Business and Economics Collection - Collections

The collection is maintained by the Business and Economics Library.

The Business and Economics collection supports the research and instructional needs of the faculty and students of the College of Business, whose primary focus is on accountancy, business administration, economics and finance. The collection consists of nearly three quarters of a million volumes in the Business and Economics Library and the Bookstacks. Among the special collections is the Jacob H. Hollander Collection, which consists of approximately 4,500 books, papers, and manuscripts and is especially strong in scarce economic tracts from the 16th to the 20th centuries.

Version Date: December, 2006


I. Collection Description


BEL’s mission is to support the research and instructional needs of the faculty and students of the College of Business and the Department of Economics. The primary fields of the College of Business are accounting, management, marketing, supply chain management, process management, and information systems/information technology, and finance. The undergraduate curricula provide study for careers in accounting, marketing, international business, entrepreneurship, supply chain management, insurance and finance. Graduate and professional programs lead to degrees at the Master’s and Doctor’s levels. The college also offers a variety of interdisciplinary programs leading to such combined degrees as MBA and Juris Doctor, MBA and Medicine, MBA and Bachelor of Arts (or Science). An Executive MBA program was recently instituted. The research arms of the college consist of the Bureau of Economic and Business Research, the Center for International Business Education and Research, Center for International Education and Research in Accounting, Center for Professional Responsibility in Business & Society, Center for Banking, Center for Real Estate Research, Academy of Entrepreneurship, Center for Private Equity, and the International Trade Center. Some of the publications of the above centers include the Quarterly Review of Economics and Business, and International Journal of Accounting Education and Research.

History of Collection:

The Business & Economics Library began as the Economics Seminar in December 1908. In 1914, it was called the Economics and Sociology Seminar and then the BEL Reading Room in 1924. The library itself began functioning as an independent unit in 1964 when materials in anthropology, sociology, and social work were transferred to the Education and Social Science Library. In 2003, the library was renamed the Business and Economics Library to reflect the College of Business’ name change and a separate Department of Economics in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. In the formative years of the Business & Economics Library, educational leaders such as David Kinley and Nathan Austin Weston were instrumental in the development of the collection.

Estimate of Holdings:

Three quarters of a million volumes in the Business & Economics Library, Main Bookstacks, and Oak Street Storage Facility.

State, Regional and National Importance:

Because of major holdings in areas such as economics, finance and investment, the library serves as a resource for business, industry, and governmental agencies at the local, state, and national levels. Among the special collections is the Jacob H. Hollander Collection, which consists of approximately 4,500 books, papers, and manuscripts and is especially strong in scarce economic tracts from the 16th to the 20th centuries. A catalog entitled The Economic Library of Jacob H. Hollander has been published to help access these materials (See Citations of Works Describing the Collection). Another notable collection is the papers of Julian L. Simon, a well-known UIUC economist.

A business record collection relating to the history of business, especially of marketing and manufacturing, includes price lists, catalogs, cash books, ledgers, daybooks and inventory books. The Nathan Austin Weston Collection, donated to the library in 1944, is especially strong in economic history and theory and contains numerous foreign titles, particularly German publications of the 18th and 19th centuries. Numerous records belonging to area businesses and businessmen are housed in the Illinois Historical Survey.

In the field of finance and investment, the library has the historical collection of investment services such as Moody’s/Mergent and Standard and Poor’s Directories and the Harvard University Baker Library’s Collection of historical annual reports of top 500 corporations on microfilm.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Business & Economics Library.

Location of Materials:

Approximately 55,000 volumes are housed in the Business & Economics Library, while retrospective materials, including earlier volumes of periodicals and almost all foreign language materials are kept in the Main Library stacks or sent to Oak Street. Nearly all new monographs, with some exceptions of faculty new works and Harvard Business Press, and items in reference or in permanent reserve, now go directly to the Main stacks.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Downs, pp. 55, etc.

The Economic Library of Jacob H. Hollander, Ph.D. Compiled by Elsie A. G. Marsh. Baltimore, 1937.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Mainly English-language except statistical reference works and foreign language business directories.

Chronological Guidelines:

History Library collects economic, industrial and company history monographs for distinct periods of times.

Geographical Guidelines:

Niche countries are not collected; area studies are expected to buy those materials.

Treatment of Subject:

The Business & Economics Library collection represents the four general subject disciplines of accountancy, business administration, economics, and finance. Peripheral areas such as computer science, sociology, psychology, and law are also included insofar as they are required as part of the College of Business curriculum.

In the field of accountancy, the collection covers not only the early history and development of the discipline as bookkeeping, but also its modern manifestations such as auditing, financial and management accounting, management information systems and information technology, taxation, and social and behavioral dimensions of accounting. There is a slight overlap with law. Business administration relates to management and organizational behavior in all its aspects. While disciplines such as marketing, consumer behavior, operations research, and business law fall under the category of management, organizational behavior spans the fields of personnel management (or human resource management), industrial psychology, and group interactions.

Economics covers the history of economic thought, economic theory, econometrics, public finance, international economics and monetary theory and practice. Personal finance and consumer economics are taken care of by the Funk Library. Overlaps in this area include parts of labor economics with the Labor and Industrial Relations Library, welfare economics with the Education Library, and urban and regional economics with the City Planning and Landscape Architecture Library. There is also a slight overlap with the Law Library pertaining to the legal and economic aspects of antitrust and monopoly and the broad area of governmental regulation of business.

Finance covers money, credit and banking, corporate financial analysis, investment theory and practice, insurance, risk analysis, and real estate.

While libraries such as Labor and Industrial Relations, Communications and City Planning do have their special collections, historically the Business & Economics Library has and will continue to acquire materials as budgets allow beyond the smaller libraries’ limits. An additional reason for doing so is that a precise definition of what should be included under “Business” is virtually impossible, nor would it be advisable.

Types of Materials:

Monographs, serials (both electronic and print), microforms, electronic databases. Electronic format is preferred, depending on budget and access of use.

Date of Publication:

Currency is very important in the field of business, albeit BEL collects historical materials if they are unique or of possible interest to the researcher.

Place of Publication:

Niche foreign countries are generally not included.

Principal Publishers

Elsevier, Thomson Financial, Edward Elgar, Palgrave, Ashgate, Sage, Free Press, Jossey-Bass, Wiley, Frank Fabozzi, Harvard Business School Publishing, other university presses as appropriate, Oxford, Cambridge, Proquest, EBSCO, Blackwell

Gifts Policy

Older books are accepted as gifts as long as they are not duplicates or textbooks. Faculty and alums who wish to donate books from their offices are first encouraged to give most textbooks and other books to students or other nearby universities first; what is donated to the BEL will be assessed for its uniqueness; rest will go to Main Library Gifts unit for sale.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

Business & Economics Collection
Accountancy-Education and History 3 BEL
Accountancy-Auditing 3 BEL
Accountancy-Cost Accounting 3 BEL
Accountancy-Information Systems 3 BEL Grainger
Accountancy-Financial Accounting 3 BEL
Accountancy-Governmental Accounting 3 BEL
Accountancy-Managerial Accounting 3 BEL
Accountancy-Tax Accounting 4 BEL Law
Advertising-Buyer Behavior 3 BEL Communications
Advertising-Economics of Advertising 3 BEL Communications
Advertising-Public Relations 2 BEL Communications
Agricultural Economics-Commodities (prices, trading, etc.) 3 BEL Agriculture
Agricultural Economics-Land economics 3 BEL CPLA/Ag
Agricultural Economics-Rural Real Estate Appraisal 3 BEL Agriculture
Business Administration-Business Communication 3 BEL
Business Administration-Business Law 3 BEL Law
Business Administration-Industrial Psychology 3 BEL Education
Business Administration-Labor Relations 3 Labor BEL, Law
Business Administration-Management 3 BEL
Business Administration-Marketing 3 BEL
Business Administration-Operations Research 3 BEL Math
Business Administration-Organizational Behavior 3 BEL
Business Administration-Human Resource Management 3 Labor BEL
Business Administration-Supply Chain Management 3 BEL Grainger
Business Administration-Survey Research Methods 3 Sociology BEL
Business Administration-Information Systems/Information Technology 2 Grainger BEL, Library Science
Economics-Econometrics 3 BEL
Economics-Economic History 3 BEL History
Economics-Economic Theory 3 BEL
Economics-Environmental Economics 2 ACES BEL
Economics-History of Economic Thought 4 BEL History
Economics-International Economics 3 BEL
Economics-Monetary Theory and Policy 3 BEL
Economics-Public Finance 3 BEL
Economics-Regional Economics 3 BEL City Planning
Economics-Urban Economics 3 BEL City Planning
Finance-Corporate Finance 4 BEL
Finance-Insurance (including actuarial aspects) 3 BEL
Finance-Investment Analysis 4 BEL
Finance-Money, Credit and Banking 3 BEL
Finance-Real Estate Appraisal Analysis and Investment 2 BEL CPLA


Version Date: December 2006