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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject

Political Science



Subjects Covered:   The political science collection supports the teaching and research conducted in the Department of Political Science.  The collection includes materials relating to United States government, comparative governments, politics, international relations, political theory, philosophy of the state,  political power, political psychology, electoral behavior, leadership, public opinion survey research, international political economy, social choice and game theory, international organizations, law, civil rights, constitutional guarantees and security studies.

Departments and Users Served :  The political science collection serves students and faculty in the Department of Political Science, College of Arts and Sciences. Through direct patron borrowing, the political science collection also serves faculty and students of political science within the OhioLINK system.

Peripheral users within the University include faculty and students in the College of Business Administration, especially those engaged in studying international business and political economy. Students and faculty in the departments of Psychology and Sociology also make use of the political science collection, particularly for information about mass behavior, electoral behavior, political psychology, leadership, power, and political extremism.  The Department of Philosophy draws on aspects of the political science collection related to philosophy of governing systems.  History students and faculty make use of those aspects of the political science collection that cover political history, diplomacy, foreign affairs, and emigration and immigration.  Geography faculty and students use works about political geography.  Faculty and students in the College of Law likewise make occasional use of the political science collection. Students and faculty in interdisciplinary studies programs such as  Africana Studies, Asian Studies, Judaic Studies, Latin American Studies, Russian and East European Studies, and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies also use the political science collection.

The political science collection in public opinion and survey research draws users from Communications, Journalism, Sociology, and Psychology within the College of Arts and Sciences as well as students and faculty engaged in marketing research in the College of Business Administration.

International students also use the political science collection for information about government and politics in their respective countries of origin.

Quantitative Information 

The Faculty :

Degrees Granted:

Undergraduate Majors, Minors, and Certificates:

Graduate Degrees, Certificates and Duel Degree Programs:

Grants and Special Funding :  The political science collection receives its funding from the library's general monographic and serial allocations.  Political Science is a discipline supported by the Charles P. Taft Memorial Fund, which enables the collection to add expensive research materials that would otherwise be beyond the normal collecting scope.  The Seasongood Fund supports collection development in U.S. government and politics.


Location:   The political science collection is located in the Langsam Library, although space considerations dictate that more of the older, little circulated monographs and discontinued serials are being moved to SWORD, the library's off site cooperative storage facility.

Other Collections Supporting the Program

Internal :  The political science collection draws on the Classics Library for material relating to government, politics, and philosophy of the State in the classical world.  International relations and comparative politics are supplemented by the Classic Library's Modern Greek collection.

The Institute for Policy Research holdings supplement the public opinion and survey research materials in the political science collection. 

Other collections supporting political science are the College of Law, including its Urban Morgan Institute on Human Rights, as well as these collections located in the Langsam Library:  government documents, history, economics, philosophy, sociology, psychology, geography, communications, journalism, and business.  DAAP supports the collection in art and the state and in political cartoons.

External:   The Government and Business Department of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County supports the political science collection as does the Center for Research Libraries and the combined collections of the colleges and universities in Ohio through OhioLINK.n Interlibrary Loan also supports the political science collection.

Collection History:   Political Economy was among the initial course offerings in the University of Cincinnati's Academic Department when it was fully organized in 1875.  At the University's first commencement exercises, held on June 20, 1878, seven members of the graduating class read essays, of which four focused on political topics.

Nevertheless, a separate course of studies in political science was slow to develop.  For the balance of the nineteenth century political economy remained coupled to history.

In 1889, the Academic Committee of the Board of Trustees made history and political economy compulsory subjects of study.  When McMicken College was reorganized in 1900, the professorship of history and political science was dissolved and two new chairs were established in its place.  These were the chair of history and the chair of economics and civics, the later named in honor of David Sinton who had endowed the academic programs in McMicken College with $100,000 the preceding year.

The University had grown sufficiently to dedicate a Graduate School in 1906.  Reflecting the University's new strength numerous appointments were made to the faculty during this period, including a professor of political science in 1908.

Political Science came into its own during the First World War.  Not only did the Department offer courses on the problems of the war, but it also participated in a series of lectures on the war's causes and issues.

In 1930 Mrs. Charles P. Taft established a 2 million dollar fund as a memorial to her husband, the interest from which was designated for the advancement of study and teaching in the humanities within the College of Liberal Arts and the University's Graduate School.  The memorial also made provisions for library enrichment.

Although Political Science was not among the 8 departments Mrs. Taft specifically designated as recipients of Taft money, the library's budget has nevertheless received an annual income to supplement the political science collection from the Taft A&S Department Fund.  In 1990, the Taft Trustees extended access to the Department of Political Science to the Taft Special Funds for non-serial materials in excess of $1,000.00.  This has allowed political science to begin to build depth into its collections in presidential studies, opinion polling, foreign affairs, and national security.

With the exception of a few stringent years of university-wide cutbacks, the political science collection grew steadily in the closing decades of the 20th century.  Stable monographic and serial budgets, adequately adjusted for inflation, coupled with access to Taft Memorial Funds combine to enable the University to build a collection commensurate with a Research 1 institution in selected areas of political science.

(Historical sketch of the Political Department comes from Reginald C. McGrane, The University of Cincinnati: A Success Story in Urban Higher Education, New York: Harper and Row, Publishers, 1963).

General Level of Collecting:   Areas of the political science collection that support active research and teaching at the University are currently collected at basic through research levels.  Areas in which there is no current teaching or research are collected at minimal or basic.  Areas of previous faculty interest are maintained at a basic level so that the collection's integrity is continued.


Call Numbers:   As a discipline of study political science concerns itself with the history, form, organization, and administration of the State and its subdivisions, including relationships with other states or subdivisions.  The discipline also engages in analysis of political behavior and activity, and in political theory. 

Political treatment may be found throughout the Library of Congress classification code.  As practiced at the University of Cincinnati these call numbers represent the areas of political science most generally collected:

AY..............Yearbooks, almanacs, directories

B69-5739..........Individual philosophers (Bodin, Locke, etc.)


HB848-3697.....Demography, vital statistics

HD101-1395.....Land use, especially public lands

HD3611-4730.9...The State and industrial organization

HD4801-8943......Labor, especially unemployment, social security, state labor

HS............Political societies

HV....  .....Political aspects of social and public welfare

HX........Socialism, communism, anarchism

J.........Official documents

JA.........Political science collections

JC.........Political theory, forms of the state, constitutional history

JF.........Organs and functions of government, federal-state relations, political rights and guarantees, political parties

JK-JQ.........Individual nations

JS..........Local government

JX.........International law, diplomatic relations, diplomatic services, international organizations

KF........U.S. law

KFO........Laws of Ohio

UA........National defense

Z5051-7999......Subject bibliographies

Current and Retrospective Collecting:   Although retrospective collecting is also practiced, emphasis is placed on the acquisition of current materials.

Time Period Collected:   The political science collection places emphasis on the modern State from the Renaissance forward, with particular emphasis on the contemporary State.

Levels and Treatments:   Although the political science collection serves the needs of the University community and includes material of general interest relating to U.S. government and politics, the greater part of the collection represents works suitable for upper division students, graduate students, and faculty research.  Textbooks are infrequently collected, if at all.

Languages:   English is the primary language of the collection.  Material related to international affairs is occasionally collected in other languages but preference is given to works in English translation when these are available.

Geographical Areas:   The political science collection places particular emphasis on the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Western Europe, Russia, Eastern Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America.

Types of Resources:   The political science collection includes monographs, series, society publications, journals, atlases, indexes, abstracts, bibliographies, handbooks, encyclopedias, political dictionaries, government publications, and web sites.

Resource Formats:   The political science collection includes print, microform, video, and digital formats. 

Endowed Areas Supported by Restricted Funds:   Poliical Science may make application to the Charles P. Taft Memorial Fund  for research materials in excess of one thousand dollars The Seasongood Fund supports the acquisition of current material about U.S. government and politics.


Approval Plans:   The political science collection participates in the approval plan supplied by Yankee Book Peddler.

Firm Orders:   Firm orders for the political science collection are selected from a variety of sources including vender notification slips, direct mail brochures, publisher catalogs, book reviewing publications, and faculty requests.

Standing Orders:   The political science collection maintains standing orders for journal publications, monographic series, and Internet resources.

Document Suppliers:   The political science collection relies heavily on direct patron access through OhioLINK and the Library's Interlibrary Loan Department for access to items that are not in our collection, are in circulation, or are missing from our collection.

Special Vendors:   The political science collection relies on the Acquisition Department to determine if a special vendor is needed to acquire requested materials.

Sally Moffitt

July 2014

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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