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Why do some books have the same call number?

Sometimes books seem to have the same call number, even though each book is supposed to have a unique call number. There are a couple of reasons this could happen.

First, the book may be a second (or third, or fourth, etc.) edition of a previously published book. In such cases, the call numbers should be the same except for the final line, which indicates the year of publication (see: How do call numbers work?)

Sometimes the publication year has a letter at the end of it. Such letters are used to indicate that more than one edition of the book came out in the same year or that the item in question is a reproduction (like a microfilm or photocopy) of the work.

Second, books may have nearly identical call numbers because they are part of a series or bookset. In such a case, the call numbers will be exactly the same except for a volume, number, or year designation (v.11, no.4,1988,etc). For example, all issues of Time Magazine will have the same call number, only the volume will change.

Third, different copies of the same edition of the same book will have the same call number except for a line added below the year. This line will indicate the copy number (c.2, c.3, etc.) of each copy. Sometimes copies have been rebound and no longer look exactly alike, but if that last added line is the only difference, the books are the same.

Every once in a while we just make a mistake and two books which should not have the same call number do. If you find such a mistake, please take it to the Reference desk on that floor and they will send it to the Catalog Department for correction.