Library of Congress

Currently at the Oriental Institute we have 5 series of books on open shelves- the Arabic / Turkish / Persian / Islamic collection on the ground floor and downstairs the Japanese / Korean, South Asian, Hebrew / Jewish and Minor (Syriac / Ethiopic / Armenian / Georgian) Collections.

Sometime in the next decade we’ll be moving to the new Radcliffe Observator Quarter along with Humanities and Mathematics. At this new super-library all the books will be catalogued using Library of Congress classification system.

To prepare for this we’ve started classifying all incoming books using the Library of Congress Classification System, and shelving them in a combined sequence. We’ve also started re-classifying a few of our existing books. This is obviously a huge task, as eventually it will involve re-classifying the entire library! For now our new Library of Congress Series is a bit thin on the ground, but hopefully it’ll grow over the up-coming academic year.

An outline of the Library of Congress Classification Scheme can be found here: – our collection is obviously strongest in the B, D and P classes.

Meanwhile, our other projects are all going well. The emergency exit building works are finished except for painting; the South Asian retroconversion project has now checked 1,300 books; and the Minor Collections retroconversion project is working on the Armenian vernacular books.


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