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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject



University of Cincinnati

McMicken College of Arts & Sciences


Subjects covered

The Department of Sociology offers a BA, MA and a Ph.D. in sociology. The Department specializes in the following areas: social inequality, community and urban sociology, health and medicine, race and ethnicity and gender. Additionally, the University Libraries’ sociology collection represents most traditional areas of sociological study, including the following:


collective behavior


social justice

sociology of families



social mobility

sociology of marriage


life changes

social problems

sociology theory



social stratification

work and occupations

deviant behavior

research methodology


youth and society

environmental issues

social change

sociology of education



social conflict



Departments/Users served

The primary users of the sociology collection are undergraduate and graduate students and faculty from the Department of Sociology, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences.  However, the sociology collection is heavily drawn upon by students and faculty from the following colleges, departments and programs: African American Studies, Anthropology, Business, Economics, Criminal Justice, Marketing, Political Science, Psychology, Social Work and Women's Studies.   Further, many colleges and academic departments across the campus offer courses that draw upon the sociology collection, particularly materials related to demographic research, survey literature, gender research and social psychology.1

These colleges offer majors or significant course work in sociology

    • McMicken College of Arts & Sciences
    • College of Allied Health Sciences, School of Social Work
  • College of Education, Criminal Justice & Human Services (CECH)
   1 The University of Cincinnati  course descriptions for all colleges are available as PDF files.          Searching these files with the Acrobat [Find] feature using selected sociologically related terms reveals a wide range course offerings that suggest usage of the sociology collection.

 Degrees offered

BA in Sociology

MA in Sociology

Ph.D. in Sociology

Research focus, grants, special funding

The Department specializes in the following areas: social inequality, community and urban sociology, health and medicine, race and ethnicity and gender. The  Kunz Center for the Study of Work & Family serves as the intellectual hub of the Sociology Department. The Kunz Center supports faculty and student research and develops research related relationships with the community.

General Description of Collection

 Location of collection

 The sociology collection is housed in the Langsam Library, primarily on the fifth floor, east stacks. Selected older materials and duplicate copies of books are housed in SWORD.

 Other collections supporting program

 Internal: Sociology students and faculty frequently use other social science collections--particularly those in anthropology, criminal justice, geography, political science and psychology. They also on occasion will use the Health Sciences Library and DAAP collections.

 External: Sociology students and faculty also utilize collections represented by the OhioLINK consortium of libraries.

 Collection history

The Sociology program was founded in 1925. From its inception, Sociology was part of the Anthropology Department.     After forty-five years together, Sociology and Anthropology became independent departments in 1969/70.

The Sociology collection has been housed in three libraries.  For a short time the sociology collection resided in the Van Wormer Library. The collection then was moved to the newly constructed Blegan Library in 1930. The collection remained in Blegan until 1978 when it was moved into Langsam Library.

The funding for sociology materials has been modest.   Since 1997 Sociology has received a small endowment  income from the Arthur Hinman Book Fund.  Several serials cancellation projects, the result of spiraling inflation in the 1980s and 1990s, seriously eroded the sociology collection. Additions of serial publications during this time frame were isolated and rare.  However, recent years have brought the prosperity of OhioLINK and its Electronic Journal Center (EJC).  The sociology collection has benefited significantly by the emergence and growth of EJC and by the addition of several other electronic journal service contracts.

General level of collecting

Most areas of sociology are covered at least at the “advanced study” level. Collection activity for areas of graduate and faculty research, particularly in the areas of social inequality, community and urban sociology, health and medicine, race and ethnicity and gender is attempted at the “research” level.

Specific aspects of collection


Call numbers


LC         Class. Letters

Area of Relevance


LC         Class. Letters

Area of Relevance


Human ecology



Sociology/Social psychology


Social sciences









HB 848 -3697




Social    pathology,    Social    &

public welfare, Criminology


Z 5051 - 7999

Relevant subject bibliographies


Current & retrospective collecting

The focus of the collection is predominately on current materials.

Time period collected

The emphasis of the collection is on contemporary research.

Level of material

The collection predominately supports the instructional and research needs of upper level undergraduates, graduate students and faculty.    However, since 1998 purchases for undergraduates have increased-- particularly for specialized, lower level texts and anthologies.  General textbooks are not purchased.


Most acquisitions are of English language materials, and English translations of significant works in sociology from other languages are purchased.

Geographical areas

The majority of acquisitions of sociology materials have a North American focus. However, significant amounts of materials represent the study of foreign cultures, particularly Europe and the former Soviet countries.  Foreign publications with a very narrow focus on local phenomena are usually purchased only when said studies are of general sociological significance.

Special aspects

Popular materials in the discipline are generally not purchased with Sociology funds. These materials are sometimes recommended as Cohen purchases.

Types of resources

Books and journals constitute the most frequently used resources for sociology students and faculty.

Additional materials collected include proceedings, society publications and data sets.

Resource formats

The collection is comprised of a variety of resource formats. Most journals are now in electronic format. Books remain in predominantly paper format, though an increasing number of e-books are purchased. Video materials are collected regularly, largely to support instructional activities by faculty.  All of the major sociological indexes now are available electronically.

Endowed areas

The Sociology Department receives endowed funding from the following sources:

  • Taft Endowment Fund

    • Special purchases: >$1,000 per item (requires Taft Committee approval)

  •  Arthur Hinman Book Fund


 Approval plans

The majority of the sociology monographs are acquired via the YBP approval plan.  The profile for this plan is available through the GOBI web site.

Firm orders

Approximately 20% of sociology monograph purchases are firm orders.  These orders include GOBI electronic slip orders, direct orders to society publishers and other non-approval publishers.  A modest amount of orders are generated via special requests from faculty and students.

Standing orders

The sociology collection is supplemented by standing orders for journals, monographic series, databases and society publications.

Document suppliers

The OhioLINK document delivery service provides convenient, patron initiated document delivery for book requests.   The ILL (Illiad) service provides quick and convenient access for articles and other resources not available via OhioLINK.

Special vendors

Sociology does not use special vendors outside of those normally used by the Acquisitions Department.


Randall L. Roberts

Bibliographer for Sociology

August 4, 2014

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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