Answered On Last Updated: Sep 16, 2020

What is a shelfmark?

A shelfmark (sometimes also called a classmark) is a number and text combination assigned to a book or other stand-alone item (such as a pack, DVD or CD) on the basis of a classification scheme (at Roehampton, owe use the Dewey Decimal Classification).

The shelfmark is printed on a label on the spine of the book and determines where the book is shelved when not in use; the first part, which consists of numbers, indicates the topic of the book; the second part, consisting of letters, refers to the author's or editor's surname (and sometimes to the subject of the book, if it is a biography). You can find shelfmarks for items you are interested in in UR Library Search; they will also appear in your resource lists. Our Using the Library guide contains more information on Dewey Decimal Classification.