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The current classification system employed is based upon the scheme used at the Guildhall Library which endeavours to reflect the designated status of the collection.

The Dewey classification system is not utilised and all items in the store commence with the prefix of L to identify their location in this area along with another letter if the item is not a standard octavo size which should also provide a lead to their physical location in the stores. The alphabetical prefix will then be followed by a number sequence identifying the general topic of the book. As two prime examples - 78.1 is employed for biographies while 25.14 is utilised to indicate the book is predominately concerned with football.

A copy of the classification schedule is retained at the beginning of the open access Birmingham Collection sequence on level 4.

The general classification prefix system is thus:

  • L for octavo
  • LF for folio/quarto
  • LFF for elephant size
  • LP for pamphlet
  • LPP for oversized pamphlet

Open access Birmingham Collection texts do not employ the alphabetical prefix and will appear on the catalogue with their classification number followed by the phrase Birmingham Collection.