Odell Test Collection - Collections

Odell Test Collection – Collections


  1. Collection Description


To support the instructional and research programs in the College of Education, Department of Psychology, and other disciplines utilizing assessment instruments; to support the teaching and research needs of faculty; to support the research needs of the teaching community in the area; to provide research value to scholars across the country due to size, breadth, and inclusion of historical tests in collection.

History of Collection:

The Odell Test Collection was a gift in 1960 of Charles Watters Odell, Professor Emeritus of Education. The collection comprised almost every educational and psychological test of consequence prior to the early 1950s, and since its inception has grown steadily to become one of the largest test collections in the United States.

Estimate of Holdings:

There are over 9,100 test items representing every major test publisher and including nearly all major psychological and educational tests since the early 1900s.

State, Regional and National Importance:

The collection is one of the largest test collections in the United States and has research value due to its size, breadth, and inclusion of historical tests.

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library

Location of Materials:

The bulk of the collection is housed in the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library. The remainder of the collection is located in a storage area.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

Fehrmann, Paul G. and Nancy Patricia O’Brien, eds. Directory of Test Collections in Academic, Professional and Research Collections. (Chicago: ACRL/ALA, 2001). p. 19-20.

Guide to Illinois Library Resources, edited by Robert B. Downs (Chicago: American Library Association, 1974), p. 62.

Ginn, David and Nancy Patricia O’Brien. “Selected Test Collections in the United States: A Survey of Organization.” Behavioral and Social Sciences Librarian 4:2/3 (Winter 1984-1985), p. 9-20.

Subject collections, 5th ed. compiled by Lee Ash (New York: R. R. Bowker, 1978), p. 325.

Selection Resources

Major test publishers’ catalogs are available for selection, and tests are ordered on recommendation from faculty and patrons. Donations of tests are also accepted selectively.

  1. General Collection Guidelines


English is the primary language of the collection. Materials in western European languages are acquired selectively and mostly relate to tests of proficiency in a foreign language.

Chronological Guidelines:

Although the collection contains material from the early 1900s, current emphasis of the collection is on recent tests and measurements. Generally, retrospective materials are received as gifts.

Geographical Guidelines:

The emphasis of the collection is on tests and measurements from the United States, with significantly fewer materials from Canada, the U. K., and Australia.

Treatment of Subject:

Emphasis is on collecting a representative sampling of educational and psychological tests and measurements.

Types of Materials:

Where possible, specimen sets are requested. Tests may include manuals, a copy of the test form, scoring sheets, audiovisual materials, and/or blocks, puppets, and other 3-dimensional objects.

Date of Publication:

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:

Test materials acquired are primarily from the United States. Publications from Canada, the U. K., and Australia are acquired selectively.

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

Circa 2001, the Applied Health Sciences (AHS) Library began acquiring and cataloging selected speech and hearing science tests. With the merger of the AHS into the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library in 2012, tests were fully integrated into the Test Collection Database. Tests for the Speech and Hearing Science faculty are ordered with AHS funds, require verification that certain faculty with relevant certification will be responsible for instruction in test use, are included in the catalog, and have specific guidelines for circulation.

The Odell Test Collection is classified and indexed with slight modifications, according to the system used by Oscar K. Buros in the Mental Measurement Yearbooks. The classification system used can be viewed on the Social Sciences, Health, and Education Library’s website .

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row consists of four columns. The first column notes Subject Subdivisions. The remaining 3 columns note Existing Strength, Current Level of Collecting, and Desired Level of Collecting with a rating on a 1 to 5 scale, with 5 being very strong.

Odell Test Collection Collection
Subject Subdivisions Existing Collection Strength Current Level of Collecting Desired Level of Collecting
Achievement Batteries 4 4 4
Business Education 2 2 2
Character & Personality 4 4 4
English 3 3 3
Fine Arts 3 3 3
Foreign Languages 3 3 3
Intelligence 4 4 4
Mathematics 3 3 3
Miscellaneous 2 2 2
Multi-Aptitude Batteries 4 4 4
Reading 4 4 4
Science 3 3 3
Sensory-Motor 4 4 4
Social Studies 3 3 3
Speech and Hearing 4 4 4
Vocations 3 3 3
Specific Vocations 2 2 2


Sariya Talip Clay, June 1985

Version Date: Revised July 2003

Version Date: September 2006

Version Date: Revised May 2020