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Research Guides

Collection Guidelines: Physics: Subject Info

These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Astronomy & Physics collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus). For questions or more information, please contact the Physics, Astronomy and Mathematics Librarian.

About This Guide


These are the guidelines by which materials are purchased for the Physics collections of the UW Libraries (Seattle Campus).  For questions or more information, please contact the Physics Librarian, Anya Bartelmann.

UW Libraries: Collection Goals

The UW Libraries is committed to providing convenient and timely access to collections and information resources that are outstanding with respect to their quality, depth, diversity, format and currency to support the research and teaching missions of the University of Washington.


This collection policy was created concurrently with the Collection Guidelines for Astronomy by UW Information School library science students Nicole Gustavsen and Sarah Pine as part of their  2016 "Astronomy & Physics Collection Policy Update" capstone project. The project was sponsored by Anya Bartelmann, Physics, Astronomy & Math Librarian and Head of the Mathematics Research Library.

Subject Definition

Physics is the study of the basic principles that govern the physical world, including the behavior of matter, space, time, and fields. The study of physics covers everything from the smallest of subatomic particles to entire galaxies. The aim of physics is to construct theories that explain how the universe and things in it behave.

Subject Classification

Library of Congress Classification (LC):

  • Physics subjects are found under the QC schedule.
  • Other relevant schedules include QA: Mathematics, QB: Astronomy, QD: Chemistry, TJ: Mechanical Engineering, Machinery, TK: Electrical Engineering, Electronics, Nuclear Engineering, TN: Mining Engineering, Metallurgy, TP: Chemical Technology, and TR: Photography.

Dewey Decimal Classification (Dewey materials are all located in remote storage):

  • The classification number for physics is 530.