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Score Call Numbers in the Music Library: Overview

How to read M call numbers, M call number browsing, class M outline, and guides for specific genres of music
Last Updated: Oct 2, 2019 3:13 PM

About M Call Numbers

Most scores in the Music Library are classified according to the system designed by George Sherman Dickinson (1888-1964), first Music Librarian at Vassar College. UB uses the option which classifies scores by original medium. All call numbers that start with M (by itself) in the Music Library use this system. There are some scores, mostly etudes and methods, in MT, which is not part of the Dickinson system.

For browsing and finding items on the shelves, the most important feature of the Dickinson system, which makes it different from Library of Congress call numbers in the rest of the library, is that the class number, under M, functions as a decimal--even though there are no decimal points.

This guide describes how to read a single call number, and it provides an outline of all Ms and tips and outlines for feature types of music.

Guide to Locations

For a guide to locations of different kinds of music in the Music Library (scores, chamber music parts, oversize scores), please see "In the Library" in our guide to Scores and Sheet Music.


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Deborah Chiarella