Guide to the Research Collections



The collection covering general works on sociology is strong for research in historical and current materials. Bibliographical works and series include not only American and English publications, but such continental European compilations as Grandin's Bibliographie générale, the Bibliography of Social Sciences of the Hungarian Sociological Institute (1926-), Rassegna bibliografica della scienze giuridiche, sociali e politiche (1926-37), and Ubersicht der gesammten staats-und rechtswissenschaftlichen Litteratur (1869-1914), with other important keys to the library's rich collections.

Periodicals, publications of societies and institutions, and other serials of a general nature are especially fully represented, usually by complete files for important titles. These include American, English, and continental European materials, with particular emphasis on French, German, and Italian publications.

General treatises including histories, works on the theory of social organization, and essays, both American and foreign, are often represented by various editions. For historical study the holdings of publications covering the latter half of the nineteenth century are strong. The sociology collection held on the open shelves of the Main Reading Room is confined to general treatises and reference works.

Other topics of note represented by substantial holdings are the history of social conditions in various places, manners and customs, and etiquette. In addition to works specifically classed with these subjects there are notable supplementary resources in the local history collections. The very extensive collection of national, state, and municipal public documents adds significant source materials.

Manuals of etiquette are of particular importance to the resources, providing research materials both for scholars studying manners and customs from an historical point of view, and members of the reading public seeking information on questions of current practice. The file is dated in the Public Catalog (for example, "Etiquette--Manuals, U.S. 1868") and extends from Italian courtesy books of the sixteenth century to materials of the present day. The earliest American item is a book on juvenile etiquette, The School of Good Manners (Boston, 1794); also included are many editions of Emily Post's famous standard work. Under the representative collecting policy the General Research and Humanities Division attempts to provide a current book on etiquette in each major language.