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Collection Development Policy

Sociology & General Social Sciences

Sociology, General Social Sciences

Current Selector: Elizabeth Foster

February 2023

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

H 1-99.  Social Sciences (General).  Research level. 

This category includes general treatments, philosophical treatments, social science journals with broad scopes, and methodological works.  Our holdings are extensive.

HA—Social Statistics.  Research level.

An effort is made to collect national censuses on a near exhaustive basis.  Our national census collections are extensive, though in reality not complete.  Older censuses have often been acquired in microformats.  Contemporary census data are commonly made available on official websites.

Non-census statistical reporters are collected much less comprehensively, though our retrospective holdings are quite notable.

HM—Sociology (General).  Research level.

This category includes history of sociology, history of sociological theory, schools of sociology; theory; method; culture; social control; social systems; social structure; groups and organizations; organizational sociology; organization theory; deviant behavior; social deviance; social institutions; social change; social psychology; social influence; social pressure.  Our retrospective and current collections are notably rich.

HN—Social history and conditions.  Social problems.  Social reform.  Research level.

Our retrospective and current collections are rich and varied. 

HQ—The family.  Marriage.  Women.  Research level.

This is an extremely extensive category that has seen very considerable development over recent years.  Despite its official rubric of  “The Family.  Marriage.  Women,” in fact subclass HQ also comprehends works on sex and sexuality, and newly emerging fields such as men’s studies, body studies, girl studies, and so forth.  Our collections are especially rich and noteworthy.  Our collections for women’s studies and feminism are very extensive and continue to grow rapidly, as are those for the broader category of gender studies that includes the former.  We hold two major microfilm collections of works for the history of women and feminism that, together, nearly approach exhaustiveness for women’s history, respecting monographs and pamphlets, plus approximately 400 serials, more than 100,000 pages of manuscripts and hundreds of photographs.

Our collections for sex and sexuality also have grown dramatically in recent years, and we collect materials supporting lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies at levels approaching comprehensiveness as regards monographs and serials. Holdings include some special collections, including a nearly comprehensive collection of films on transgender themes. 

HS—Societies:  secret, benevolent, etc.  Study level.  This is a small and inactive collection, to which comparatively little has been added in the last half century. 

HT—Communities.  Classes.  Races.   Research level.

This is a somewhat odd classification including works on fields not necessarily closely related.  The collection on urban history, urban sociology, urban problems, city planning, etc., is very large and very active.  The collection on rural studies is far smaller and less active.  Here also are classed works on social classes, including many historical treatments.  General works on slavery are classed here, though the far more numerous works on the institution in particular locations are classed generally in appropriate parts of D, E, and F. 

HV—Social pathology.  Philanthropy.  Charities and Corrections.  Research level. 

This collection is especially rich.  It is particularly notable for its extensive collection of older official reports of social welfare agencies serving the poor, children, the blind, deaf, and other special needs communities.  The materials amount almost to a special collection, at least with respect to materials through the first third of the 20th century.  There is very considerable overlap with the collections of the Social Services Administration Library,  though each of the two collections contains much that is unique.  Only works of more general interest and research potential are now added to the Regenstein HV collection, so that strictly professional literature is collected only by the SSAd library.

HX—Socialism.  Communism.  Anarchism.  Utopias.  --  Research level.

Our retrospective collections are particularly notable, including many minor works.