Sociology Collection - Collections


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

The Sociology collection supports the teaching and research requirements of the Department of Sociology, focused on the areas of ‘Population,’ ‘Health and Life Course,’ ‘Race and Ethnicity, Class and Community,’ ‘Science, Technology, Environment, and Society,’ and ‘Transnational Studies.’ The Department also has a strong interest in resources related to social science statistics, survey research methodology, and social research methodology. At 70,000 volumes, the collection is the largest in the state of Illinois and considered to be comprehensive in all aspects of the field.

Revised April 2005


I. Collection Description


To support the teaching and research requirements of the Department of Sociology. Faculty research and Ph.D. level teaching interests cluster into the following main areas: Social Dynamics and Structure: Models and Methods; Race, Class and Gender; Science, Technology, Environment, and Society; and Transnational Studies. There is also a history of strong programs in comparative cross-national sociology, demography-ecology and quantitative methodology. Materials in these areas are supplemented by others selected to maintain a basic sociology collection in all areas of the discipline which will prove flexible in meeting future needs. Undergraduate instruction is also supported by the purchase of certain materials which supplement the collection in the Undergraduate Library.

History of Collection:

Sociology is a comparatively new discipline, originating in the middle of the late nineteenth century with close ties to history, commerce, and philosophy. Cognate works were purchased for the library almost from the time of the University’s founding in 1868 and a focused program of collection was begun in 1907 when the Department of Sociology was established. Sociology material was originally placed with that of economics and, as early as 1913, its volume within the collection was substantial enough to warrant changing the name from Economics Seminar to Economics and Sociology Seminar. The seminar collection formed the core of the Commerce and Sociology Library which was established four or five years later. The sociology collection remained with that of commerce until the 1964/65 academic year when a library reorganization placed it with the education, psychology, and political science collections in a unit named the Education and Social Science Library.

Estimate of Holdings:

85,000 volumes.

State, Regional and National Importance:

Largest collection in the state of Illinois and considered to be comprehensive in all aspects of the field.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Education and Social Science Library.

Location of Materials:

Approximately 7,000 volumes consisting of the more heavily demanded English language monographs and the last ten years of most serial runs are located in the Education and Social Science Library. Other items are in the Bookstacks.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Downs, p. 212.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Standard statement. Original language texts of the writings of major sociologists will be acquired.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Treatment of Subject:

The origins and subject matter of sociology make it closely related to the other social sciences, especially to commerce, communications, psychology, and anthropology, as well as to history. A degree of overlap between these disciplines and sociology is inevitable. In addition, the concern of sociology with social meanings causes overlap with disciplines in the sciences and the humanities. Materials in the areas of Afro- Americana, Asian American, Jewish Studies, Latino/a Studies, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Studies, and Women’s Studies will be purchased very selectively. The primary responsibility for these disciplines lies with the appropriate area studies librarian or advisory committee.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement. In addition, government documents are of importance in the areas of population and criminology. Government documents from federal agencies in the United States and state agencies in Illinois are received as depository items in the Documents Library and, in some instances, in the Law Library as well. Government documents from national agencies in Great Britain are collected extensively as are United Nations documents not received on U.N. depository. Government documents from states other than Illinois and those from the federal governments of Western Europe are collected selectively.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement.

Place of Publication:

No restrictions.

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.

Sociology Collection
Community development 4 City Planning Sociology
Comparative sociology 4 Sociology
Criminology 3 Sociology
Culture and social structure 4 Sociology
Demography 4 Sociology City Planning / Geography
Family and socialization 4 Sociology
Group interactions 4 Sociology
History, theory, and sociology of knowledge 4 Sociology History
Human ecology 4 Anthropology Sociology
Interpersonal communications 4 Communications Speech Communications
Mass phenomena and popular culture 4 Communications Sociology
Methodology research and technology 4 Sociology
Minorities and race relations 4 Sociology
Political sociology 4 Sociology
Population 4 Sociology City Planning / Geography
Public opinion polling 3 Communications Sociology
Rural sociology 4 Sociology Agriculture
Social change 4 Sociology
Social control 4 Sociology
Social problems 4 Sociology
Social stratifications 4 Sociology
Social theory 4 Sociology History
Sociology of health and medicine 4 Sociology Applied Health Sciences
Sociology of labor, industry 4 Sociology Commerce / Labor
Sociology of professions 4 Sociology
Sociology of religion 4 Sociology
Sociology of the arts 4 Sociology
Sociology of the sciences 4 Sociology History


Revised: December 2006