Library of Congress Control Number

A Library of Congress Control Number (LCCN) is an identification number the Library of Congress assigns to the catalog record created for each book in its cataloged collections. Libraries use it to locate a specific Library of Congress catalog record in the national databases and to order catalog cards from the Library of Congress or commercial suppliers.

The Library of Congress reviews thousands of books each year to determine which titles will be added to its collections. Because of the volume of applications, it’s difficult for a self-published book to be chosen; however, some authors like to include the LCCN because it adds credibility to a book.

A PCN, Preassigned Control Number, enables the Library of Congress to assign control numbers in advance of publication to titles that may be added to the Library’s collections.

The LCCN must be printed on the copyright page preceded by the words Library of Congress Control Number in this format:

Library of Congress Control Number

How to Apply

The application for a PCN must be submitted before the book is published. A PCN cannot be assigned to a book that has already been published.

Morris Publishing does not file for the PCN, but you can file for your own number here:

Take Note

Since we are the printer of your book, not the publisher, the name “Morris Publishing” should NOT appear anywhere on your PCN application.

Cataloging in Publication Program

The Cataloging in Publication (CIP) Program provides bibliographic records to libraries in a format that can easily be entered into cataloging systems. If you want to get your book into your local library, call them to see if a CIP is required. If you plan for wide distribution of your books to many libraries, you will need a PCN first (see above) and then file for your CIP data. You can file for a LC-CIP yourself, however the Library of Congress has strict criteria and will not always respond to small, independent publishers. Another option is having your CIP data prepared by a publishing agent and obtain a P-CIP for a reasonable price.

The PCN Program and CIP Program are mutually exclusive. Read more about the CIP program here:

Take Note

A good website to help distinguish between CIP and PCN programs is

It will take 2–4 weeks to secure P-CIP data, so plan ahead. P-CIP data is required before a book is published because the data must be printed on the copyright page. It cannot be added to previously published books.

An online agent that provides P-CIP data is but other sites are also available. Applying online will be the fastest method and costs will vary from $60 to $100.

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