Skip to Main Content

Collection Development Policy

Business & Economics

Business and Economics        
Jeffry Archer
July, 2009

Overview of the Collection

Purpose:  The collection supports instruction and student research through the Ph.D level, as well as faculty research. Students and faculty members in the Department of Economics and the Booth School are the primary constituencies served. The collection also supports the undergraduate teaching programs of the College Core curriculum, and the work of faculty and students in other disciplines such as Law, Public Policy, History. 

Description of academic programs

The Booth School of Business

The Graduate School of Business, established in 1898, is tied with the University of California as the second oldest business school in the nation. Until 1927 it was a part of the Economics Department with which it still has a close relationship.

The Business collection reflects changes in the curriculum and in the research interests of the School over the years. The curriculum in the 1920's and 30's contained vocational courses. Programs were offered in food management, and institutional economics and management. Some classes were held in conjunction with the Institute of Meat Packers. The School's Hospital Administration Program, founded in 1934, was the first such program in the United States; however, it moved administratively from the Graduate School of Business to Social Service Administration in 1991. Initially the School had an undergraduate program which was abandoned in 1942. The School also has varied considerably in size over the years: 160 students were enrolled in 1955, and over 1200 in 1989.


The Graduate School of Business offers the Master of Business Administration and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.  Full-time enrollment on campus includes 1200 MBA candidates and 100 seeking PhD degrees. The School also has three part-time programs at its downtown campus: an evening and week-end program (the 190/MBA), a weekend only program, plus a two year course for experienced managers at the executive level. These programs enroll an additional 1400 students. The School has seven research centers on the Hyde Park campus. The faculty consists of 102 regular faculty, 20 visiting, and 34 Ad Hoc.  

Business holds combined-degree programs with the Area-Studies departments, International Relations, Law, Medicine, Physical Sciences, Public Policy, and Social Service Administration. The MBA program offers thirteen areas of concentration: Accounting, Behavioral Science, Business Economics, Econometrics, Financial Management, Industrial Relations and Human Resource Management, International Business, Legal and Political Institutions and Business, Management Science and Information Systems, Marketing, Policy Studies, Production and Operations Management, and Statistics. Many courses emphasize a mathematical approach to business.

Department of Economics, Social Sciences Division

The Department of Economics at the University of Chicago is one of the foremost economics departments. A substantial number of new ideas in economics over the past forty years are associated with the "Chicago School". Its students have had wide-spread influence in the United States and throughout the world.

The Department offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts with a specialization in Economics, the Master of Arts and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. It offers a joint degree in Law and Economics. A total of 282 students are in the graduate degree programs; this number has increased substantially in the last few years. The faculty numbers thirty. In addition, there are approximately 300 undergraduate majors.

The Department's graduate curriculum consists of three core fields: (1) Price Theory; (2) Theory of Income, Employment, and Price Level; and (3) Quantitative Methods. Specialized fields of study are Agricultural Economics, Econometrics and statistics, Economic Development, Economic History, History of Economic Thought, Industrial organization, International Economics, Labor Economics, Mathematical Economic Theory, Money and Banking, Public Finance, and Urban Economics. The Department also offers approximately 'thirty courses in its undergraduate program

The Department emphasizes the training of advanced, graduate-level students. This training is organized into a unique system of workshops, one for each field of research, meeting weekly throughout the school year.

Collecting guidelines

Levels of selection for monographic collections: Comprehensive, research, instructional support, basic information; for a description of these levels, see the general policy statement.

  • Tourism (Library of Congress class G155) Basic Information
  • Economic Theory (HB) Comprehensive
  • Economic History and Conditions (HC) Research
  • Industries, Land Use, Labor (HD) Research
  • Transportation and communications (HE) Instructional Support
  • Commerce (HF) Research
  • Finance (HG) Comprehensive
  • Agriculture/Agricultural Economics (S) Basic Information
  • Technology (T) Research
  • Manufactures (TS) Research

Type of materials included and excluded:

The collection excludes textbooks.  Textbooks are selectively acquired only per the request of a faculty member for placement on reserve.  Textbooks which are given to the library as gifts are selective acquired.


The primary output for scholars in Business and Economics is articles.  The library has maintained and still actively acquires serials in these subjects.  These types of serials include scholarly journals, professional/practitioner trade journals, and selected magazines.  The preference for serials in this area is for online subscriptions.

The other major serial collection is statistical publications.  These subjects require statistical sources for both research and teaching.  The library has a deep collection of statistical sources ranging from annual reports to non-governmental reports and financial statistics.  As these statistical sources migrate to online resources, the library has aggressively acquired access.


The library subscribe to many databases.  The subscriptions include major indexing sources for articles, full text journals from aggregators and publishers, financial databases and news databases.  Some sources are jointly funded by the Library and the Booth School.

Physical formats included and excluded
All formats are acquired.  

  • Publication dates collected: Emphasis is given to the acquisition of current titles, but appropriate earlier imprints are acquired, when possible, to fill gaps in the collection.
  • Languages: The current focus of business and economics are materials published in English.  The exception is material from Latin America in Spanish or Portuguese.  Other materials selected by areas studies reflect that regions languages.
  • Geographical range: The emphasis is on titles published in Western Europe, North America and Latin America.   Materials from Eastern Europe, South Asia, East Asia, and the Middle East are selected by Area Studies Selectors.  Materials from Africa are acquired on a selective basis, in coordination with the selector for African Studies.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Related University of Chicago collections:

Crerar Library holds a notable collection in industry and industrial history.  Law holds the collection for taxation.  Special Collections Research Center holds the Merton H. Miller Papers, the R.R. Donnelley & Sons Company Archive, and the Earl J. Hamilton Collection in the History of Economics.

Cooperative arrangements and related collections

Other libraries in Chicago complement the University of Chicago’s collections in Business and Economics.  These include the Transportation and Africana Libraries at Northwestern University and the Chicago Public Library.


Business Librarian

Profile Photo
Greg Fleming
He, his
1100 East 57th Street
Chicago, IL 60637