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Classmarks and the Location of Resources in the Library: Introduction

A guide to the classification scheme used at IALS Library and locating the materials you need

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This guide was last updated in October 2018.

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Introduction to the classification scheme

Resources in IALS Library are classified either by:

Jurisdiction (classmarks beginning with G - geographical) OR

Subject (classmarks beginning with S - subject)

Books dealing with legal history or constitutional law are normally classified by jurisdiction, as are books on the public and private law of all the non-common law countries. Those dealing with common law subjects from the United Kingdom, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australian and New Zealand are classified by subject in class SJ. Other books classified by subject include those on Comparative Law (SB), International Law (public and private, classes SG and SH), Jurisprudence (SA), Roman Law (SC) and Religious Laws (SE, SF, SI).

Serials - including legislation, law reports, and digests - are normally classified by country of origin, except for those dealing specially with subjects, which are placed with books on those subjects.

There are also separate classmarks for:

Reference works (classmarks beginning with RF)

Bibliographies (classmarks beginning with BB, BG or BS)

Please use the tabs at the top of this page to view the scheme for each category.

Whilst it is useful to understand the classification scheme at IALS, please note that you should not rely on browsing the shelves to find everything on a particular subject or jurisdiction. This is because some items are kept in the Short Loan collection, others are kept in the reserve collection in the closed basement store and some will be located in the Folio section for oversized items. And, of course, you will miss items that are out on loan, and electronic resources.

Please also note that because of the way the collections are divided, for some research topics you will find relevant material in the jurisidictional collections, the common law collections, the comparative law collections and the public international law collections as well! Please consult the Library Catalogue for comprehensive information about material in the Library's extensive collections. The online catalogue uses the US Library of Congress subject classification scheme. By searching the catalogue as well as browsing the shelves, you will minimise the chance of missing relevant resources.

You may find some of our other guides useful as you familiarize yourself with the arrangement of material and location of services in the Library and with its computing and electronic information services. Our Subject Guides outline some of the Library's holdings in key subject areas, and our Jurisdiction Guides and International Law Guides highlight the main resources for particular countries or areas of international law.

If you require further assistance please ask the staff at the Issue & Enquiry Desk on the 2nd floor or email ials@sas.ac.uk.

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Understanding the Catalogue record

The Catalogue will tell you where to find a book by giving a classmark or a location statement. Given below are examples of classmarks (with prefixes and filing marks) and location statements.

Classmarks

Here are some examples of classmarks:

SJ150, SG75, GA2.C.4, GP1.C.8, RF75, BG55, BB10

And with possible prefixes and filing marks:

RF75 GER
PAMP BG55 INT
RES BB10 AFR
SJ150 ENC
FOL SJ150 AAA5
RES FOL GA2.C.4 DAC
RES FOL PAMP GP1.C.8 MAR

Prefixes

RES: This means that the book is in the Basement Store. See below.

FOL: Shelved in a separate sequence of large sized books to save space. Consult the Library map to find the FOL books on each floor.

PAMP: A pamphlet shelved in a box at the end of the run of books with the same classmark.

All these prefixes can be combined, as in the examples above, so that RES FOL PAMP would mean a large sized pamphlet kept in the Basement Store.

Filing marks

These always come after the classmark and consist of three letters, usually the first three letters of the author's name. Within each classmark, books are shelved alphabetically by this filing mark.

Location statements

IALS OFFSITE STORE

Offsite store (apply to Issue & Enquiry Desk)

DEPOSITORY or RES

Basement store (apply to Issue & Enquiry Desk)

SHORT LOAN

Floor 2 (apply to to Issue & Enquiry Desk)

THESIS

Basement store (apply to Issue & Enquiry Desk)

ORDERED

Item currently on order from the publisher. The Library has not yet received it.

IN PROCESSING

Item has been received from the publisher, but is still being processed (apply to Issue & Enquiry Desk)

 

Classmark locations

If a Catalogue record does not have a location statement listed above, you will need to use the classmark itself to locate the item in the Library. Specific classmarks are found within the general ranges on the following floors:

Classmark

Floor

BB BG BS

L2

FC FM

Apply to Issue & Enquiry Desk

GA to GC

3

GD to GN

L2

GO

3 and L2

GP

2 and L2

GQ to GU

L2

RF

3

SA

L2

SB

2

SC to SF

L2

SG to SH

2

SI

L2

SJ

2