How do I find fiction?

Unlike public libraries, most college and university libraries (including Alden Library) do not have a separate “fiction section.” Our system of call numbers organizes literature of all types according to its original language and/or country of origin. For English and American literature, there are also separate sections based on the author’s time period. The tables below give an outline of the call numbers for English and American literature. Within each sequence of call numbers, the authors’ names are in alphabetical order.

English Literature

PR1490-1799 Anglo-Saxon literature
PR1803-2165 Anglo-Norman period. Early English. Middle English.
PR2199-3195 English renaissance (1500-1640)
PR3291-3785 17th and 18th centuries (1640-1770)
PR3991-5990 19th century, 1770/1800-1890/1900
PR6000-6049 1900-1960
PR6050-6076 1961-2000
PR6100-6126 2001-

American Literature

PS700-893 Colonial period (17th and 18th centuries)
PS991-(3390) 19th century
PS3500-3549 1900-1960
PS3550-3576 1961-2000
PS3600-3626 2001-

There is also no separate section or listing for various genres of fiction, such as mysteries or science fiction. The best way to locate an author’s works is to do an Author search in the ALICE Catalog for the name of the author (last name first, please!). Most of the fiction works by a particular author will be together in one place. If you’re not sure which time period category a particular author fits into, e.g., 1961-2000 or 2001 to the present, just find one or two books by the author; the rest should be in the same place.

Other Information

  • For authors who write both fiction and non-fiction books, the non-fiction titles will have call numbers according to their subjects.
  • For authors in other languages, use the procedure described above: do an Author search in ALICE to find the call number area for their fictional works.

Leisure Reading Collection

We have a small Leisure Reading collection in the Learning Commons on the 2nd floor of Alden, near the cafe. It does have separate sections for fiction, mysteries, and science fiction, as well as non-fiction. The spine labels for these books read like this:

  • LEIS FIC for Fiction
  • LEIS MYS for Mystery
  • LEIS NFC for Non-Fiction
  • LEIS SFF for Science Fiction and Fantasy