Politics and Public Administration Collection Development Policy


The collection supports B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. programs in Politics, and B.A. programs in the College of Arts and Sciences; and M.P.A., M.S., M.U.P. and D.P.A. programs in the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service.

The collection also supports course work and research in the following centers and programs: Center for European Studies, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Metropolitan Studies, Near East Studies, the Program for Africana Studies, the Law and Society Program, and Peace and Global Studies Program. Areas of specialization supported by the collection include: Political Theory and Analysis, Political Economy, American Government and Politics, Comparative Politics, Political Methodology, , International Relations, Health Policy and Management, Health Services Management, Public and Non-Profit Management, Urban Planning, and interdisciplinary concerns throughout the University.

See related collection development policy statements for Latin American and Carribean studies, Near East Studies, International Documents, and U.S. Documents.


  1. Language

    The collecting efforts in U.S. Politics and Public Administration emphasize material either published in or translated into English. Selected non-English monographs and serials are purchased in support of our interdisciplinary programs in Latin American Studies, Africana Studies, Near East Studies,and European Studies with an increased interest in East European Studies. Outside these areas, materials in major European languages are purchased highly selectively. Scholarly research value, unique point of view, and special pertinence to a particular university program are generally the determining criteria.

  2. Chronological Periods

    With the exception of political theory and ideology (JX and HX) only 20th-century material is covered in this policy statement. See the policy statement for World History for coverage of pre-20th century material on constitutional history, diplomacy, colonialism, slavery, emigration and immigration, and U.S. and foreign politics and governmental institutions.

Types of Materials

  1. Included

    Our non-reference holdings consist largely of scholarly serials, monographs, and collections of essays or conference proceedings. Institutionally sponsored research papers, of the type widely produced in the area of international relations and strategic studies, are generally not subscribed to by the library. Individual titles from such series may, however, be acquired on a case-by-case basis. Materials in public policy and public administration at a professional and practitioner level are selectively purchased.

  2. Excluded

    Material on the practical aspects of U.S. politics at the national, state, and local levels was generally not selected, unless it directly concerned New York State, New York City or Tri-state metropolitan region. These general guidelines remain in place, although selections are increasingly made for materials concerning government issues in other major cities of the United States and the rest of the world.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

Politics and Public Administration is well-supported by the Bobst Library's collections. Bobst Library has a research level collection in U.S. Politics covering both monographs and serials; and a study level collection in U.S. international relations. Foreign area coverage please refer to previously mentioned separate policy statements.

Our collection needs are in the area of emerging curriculum studies at the University or in specialized technical areas of study and research for politics and public administration. Examples of areas requiring additional attention include politics and government affairs in Eastern Europe, Africana Urban Studies, environmental and infrastructure planning and transportation economics.

Acquiring primary source materials for politics and government in New York City and New York State is always a concern for the Library. The Library maintains ongoing print holdings for a select group of titles. Individual reports are acquired on a case-by-case basis from the agency. City and state reports vary greatly in quality and academic significance. The microfiche collections of reports remains the primary manner in which the library maintains state and city documents collections.

Other Resources

  1. Government Documents

    Bobst's extensive holdings of United States (especially legislative and executive branches of government), United Nations and other international agency publications constitute an important resource for the study of politics and public policy. The Library acquires approximately 51% of federal agency materials made available via the U.S. Depository Library System. This acquisition system for documents is supplemented with subscriptions to microfiche copies of Congressional publications and statistical reports from the U.S. government; the official 51% selection rate becomes a much higher number for federal documents. In contrast, the library has almost no holdings of foreign government documents from anywhere but Great Britain. Even here, only Hansard's Parliamentary Debates could be called a resource for students of politics. Our reliance on the untimely but comparatively inexpensive collection of British Sessional Papers produced by Readex in microform suggests that this material is seen primarily as a resource for historians.

  2. Electronic Resources

    The Library's documents holdings include over 100 titles published since 1987 by the federal government in CD-ROM format. Titles of specific interest to research in politics and public administration include: 1990 Census files including Congressional District Data, U.S. Foreign Affairs (State Dept.), National Trade Data Bank, and the National Environmental, Social & Economic Data Bank. The Library also actively purchases commercial CD-ROM titles that impact on the areas of U.S. politics and policy.

    In addition to collecting government CD-ROMs, the Library catalogs technical documentation received from the Information Technology Services (ITS) for data files available at the University's Social Science Data Base Archive. The use of the Internet and ftp has great impact on the manner in which data files are maintained and transfered. New methods have made it less efficient for the ITS to acquire paper code books; hence there is a decrease in the number of code books being made available via the Library. In spite of these changes the Library and the ITS have made cooperative efforts to insure that valuable data sets continue to be made available to users.

    The Library's Electronic Resources Center provides NYU with full-text access to current issues of the U.S. Congressional Record, U.S. Federal Register, Congressional Bills, and many other documents through the U.S. Government Printing Office Access system.

    In a time when much U.S. government information is changing formats from paper/microfiche to electronic it is important to be responsive to this new environment. The Library through its network, ITS, and other areas is providing a platform that allows users access to information available via the Internet. It is crucial for this development policy to stay alert to the advantages and drawbacks that accompany technological changes.

Subjects & Collecting Levels

LC Class Subject ECS CCI
J-JA Methodology A B
JC Political Theory C C
HX Socialism D D
JK American Politics C C
Urban Politics C C
NYC Politics C C
JX International Relations C C
International Organizations C C-D
International Law C A**
U-V Strategic Studies A B-C
Geographic Emphases
Latin America and the Caribbean C C
Middle East C C
United Kingdom B C
France B C
Germany A B
Italy B C
Russia & Eastern Europe A B
Canada B B
China A B
Japan A B
South Africa A B
Western Europe B C
Southern Europe B C
Rest of W. Europe A B
South Asia A A
Australia and the Pacific A A

* Includes holdings in Tamiment
** NYU Law Library collects at level D

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