Sociology Collection Development Policy


The library collects a wide range of resources which supports the various programs of the Sociology Department. In addition to the B.A., M.A. and Ph.D. programs, the Sociology Department offers joint degree programs with the School of Law (J.D./M.A.), the School of Medicine (M.D./Ph.D) and French Studies (Ph.D.). The collection also supports related programs in the School of Social Work, Women's Studies, Performance Studies, Human Sexuality (School of Education), Urban Planning (Wagner School of Public Service), and various area studies programs.

The greatest concentration of interest within the Sociology Department in recent years has been in political sociology and social movements; gender, family and inequality; sociology of education; science; deviance, law, and crime; cultural institutions; organizations; macrosociology and general theory; social policy; and quantitative methods.


  1. Language

    Although the collection is primarily in English, a significant number of sociological resources are collected in other languages by area studies specialists. Resources in French, Italian, and German are collected for Western European Studies; Spanish and Portuguese for Latin American Studies; Arabic for Middle Eastern Studies.

  2. Geographical Areas

    Coverage is worldwide, with an emphasis on the United States, Western Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East.

  3. Chronological Periods

    The library collects both current and historical materials. Primary and secondary historical resources are collected by and about classical theorists, largely beginning in the 19th century. Social histories are largely collected in support of programs in the History Department.

Types of Materials

  1. Included

    Scholarly monographs, serials, collections of essays, conference proceedings, videos, and electronic resources are extensively collected.

  2. Excluded

    Pamphlets, newsletters, article reprints, textbooks, and non-NYU dissertations are not generally collected. Popular and/or journalistic monographs about social issues are selectively collected. Statistical data sets are collected by the University's Information Technology Services.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

The Department of Sociology is well supported by the Library's sociology and related collections and accession tools. The cooperation among subject specialists in the various interdisciplinary fields and area studies ensures comprehensive coverage of monographs and serials in subject areas relevant to the interests of faculty and students in Sociology. Although in the past the collection was somewhat weak in Western European publications, especially journals, the addition of a Western European subject specialist has considerably improved collecting in this area.

The Bobst collection is particularly strong in U.S. and international government documents and statistical resources which are used in both teaching and primary research.

The selection of non-print resources is increasing and will require additional attention as the technologies of accession and availability of new resources increase. Among the current resources users can access from within the Library are Sociofile, Social Work Abstracts, PAIS, PsycLIT, ERIC, and AnthLIT. Remote access to on-line databases is available to students and faculty through the Dialog database service. In addition, the Library's Sociology World Wide Web Page offers links to various Internet resources.

Other Resources

  1. Government Documents

    The Library's extensive holdings of United States government publications and United Nations and international documents constitute important resources for sociological research. The Library's depository collections are supplemented by microfiche sets, with accompanying indexes, for Congressional publications (CIS), and statistical publications of the federal government (ASI), state and local government, associations and research institutes (SRI), and international sources (IIS). In addition to print indexes, the Library subscribes to electronic indexes for U.S. governments documents, U.N. documents, and the various statistical microfiche sets.

  2. Statistical data sets

    The Statistics and Social Science Group of the NYU Information Technology Services acquires and provides access to statistical data sets used for primary research by faculty and graduate students.

  3. Related Collections

    The NYU Law Library collection complements Bobst's resources in the sociology of law. The library of John Jay College of Criminal Justice has extensive collections in the areas of deviance, penology, and crime control. The New York Academy of Medicine has significant material in the sociology of medicine. The SIECUS Library has an excellent collection of resources in human sexuality. The New School Library is particularly strong social theory. Within Bobst, the Tamiment Library collections contain significant historical and contemporary materials on labor and radical social movements. Tamiment's current subscriptions to numerous labor and radical journals support the work of those in sociology of work and labor, gender, social movements, and social theory.

Subjects & Collecting Levels

LC ClassSubjectECSCCI
BF 81-108 History C C
HM General Sociology and Social Theory C C
BD175 Sociology of Knowledge C C
HA Research Methodology B C
HD30, HM131 Organizational Sociology C C -D
Sociology of Law B B-C
Sociology of Medicine C C
LC189-201 Sociology of Education C C -D
Industrial Sociology B C
HQ Sociology of the Family C C
HQ1-471 Sexual Life B-C C
HQ769-800 Childhood and Adolescence C C
HQ1000-1064 Aging B C
HQ1101-2030 Women and Feminist Theory B C
Gender and Sex Roles B C
HS-HT Social Groups:
Societies and Clubs B B
HT101-395 Urban Groups, the City C C -D
HT401 Rural Sociology
HT601-725 Social Class C C -D
HT1501-1595 Races B-C C -D
E184,JV6001, HV4000 Ethnic and Immigrant Groups B-C C
Religious Groups B B
HV Deviance and Social Pathology: B C
HV5001-5840 Alcoholism, Drug Abuse B B
HV6001-7220.5 Crime and Criminology B C
HV7231-9920.5 Penology B A-B
P40 Sociolinguistics B B
Sociology of Mass Culture B B
HM261,HN90 Public Opinion B-C C
GV600-1100 Sociology of Sports A-B B
NX180 Sociology of Art B B-C
Q175 Sociology of Science C C
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