Reclassification project to LCC

In the autumn of 2021, the Faculty Library of Arts and Philosophy started the undertaking of the reclassification of the entire collection in open stacks to the Library of Congress Classification (LCC).

This is a system of library classification developed by the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States, and is used in libraries worldwide. As a result the whole library book collection will be shelved by subject. This way, when you locate a publication on a specific subject, you will encounter other relevant works nearby.

Update July 2022

Following three major collection moves from department and seminar libraries to the Faculty library of Arts and Philosophy, comes the next phase in making the open-shelves collection – currently almost half a million books – easier to access.

In future years, the faculty library will switch to one classification system: Library of Congress Classification (LCC). Each book in the open shelves will be given a new location in line with the Library of Congress Classification, along with a new label and an RFID tag for security.

At present, the deduplication of the collection is in progress. Over 54,000 titles are found in both the faculty library’s and the Book Tower‘s collection. Over the course of a month, the library staff first checked the presence of a considerable selection of books (on the basis of well-considered parameters) in the Book Tower depots.

Faculty library staff then prepared a set of withdrawal lists. Categories of duplicate books that will remain in the faculty library collection include publications that are very frequently borrowed from the Book Tower, copies of books that are not available for loan at the Book Tower, or books of which the copy in the Book Tower can no longer be found.

The withdrawal lists were next evaluated by the collection managers in the faculty departments. They indicated any titles they thought should remain in the faculty library’s open-shelves collection because of current research and/or instruction (even if the Book Tower also has a copy).

After the withdrawal lists were returned to the faculty library, the actual withdrawal of a first number of books from the shelves in the faculty library could begin. This part of the project will be taking place throughout the summer months.

Update November 2022

Prior to renumbering and securing the books, we are carrying out a large-scale deselection. By late September, the deduplication phase was completed in relation to the Book Tower: 44,956 books were removed from the shelves.

The next step is internal deduplication within LWBIB. For several decades, the various department and seminary libraries often purchased the very same titles. We will keep one copy only per internal duplicate, with the exception of motivated duplicates purchased by LWBIB. After compiling the list of internal duplicates, the books will soon be removed from the shelves and compared by library colleagues for content and form. The copy in best condition will be retained in each case.

Update March 2023

Since early this year, as part of the renumbering process to LCC, the internal deduplication of our library is coming up to cruising speed. 49,644 book titles are present in multiple copies. Using a detailed checklist, we compare the different copies and keep the one in the best physical condition. Exceptions are made for false duplicates (due to an error in description, these copies were considered duplicates) and motivated duplicates (i.e. department bought motivated multiple copies of a publication). Currently, about a quarter of the list of books to be deduplicated has been processed. Behind the scenes, preparation for deselection for transfer to the Book Tower has also begun. After completing the internal deduplication, we will prepare a proposal for this deselection for transfer based on the latest data for each subject collection. These proposals will then be taken up with the collection managers of the departments.

More information

For more information, please contact