Guide to the Research Collections



As a category of materials often ephemeral in nature pamphlets have always been one of the library's special collecting interests. Three classes of pamphlets are generally recognized according to cataloging treatment: pamphlets given full cataloging; pamphlets placed in "n.c." (not cataloged) volumes; and pamphlets cataloged collectively.

Fully cataloged pamphlets are generally bound together in pamphlet volumes, and from the cataloging point of view are indistinguishable from other monographs, except that their classmarks include the abbreviation "p.v." There are exceptional cases when size, rarity, demand, special interest, or other factors dictate that a piece be separately bound and treated as a book. While the pamplet volume is a convenience from the standpoint of organizing and shelving materials by subject, the practice is currently under review because of the deleterious effect a publication on poor paper may have on those bound with it.

Pamphlets classified as "n.c." are materials which have been retained in the collections but not separately cataloged. Such material has been bound together by subject as closely as possible, and is represented in the public catalogs only by subject cards. Readers making a comprehensive study of a subject are advised to examine these volumes. (This type of cataloging was abandoned after 1945.)

Some pamphlets having a close subject connection have been bound together and cataloged collectively under such titles as "Collection of Pamphlets on Woman Suffrage." These are represented by subject and composite entry cards in the public catalogs of the library. Contents of the collection are in some cases given on the main entry cards.

In this Guide, pamphlet holdings are described with subject resources. Although it is impossible to estimate the total size of the pamphlet holdings of the Research Libraries, mention can be made of certain large and important collections. Among these are French revolutionary pamphlets; Dutch historical pamphlets of the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries; English Civil War pamphlets; British historical pamphlets; pamphlets dealing with the American Revolution published in England and colonial America; several hundred nineteenth-century Irish pamphlets, many relating to the land question; and pamphlets concerning the Spanis Civil War of 1936-39. The pamphlets and brochures relating to early automobiles in the United States, England, and Europe are of unusual interest; and there is an extraordinary collection of pamphlets on economics and commerce, transportation, and labor.

In addition to the pamphlets dispersed throughout the library by subject, there is a special classmark assigned in the Billings Classification Schedule (*C) as a general location for miscellaneous pamphlets and miscellaneous monographic series. There are some 22,000 volumes in this classmark, which is no longer in active use.