Although cards are filed in the catalogue alphabetically by author, subject, and sometimes title, the large number of entries makes it necessary to have a filing system. A copy of Princeton University Library Filing Rules is kept on the counter next to the Public Catalogue. Some of these rules are given below.

  1. Arrangement is word by word, alphabetizing letter by letter to the end of each word.
  2. Order of entries under same word. When the same word is used for several kinds of headings, it is arranged in the flowing order: person, place, thing, title. Also, there may be several alphabets for some names and words.
    1. Person, firm, family
      • Fraser, Alexander
      • Fraser & Chalmers
      • Fraser & Co.
    2. Place, with explanatory term in parentheses
      • New York (city)
      • New York (colony)
      • New York (state)
  3. Organizations as authors. An "author" may be an organization, a government, an institution or a society. If so, the main card may be found under some such heading as the following:
  4. Main cards precede subject cards.
  5. Compound surnames. Surnames compounded of two names, with or without a hyphen, follow the single name.
  6. Forenames used a headings precede surnames beginning with the same name. They are arranged in the following groups:
    (a) Saints
    (b) Popes
    (c) Sovereigns (alphabetized by name of country)
    (d) Princes and nobility
    (e) Others
    For example:
  7. Publications of an organization are usually entered under the name of the organization.
  8. Vowels with an umlaut are usually files as though they were spelled in full. ┘, ­, ÷ are filed as ae, oe, ue
  9. M', Mc. Names beginning with M' and Mc are filed as though they were spelled Mac.
  10. Articles. When the first word of a title is an article (a, an, or the), it is disregarded in the filing. This is true also of articles in foreign languages.
  11. When an article is within a title, it is observed in the filing.
  12. Common abbreviations are arranged as though they were spelled out.
  13. Names with prefixes. (De, De la, La, Las, O', Van, Von, etc.) Personal and place names compounded with prefixes are treated as one word.
  14. Initials are arranged before a word beginning with the same letter.
  15. Hyphenated words are filed as two words except those words with a hyphenated prefix, such as anti-, co-, inter-, post-, etc.

Home Page