Library and Archives Canada releases two revised classification schedules

Library and Archives Canada (LAC) is pleased to announce the completed revision of two classification schedules: Class FC: a classification for Canadian history, 3rd edition, and Class PS8000: a classification for Canadian literature, 4th edition.

Both classifications are compatible with the U.S. Library of Congress Classification used by many libraries, while allowing for more specific and comprehensive treatment of subjects in Canadian history and literature. In other words, these classifications can be used by libraries with extensive collections in Canadian history and literature to improve access to their collections and better meet the needs of their user communities.

Revising and re-issuing classification schedules is an important undertaking for Library and Archives Canada – and a lot of work! What are some of the differences between the new editions of Class FC and Class PS8000 and their previous editions? Librarians revise classification systems to bring them up to date with the present, adding new concepts and new examples for biographical and other topics. Class FC, for example, includes a new classification number for 21st Century Canadian history and a place for the territory of Nunavut, which did not exist when the 1994 edition was published.

How is the Class PS8000 different from other classifications for literature? While some classifications separate literature by language, PS8000 brings together literature written by Canadian authors in English, French and other languages and places it side-by-side on library shelves. It also keeps the novel together with other literary forms.

As any scientist knows, attempting to classify the world is a difficult and complex undertaking! Library classifications must also evolve constantly to adapt to new ideas and new kinds of knowledge. For the first time, LAC has published new editions of Class FC and PS8000 exclusively in electronic format, which will allow them to be modified more frequently. LAC welcomes suggestions and feedback on these schedules. To make a suggestion, please email us at

Date modified: