The Haddon Library

The Card Catalogue

Using the Library

The Card Catalogue, especially for material published before 2000

As more and more of the Library’s holdings are listed online, we are gradually shrinking the card catalogue, but it has its uses still. The parts you’d explore for a subject search are as follows:

  • Key to the classified index (orange labels). This key lists concepts alphabetically, showing the classmarks assigned. If you find a classmark in here that is relevant to your search, you can then go either straight to the shelves or else to the classified index. The classified index is often the more fruitful option.
  • Classified index (black labels). The cards in here are arranged in classmark order. The index thus reflects the shelf-order of the books, but is enriched with cross-references.

Most of the books in the Main Reading Room are arranged according to the Bliss Classification Scheme. It uses a notation of letters (e.g. ‘HFN’ means ‘genetics’). However, some of the books in the main reading-room, and more in the locked areas, follow instead an In-House Classification Scheme drawn up in the 1930s. This uses a notation of numbers (e.g. ‘78’ means ‘Scotland’). Several indexes in the catalogue will help you locate books in this older classification:


Site index. Archaeological sites, listed alphabetically.
Sites within towns and villages are, in general, indexed by town or village.
Subject index. Concepts listed alphabetically.
Period index. Chronological order.
Geographical index. Countries (and continents, seas, &c.) listed alphabetically.
Key to numerical classification. Concepts listed alphabetically.


Subject index. Concepts listed alphabetically.
Geographical index. Countries (and continents,seas, &c.) listed alphabetically.