Applied Science and Technology Collection Development Policy

Bobst Library, New York University
Kara Whatley, Head, Coles Science Reference Center


Technology has been defined as "the science of the particular application of knowledge to practical purposes." Technology comprises the T's in the Library of Congress classification system and includes a broad range of human endeavors from Operations Research, Systems Science, Mechanical Engineering, Environmental Pollution, to Home Economics, Fashion, Arts and Crafts, and Photography. Applied Science is even more difficult to define. Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary says: "applying general [scientific] principles to solve definite problems."

The library collects materials in applied science and technology to support faculty research and instructional programs. Applied science is collected as part of each scientific discipline, and each science collection development policy statement describes the policy for applications of that discipline. For example, the Department of Mathematics at NYU is a world leader in Applied Mathematics. The collections at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences Library reflect this. Materials on chemistry are collected at the Bobst Library to support the applications of chemistry to disciplines such as environmental science, nutrition and food science, medicine, nursing and the allied health sciences, and fine art.

Engineering is a subheading of Technology. There is a five year dual degree program in science and engineering at NYU which offers undergraduate students the opportunity to pursue both a liberal arts program with a major in science from NYU and a traditional engineering program with a degree from Stevens Institute of Technology [] . The available dual degree combinations are as follows: B.S. in biology/B.E. in chemical engineering; B.S. in biology/B.E. in environmental engineering; B.S. in chemistry/B.E. in chemical engineering; B.S. in chemistry/B.E. in environmental engineering; B.S. in chemistry/B.E. in materials engineering; B.S. in computer science/B.E. in computer engineering; B.S. in computer science/B.E. in electrical engineering; B.S. in computer science/B.E. in engineering physics; B.S. in computer science/B.E. in mechanical engineering; B.S. in mathematics/B.E. in computer engineering; B.S. in mathematics/B.E. in electrical engineering; B.S. in mathematics/B.E. in engineering physics; B.S. in mathematics/B.E. in mechanical engineering; B.S. in physics/B.E. in civil engineering; B.S. in physics/B.E. in electrical engineering; B.S. in physics/B.E. in engineering physics; B.S. in physics/B.E. in materials engineering; B.S. in physics/B.E. mechanical engineering. Materials are collected to support the introductory engineering courses taught by Stevens faculty at the Washington Square campus: Statics (mechanical engineering); Graphics Design (CAD) (civil engineering); Strength of Materials (civil engineering); and Circuits and Systems I and II (electrical engineering).

Operations research is part of Technology in the Library of Congress classification scheme. The Stern School of Business Department of Statistics and Operations Research offers the B.A. and M.S. degrees in this subject.

Aspects of Information Resources Management are classed in the T's. The Stern School offers an undergraduate major, advanced degrees, and a combined Computer Science and Information Systems program at the masters level. Information Systems is concerned with the analysis, design, and implementation of computer and communications applications and with broader issues of the strategic use of information technology in organizations. The Department of Operations Management at Stern addresses issues such as plant location, size and manufacturing technology and tactical issues such as quality, responsiveness and efficiency, all of which subjects are classed with Industrial Engineering in the T's.

The Information Technologies Institute of the School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers certificate programs and the M.S in Management Control and Systems. The collection also supports the technical side of the Film, Video and Broadcasting certificate program, as well as the program of the School's Center for Advanced Digital Applications (CADA).

The collection supports the graduate programs in Communication Studies, Ergonomics and Biomechanics, Environmental Conservation Education, Graphic Communications Management and Technology of the School of Education and the technical content of courses at the Tisch School of the Arts, particularly the Interactive Telecommunications Program (M.P.S. degree).

Finally, aspects of technology are collected to support the information needs of the university administration, the Information Technology Services, research institutes and centers such as the Taub Urban Research Center, the Center for Advanced Technology (one of thirteen such in New York State), the Center for Advanced Digital Applications (CADA) in the School of Continuing and Professional Studies, the Center for New Media and Film in the Tisch School of the Arts, and the Arts Technology Group at the Information Technology Services.

The above section is composed largely of extracts from the various WWW pages cited.


  1. Language

    English has become the universal medium of scientific communication. The historical collection contains extensive periodicals holdings, reference works, and selected monographs other languages, especially German, but materials are rarely collected in these languages now, except for dictionaries, and selected items on the history of the subject.

  2. Geographical Areas

    There are no geographical limits associated with the subject per se, but emphasis is placed on collecting to support strong area studies graduate level programs at the university.

  3. Chronological Periods

    Current publications are emphasized, including materials on the history of technology from all periods. Bobst also houses a partial set of the microformat Landmarks of Science series, a collection of writings by and about scientists from the 3rd century B.C. to the 17th century.

  4. Sources Used to Develop the Collection

    [Section to be completed]

  5. Weeding

    Ongoing collection maintenance is performed to withdraw outdated and superseded items from both the reference and the circulating collections.

  6. Selection Criteria

    [Section to be completed]

    • Monographs
    • Periodicals

Types of Materials

  1. Circulating Collection


    Conference proceedings, scholarly periodicals, monographs, monographic series, textbooks, handbooks, reprints, facsimiles, microforms, cd roms, remote access to electronic texts, a small collection of trade publications.


    Ephemera, pamphlets, preprints, offprints, technical reports, newsletters, manuscripts, juvenile works. Microform is avoided due to technical problems reproducing illustrations, figures, and chemical notation.

  2. Reference Collection


    Dictionaries, directories, handbooks, engineering vocational guidance, internet guides, chemical technology and materials science encyclopedias, chemical source catalogs, online access to bibliographic databases.


    Standards, patents, equipment catalogs, specialized bibliographies or compilations of citations that could be derived from online databases.Microform is avoided due to technical problems reproducing illustrations, figures, and chemical notation.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

The collection is strongest in chemical technology, operations research, systems analysis, production management, and management information systems, less strong in environmental technology, human engineering and ergonomics. Little is collected on motor vehicles, aeronautics, astronautics, mining, and metallurgy. None but the most general, basic works in engineering (civil, hydraulic, sanitary, highway, railroad, bridge, building construction, mechanical, electrical) is collected. Telecommunication, electronics, databases and computer engineering is collected. Recorded sound and video, radio and television engineering, computer and film are collected to support the strong NYU programs in the Tisch School. Handicrafts, Arts and Crafts, Fashion , and Home Economics (with the exception of Food and Nutrition and Hotels and Restaurants are not collected. Photography is collected with Fine Art.

There is a collection of materials about the Internet for all levels from the network manager to the lay person. Collecting levels were revised and the collection in situ was reviewed when the School of Engineering closed and later when the Department of Applied Science ceased. The collection on the environment needs to be assessed, and the collection on the maintenance of the urban infrastructure – a part of civil engineering – should be upgraded. Materials science should be reviewed in light of research at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences.

Other Resources

  1. Related Collections within NYU Libraries

    Courant Institute for Mathematical Science collects applied mathematics and computer science at the graduate and research level.

    The library of the Real Estate Institute supports programs on building and construction.

    There is a small working collection of chemical technology materials at the Institute of Fine Arts Conservation Center Library.

    Ergonomics and biomechanics are collected at the NYU Medical Center Library to support M.S. and PhD degree programs there.

  2. Other Collections in New York

    New York Public Library Science, Industry and Business Library: Engineering, Materials Science, Environmental Science, Transportation, Patents and Trademarks, Standards, Textiles, Trade publications

    Cooper Union: Engineering, Architecture and Building

    Parsons School of Design: Fashion, Design, Textiles; WWW graphics and publishing

    Stevens Institute: Enginering -- advanced undergraduate materials to support the dual degree program.

Subjects and Collecting Levels

LC Class Subject ECS CCI DCS
T General Technology B B C
1-54 General Technology C C C
14.5 Social Aspects B C C
15-40 History/Biography B C C
55.4-60.8 Industrial Engineering B C C
173.2-174.5 Technological Change* B C C
(*For economic aspects see Economics HC79)
351-385 Computer Graphics A C C
TA General Enigineering/Civil Engineering B B
164 Bioengineering B B B
166-198 Human Engineering/Ergonomics B B B
Cooper B C
357-359 Applied Fluid Mechanics/Dynamics B C D
365-367 Acoustics B C C
1501-1820 Applied Optics and Lasers B C C
TC Hydraulic Engineering A A A
TD Environmental Technology
1-158 Environmental Technology, General B A A
172-192 Environmental Pollution C B B
194-196 Environmental Pollution B A A
(Specialized industries - Nuclear, Chemical, Oil, Mining, Airports)
420-427 Water Supply - Pollution B A A
430-477 Water Supply - Purification, Treatment B A A
881-890 Air Pollution B A A
891-893 Noise Pollution A A A
898 Radioactive Waste B A A
TE Highway Engineering A A A
TF Railroad Engineering
701-705 Municipal Railways, Interurban Railways, Subways A A A
855-1126 Electric Railways, General A A A
TG Bridge Engineering A A A
TH Building Construction A A A
4021-4097 Buildings/Dwellings (Public Buildings, Factories, Laboratories, etc.) A A A
Cooper B C
4805-4850 Houses A A A
Cooper B C
7413 Solar Heating A A A
TJ Mechanical Engineering and Machinery B A A
211 Automata, Robots A A A
810 Solar Energy B A A
TK Electrical Engineering
1-300 Electrical Engineering, General B B B
452-454 Electrical Apparatus/Materials (Circuits, Networks) B B B
1001-1841 Electric Energy/Power Production/ Power Plants B A A
2896-2970 Electric Energy/Power Production by direct energy conversion B A A
2960 Thermoelectricity (solar batteries, photovoltaics) B A A
5101-6720 Telecommunication, includes internet, telephone, radio, television B C D
7800-8360 Electronics - Circuits, Semiconductors C B B
Cooper C C
7885-7895 Electronics - Computer Engineering/Hardware B B B
8300-8360 Electronics - Photoelectronic Devices B A A
9001-9401 Nuclear Engineering/Atomic Power C A A
TL Motor Vehicles, Aeronautics, Astronautics
500-777 Aeronautics B A A
787-4050 Astronautics - Space Travel B A A
TN Mining, Engineering A A A
799.5-948 Non-Metallic Minerals B A A
TP Chemical Technology
1-154 Chemical Technology - General, History, Biography B C C
155-156 Chemical Engineering B B B
200-248 Chemicals - Manufacture, Use C B B
315-360 Fuel B A A
368-465 Food Processing Manufacture B C C
500-569 Fermentation Industries (Beverages, Alcohol) A A A
1101-1185 Plastics and Polymer Manufacture B A A
TS Manufactures A A A
1-154 Manufactures - General, History B B B
1300-1865 Textile Industries B A A
Parsons B C
TT Handicrafts
1-160 Handicrafts - General B A A
161-169 Industrials Arts Training B A A
180-203 Woodworking B A A
205-267 Metalworking A A A
300-382 Painting/Finishing A A A
490-695 Clothing Manufacture (Dressmaking, Tailoring, Fashion) B A A
697-910 Home Crafts (Sewing, Knitting, Textile Arts, Crafts) B A A
850-920 Decorative Crafts (Paper, Pottery, etc.) A A A
TX Home Economics - See Food and Nutrition
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