WYLD TECHNOTE: Abbreviations for Call Number Information

The following list of standardized abbreviations to be used within the subfield “z” of call numbers has been approved by the Online Quality Committee and are consistent with abbreviations listed in Appendix B of Anglo-American Cataloging Rules, 2nd edition. 2002 Revision. These abbreviations are also consistent with those generated automatically when using the serials check-in function of Workflows.

Using standardized abbreviations enables the system to process requests from WYLDCAT more efficiently as it will consistently list volumes and parts in the same format. Standardizing the use of abbreviations also improves the display of multi-part materials both in WYLDCAT and in Workflows.

The information provided here should be used in conjunction with the Technote on the use of Subfield z in call numbers Bearing in mind how call number enumeration and chronology display in WYLDCAT and particularly in the Request screen, it is also beneficial to note how your library has previously linked enumeration and how other libraries with items attached to the same record have entered their holdings.

It is particularly important when using any abbreviations to be consistent in entry so that the parts of multi-part materials display in the desired consecutive order. Not only can the abbreviation itself affect display order, punctuation and spacing can as well. If a library generally designates its volumes by using just the letter V with no period, followed by the volume number (V2), but links a few volumes as V. (V. 4), those volumes with that designation will not fall into numeric order with the rest of the numbers. This is also true if one of the volumes is done as V.5 (no space after the period), or if a volume is designated as VOL. instead of V.   This applies also to all other abbreviations, not just the one for volumes. All numerical abbreviations listed here are with a period followed by a space, then the number. The format the system automatically supplies in the serials check-in process is without the space after v. so to remain consistent with that, you need to use the same format, e.g. V.5 if you are manually linking materials as well. If not, the materials you link manually won’t sort in the correct order. Even those libraries not using serials should follow this same format so that enumeration for all libraries will display in the same way for placing Requests. Also remember that consistent use of class scheme is very important in the sorting of enumeration.

V.              (this is a capital letter V followed by a period followed by a single blank space, then the volume number)

Example call number:  025.49 L616|zV. 5

use for volume or volumes

Note: Do not use VOL. here or as an abbreviation for the author’s name in the call number. The system sees this abbreviation as an enumeration and will automatically place it within a subfield z. For example, a work by the author Voltaire, when abbreviated as VOL. in the call number 842.5 VOL. will result in the automatic insertion of delimiter z before the abbreviation so it sorts as 842.5|zVOL.  To avoid this, omit the period after the abbreviation or add another letter to the abbreviation.

SUPPL.     use for supplement or supplements

Example call number:  025 L6|zSUPPL. 3

SECT.        use for section or sections

Example call number:  025 L6|zSECT. 16

PT.            use for part

Example call number: 025.49 L6|zPT. 4

PTS.         use for parts

Example call number:  025 L6|zPTS. 4-6

Used when the parts share a single barcode

NO.          used for number or numbers

Example call number:  025.49 L6|zNO. 7

DO NOT use the pound sign # to designate number

ISS.          used for issue or issues

Example call number:  025 L6|zISS. 26

DO NOT use the pound sign # to designate an issue number.

ED.           use for edition or editions

Example call number:  025 L6|z15TH ED.

BK.           use for book or books

Example call number: 025.49 L6|zBK. 8

Numeric abbreviations are used as modifiers to identify specific version of a publication as demonstrated above in the edition example.  For consistency, the following standard numeric abbreviations should be used in the subfield z of the call number:

ST            1ST          21ST        etc.

ND           2ND        22ND       etc

RD           3RD         23RD       etc

TH           4TH         24TH       etc



The same level of consistency should also be used when entering the names of months or seasons in call numbers. The following abbreviations should be used:

JAN               FEB                MAR            APR              MAY              JUN


JUL                AUG              SEP              OCT               NOV             DEC


SPR               SUM              FALL            WIN


Note: when the above abbreviations are used as an abbreviation for an author’s name within the call number itself, the system will automatically place those letters in a subfield z because they are the same abbreviations the system creates automatically in serials. An easy way to prevent this is to just add another letter to the abbreviation for the author’s name so the system won’t see it as the three letters for a month.



When entering dates, the preferred form of entry for the year is to enter all four digits.

Examples: 2004                      1996-2002                   2008/2009



Combinations of the above examples may occur.

Example: AY 67 .N5 W7|z43RD ED. NO. 2

Example: 031 AM 2009|zV. 21

Example: 917.86 FODOR 3RD ED.|z2008

In the first example illustrated above, the subfield z of the call number was placed before the first element that makes that particular item unique to the base call number. This allows for easier identification of the specific material being sought, the 43ed ed.

In the second example above, the call number represents a volume set for the 2009 edition of an encyclopedia set. In this case the subfield z is placed after the year since all the volumes are for a single year. In this example, only the volume information is unique to each barcode.

In the third example above, the call number represents both the edition and the year for a travel guide. Only the year is indicated in the subfield z. If the material has a specific edition stated and you wish to include that information, indicate the edition as part of the base call number and use only the year in the subfield z.  If only the year is provided, use the year as the unique identifier for that item. 

Again, consistency is very important. The same punctuation and spacing as outlined above apply to these instances as well.