Education Collection - Collections

The collection is maintained by the Education and Social Science Library.

The Education collection supports the instructional and research programs of the College of Education and the Council on Teacher Education. The collection is approximately 266,000 volumes, which does not include materials in the School Collection and the Curriculum Collection. The Library contains one of the largest educational research collections in the country, with strengths in 19th century European university catalogs and publications. The affiliated Odell Test Collection (8,450 titles) supports research in areas related to achievement, aptitude, personality and intelligence.

Version Date: January, 2007


I. Collection Description


The primary purpose of the collection of education materials in the Education and Social Science Library is to support the instructional and research programs in the College of Education and the Council on Teacher Education. These programs include all levels of study from the A.B. through the Ph.D. degree. The College of Education has six departments and other units including the Center for the Study of Reading, Bureau of Educational Research, and the Council on Teacher Education. The secondary purpose is to support the teaching and research needs of faculty and students in other departments whose programs include particular aspects of education.

History of Collection:

In 1867, a collection of one thousand books became the core of the University of Illinois Library. A significant percentage of these books were related to education and educational research. Over the next forty years, the collection developed to such an extent that circa 1912 a departmental unit called the Philosophy, Psychology and Education Library was established. In 1964-65, this collection was reorganized with the Social and Behavioral Sciences Library to become the Education and Social Science Library. The collection of educational materials is supplemented by the Curriculum Collection and the School (S) Collection. Histories of these collections may be found in the Instructional Materials Statement.

Estimate of Holdings:

266,000 volumes. This figure does not include materials in the School Collection and the Curriculum Collection.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The Library contains one of the largest educational research collections in the country and the Odell Test Collection is one of the largest test collections in the nation. The John Dewey collection is maintained in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library due to its unique nature.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Education and Social Science Library.

Location of Materials:

Of the approximately 266,000 education volumes, 48,000 current volumes are part of the Education and Social Science Library. The remaining 218,000 volumes are housed in the Bookstacks, Oak Street Storage Facility, or other departmental libraries. Materials from the 19th and 20th centuries and those in western European languages are located in the Main Bookstacks or the Oak Street Storage Facility. Pre-1800 materials are in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library, which also contains a strong John Dewey collection. Materials in languages other than Western European are found in the Slavic Library or the Asian Library. Those educational materials within specific subject areas (i.e. engineering, biology, etc.) are housed in their respective libraries. Theses and dissertations are housed in the Main Bookstacks.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Guide to Illinois Library Resources, ed. by Robert B. Downs. (Chicago: ALA, 1974), p. 58-62.

Howe, Harriet Emma. Pedagogical Library and Museum of the University of Illinois. Thesis (B.L.S.), University of Illinois, 1902.

II. General Collection Guidelines


English is the primary language of the collection. Materials in western European languages are acquired selectively.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions. The emphasis is on the 21st century, particularly the current decade.

Geographical Guidelines:

The emphasis of the education collection is placed on the U.S. school system and American educational practice and theory. There are extensive holdings relating to Australian, British, and to a slightly lesser extent, Canadian education. Materials dealing with present practices in Asia, Europe, Africa and Latin America are collected selectively. Comparative education resources are collected extensively.

Treatment of Subject:

Emphasis of the collection is on current practice and theory as well as on those aspects of past practice and theory which are still influential at the present time. Preference is given to histories of education in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom and to materials which treat broader aspects in particular countries or which compare or provide information useful to comparative studies of the educational systems of various countries. Biographies of influential educators are included in the collection. Educational psychology materials are also acquired as part of the education collection. Material that focuses on practice, educational policy, and technology in education are collected heavily. Histories of schools and of universities are acquired selectively. College textbooks are acquired rarely and only when appropriate for upper division or graduate studies. The Odell Test Collection is a major strength of the collection.

Types of Materials:

Material in all formats is collected, with an emphasis on print and electronic. Video and audio formats are collected selectively, as are microforms. The ERIC microfiche collection provides a great part of the coverage of fugitive publications. Government documents, most of which are acquired through depository arrangement or standing orders, are important resources in the field of education. The education collection is supplemented by materials in the Curriculum Collection and the School (S) Collection. Educational and psychological tests from the early 1900s to date are acquired on a regular basis. Approximately 3% of the annual monograph budget for education materials is directed to the acquisition of test materials.

Date of Publication:

No restrictions. Current imprints primarily are acquired. Retrospective materials are acquired mainly upon recommendation or to correct an imbalance in the existing collection. Generally, retrospective materials are received as gifts.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions. The emphasis is primarily on English speaking countries, particularly the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Australia.

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.

Education Collection
Administration and supervision 4 Education Law
Adult education (U.S.) 3 Education
Adult education (other countries) 3 Education
Aesthetic education 3 Education Art
Anthropology of education 4 Education Anthropology
Art education 2 Education Art
Bilingual / multicultural education, teaching of 4 Education Linguistics
Career counseling 3 Undergraduate Education
Continuing education 3 Education
Comparative education 4 Education
Curriculum development and evaluation 4 Education
Early childhood education, teaching of 4 Education
Education law and legislation 3 Education/Law
Educational policy studies 4 Education
Educational psychology 4 Education
Elementary education 4 Education
Foreign language instruction 3 Education Linguistics
Higher education 4 Education
Higher education administration 4 Education
History of education 4 Education History
Language arts 4 Education English
Placement 3 Undergraduate Education
Philosophy of education 4 Education
Reading 4 Education
Research methods 4 Education
School administration 3 Education
Science education 2 Education
Secondary education 4 Education
Sociology of education 4 Education
Special education/Exceptional children 4 Education
Teaching English as a second language 3 Education Linguistics
Teacher training 4 Education
Testing and measurement 4 Education
Vocational and technical education 3 Education


Version Date: January 2007