Brief Overview of the Collection
The Department of Psychology
Originally founded as the Laboratory of Psychology in 1893, the Department of Psychology broke away from the Department of Philosophy at the University in the spring of 1904. Most of the research in the early years is focused on studies involving animals.
Among its distinguished faculty and students have been James Rowland Angell, John Dewey, George Herbert Mead, John B. Watson, the founder of behaviorism, L. L. Thurstone, a pioneer in psychological measurement, and Roger Sperry, Nobel Prize winner for his work in cerebral lateralization.
The Department of Comparative Human Development
The Department of Comparative Human Development was originally named the Department on Child Development and then in 1940 the name was changed to Human Development. The program was joined with the Department of Psychology in 1973, and returned to its independent status in 1999. The University renamed the Committee on Human Development the Department of Comparative Human Development in 2005.
The Psychology Collection
The first mentioning of psychology in a University of Chicago Library Annual Report is in the 1905-1906 edition. The psychology collection moved to Regenstein Library soon after the building was open.
Broad subject areas emphasized and de-emphasized
Strengths of the collection support the research trends within the Department of Psychology and the Department of Comparative Human Development with emphasis on cognition and perception, learning, psycholinguistics, psychoanalysis, behavioral, developmental, comparative/animal, psychological tests and measures, memory, neuroscience, and social psychology. The collection focuses on the academic study of psychology more than the professional practice of psychology; the social service administration collection has a very strong collection of clinical materials.
Description of Academic Programs
There are undergraduate majors in Psychology and Human Development and PhD programs as well. Students wishing to pursue a master’s program in Psychology or Comparative Human Development may enroll in the MAPSS program.
The present Department of Psychology is organized into specialized programs that reflect the contemporary state of the discipline as well as the wide-ranging interests of its own faculty. These programs are: Cognition, Developmental Psychology, Integrative Neuroscience, and Social Psychology.
The Department of Comparative Human Development stresses the integration of theoretical interpretations and empirical findings bearing upon human development. Emphasis is upon the interrelations of biological, psychological, and sociocultural forces at different points in the life cycle. Some of the areas of specialization include: comparative life course, clinical ethnography and mental health, cultural psychology and psychological anthropology, comparative behavioral biology, language, communication and cognition, and professional education in clinical psychology.
The primary purpose of the Library’s psychology collection is to support the research and teaching needs of the faculty, students and staff of the Department of Psychology and the Department of Comparative Human Development.
Levels of Selection
The terms used to characterize the depth of collecting activity are comprehensive, research, instructional support, basic information. For a description of these levels, see the general policy statement. The Library of Congress classification systems for materials relating to psychology include the following ranges: BF1-BF990 (psychology), QP351-QP295 (neurophysiology and neuropsychology), RC321-RC571 (neurosciences), and GV557-GV1198.995 (sports psychology).
o Psychoanalysis (BF and RC): Instructional support level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographers for medicine (psychiatry) and social work.
o Psychotherapy (BF and RC): Instructional support level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographers for medicine (psychiatry) and social work.
o Psychological Tests and Testing (BF): Materials about tests and testing is collected at the instructional support level in Western languages. See the Library’s collection policy statement on the Test Collection for information about actual tests.
o Behavioral (BF): Research level in Western languages.
o Cognition, Perception, Learning (BF): Research level in Western languages.
o Memory (BF): Research level in Western languages.
o Psycholinguistics (BF): Research level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographer for linguistics.
o Applied Psychology (BF): Instructional support level in Western languages.
o Cross-cultural. Psychological Anthropology (BF): Instructional support level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographer for anthropology.
o Comparative Psychology. Animal and Human Psychology (BF): Research level in Western languages.
o Differential Psychology. Individuality. Self (BF): Research level in Western languages.
o Personality (BF): Instructional support level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographers for medicine (psychiatry) and social work.
o Developmental Psychology (including infant, child, adolescent, and adulthood) (BF and RC): Research level in Western languages.
o Social Psychology (HM): Research level in Western languages.
o Sports Psychology (GV and RC): Basic information level in English.
o Neurosciences (including psychoanalysis, and psychopathology) (RC): Research level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographer for medicine and biology.
o Neuropsychology (QP): Research level in Western languages. Materials are also purchased by the bibliographer for medicine and biology.
Types of Materials Included and Excluded
The collection includes monographs, scholarly journals, journal article databases, conference publications, complete works of important researchers, recordings and transcripts of psychotherapy sessions, and reference works such as specialized encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, and handbooks.
The Library’s psychology collection excludes college textbooks, unrevised dissertations, collections of previously published works, and self-help materials (unless they appear to be having a large impact on society).
Physical Formats Included
All formats are included. There is a growing emphasis in obtaining online resources, especially concerning full-text journals (including backfiles). Concerning psychology journals, the Library only obtains and retains print copies if there is no online version available, the online version is not complete, or the archiving of the online copy is questionable. PsycARTICLES via APA PsycNET, PEP: Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing and JSTOR are the main sources for online psychological scholarly journals.
A majority of the monograph collection is still collected in print format. There is a desire to purchase more ebooks but there is limited availability of current titles. PsycBOOKS via APA PsycNET and PEP: Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing are continuously increasing their collection of classic works online.
DVD’s are purchased with a recent focus on building a collection of psychotherapy videos at the instructional support level.
Publication Dates Collected
The focus is on acquiring current material that supports the research and teaching of the Department of Psychology and Department of Comparative Human Development. Some retrospective purchasing occurs to help support academic programs and patron requests.
Materials are purchased in English, French, German, and Italian. Other languages are purchased by the Library’s area studies bibliographers.
There are no geographic limits for the collection but there is more of an emphasis on North America and Western Europe. The bibliographers for anthropology, sociology, and various area studies also purchase materials relating to psychology.
As a formal discipline psychology is approximately 100 years old. In general, our collection covering this time span is at the research level. For a comprehensive history of psychology one should consult the Library’s collections in philosophy, religion, and science.
Areas of Distinction
The Special Collections Research Center holds the Records, 1924-1989 of the Chicago Psychological Association, the Records of the University of Chicago Committee on Behavioral Sciences Theory Group, and the George Herbert Mead Papers.
Related University of Chicago Collections
Because of the interdisciplinary nature of subject matter of Psychology, a number of related departments and areas of study also use psychology materials. These departments are located within the Biological Sciences Division, The Booth School of Business, The School of Social Service Administration, and the Social Sciences Division. A number of related policy statements should be referred to:
Cooperative Arrangements and Related Collections
There are no outstanding collections or formal cooperative agreements with other libraries in the Chicago area.