-14&P




Locally Assigned Class Numbers:


For documents falling in existing classes, the class stem in the List of Classes

 may be used, a Cutter number, date, or series number is added after the colon, and an arbitrary designation such as "x" is placed at the end to indicate that it is a locally assigned number.  Consult with a documents librarian if a locally assigned number is needed.






Labels are single-spaced.


The number is left justified, with punctuation (dot or colon) outside this margin.


SuDoc class numbers are formulated as follows:


            Unit Library (i.e. LSM or ALEX) is typed on the first line.


            The shelf location is typed on the second line.


                        NOTE: all shelf locations used with SuDoc classes begin with DOCUS.


            Agency indicator is typed on the third line.


Series designator or kind of publication is typed on the fourth line preceded by the dot.


            Cutter or book number is typed on the fifth line preceded by the colon.


NOTE: a sixth line is used when the book number exceeds the width of the label.  Use a breaking slash on the 6th line within the margin.


NOTE: Congressional committees (Y 3. and Y 4.) use two lines for the agency indicator.  In these cases, the dot precedes the second agency indicator on the fourth line and the colon precedes the series designator on the fifth line.  The cutter is typed on the sixth line without punctuation.

See the first example below.






Examples for Labels:




 Y 3                            

.F 31/21-3      


 R 29




 Y 4

.T 19/4

:R 32/22





 I 19






 E 1


:G 83/CD





Labeling Combined Issues:


For reports of publications covering more than one year, the range of dates is used with a dash in-between years.  Always use at least two digits in the second date.  A publication covering a century or more would require 3 digits in the second number.  Use 4 digits for years 2000+.


Exceptions for labeling particular serial titles are spelled out in the extended info of the serials control.


Whether the date or the volume number is used first depends on the publication and the meaning of the date and volume numbers in the class.  Follow GPO’s lead for particular serials or series.


When combining monthly issues, the issue number is dropped from a complete volume.  Issue numbers are used when sections of a volume (rather than a full volume) are combined.  In general, “V.” or “VOL.” And “No.”  are not used in serial cutters.



Examples of combined issues labels:


A monthly where the volume number and issue is used as the cutter and all 12 issues combine to complete a volume:


 LSM                           NOT THIS:                  LSM

 DOCUS                                                          DOCUS

 D 206                                                             D 206

.7                                                                     .7

:88                                                                   :88/1-12




A weekly where the volume number and issue is used as the cutter and the 52 issues are combined in more than one volume:


 LSM                           NOT THIS:                  LSM

 DOCUS                                                          DOCUS

 HE 20                                                             HE 20

.7009                                                               .7009

:50/1-26                                                           :50/PT. 1



A quarterly where the volume number and issue are used as the cutter and 2 or more volumes are bound together:


 LSM                           NOT THIS:                  LSM

 DOCUS                                                          DOCUS

 HE 20                                                             HE 20

.4010                                                               .4010

:36-37                                                              :36/37