Frequently Asked Questions

What does Quarto or Folio mean in a call number?


Quarto and folio are printers' terms used to describe oversized books. Up to 27 cm (approx. 10.5") is the height range for most books. A Quarto book has a height of 27-31 cm (approx. 10.5 - 12.25"); a Folio book is over 31 cm (12.25").

Libraries add quarto or folio height designations to call numbers because some libraries or collections file oversized books separately to conserve shelving space. For example, shelving at Wilson Library has regular height books on shelves with yellow labels, while quarto shelf labels are blue and folio shelf labels are orange.

Different locations may vary slightly in their specifications. If you can't find the book you're looking for on the shelf, be sure to ask a library staff member.


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