Skip to main content

Political Science Collection

Nina Bogdanovsky

Collection Overview

Development of the political science collection follows the research and teaching emphases of the Political Science Department. The needs of the department have required the maintenance of a strong collection of monographs and documentary series, and also a strong collection of periodicals. The collection supports advanced study in the areas of American politics, comparative politics, international politics and political theory. The strongest area of emphasis in both the graduate program and in the collection is political philosophy, with emphasis on Greek, German, English and French political philosophy. American politics remains strong, and strength in the area of the judiciary has grown alongside of earlier emphases on the political institutions of the presidency and Congress. Supporting this area are the papers of Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr., the Rev. Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Edward Boland and Margaret Heckler in the Congressional Archives of the John J. Burns Library . The O'Neill Chair in American Politics has strengthened teaching in that area. There has been a recent growth in emphasis on public policy, especially dealing with environment and health. The collection also supports the research of the many students who are attracted to international politics at the M.A. level. There is also interest in political history. East Asian and Latin American politics are additional areas of growing emphasis. Approval plans for the major European languages support research. Electronic indexes and full text databases are playing an increasingly important role in collections. |  View selected resources ยป

Recent Additions to the CollectionSubscribe to RSS feed

 | View more...


Interdisciplinary Elements of Subject Area
While the area of political science is well defined by the Library of Congress classification schedule of "J," there are many other classification areas with items of interest to political scientists. The classification "K." or law, which is an area collected extensively by the Law Library, also has areas of interest collected in O'Neill such as those areas dealing with constitutional law or the judiciary. Political scientists interested in political philosophy are attracted to the "B," or philosophy section, or they may be attracted to the classics in the "D" or "PA" sections. History sections having various Library of Congress classifications for individual countries in the "Ds" and "Fs" contain books dealing with the politics of those individual coutries. Sociology and economics, which are in the "H" section, are also extensive areas of overlap. Some major political science journals are located in the beginning of the "H" section. Interest in environmental politics intersects with the "G" and "T" call numbers, among others, and interest in health policy with the "Rs". The Library of Congress "U" section deals with "Military Science," but includes large numbers of works on national security of interest to the subfield of international politics. The flexibility of the Political Science Department's program accentuates the interdisciplinary tendency.

Formats and Types of Materials
Formats collected include print, electronic, microform, and audiovisual. The Political Science Department benefits from Boston College's membership in the ICPSR (Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research) datafile and the library's access to other research databases available in the library and through remote access. Reference works include the major indexes and abstracts in political science, atlases, bibliographies, dictionaries, encyclopedias, directories and research guides.

Political science materials published in Western languages are emphasized, particularly English, French, German, Italian, Russian and Spanish. Significant texts in Greek and Latin are also collected. Other languages are selectively collected.

Geographic Area Coverage 
Coverage is primarily the United States and Europe, with increasing attention to East Asia and Latin America, and also include materials on Africa, other parts of Asia, and the Middle East.

Time Periods 
Most collecting deals with current issues, political structures and processes, but there are substantial areas of historical interest as well, dealing with such areas as the history of governmental or political development, or the evolution of political theory.

Dates of Publication
Collection development is mostly of current titles, but includes retrospective acquisition of the classics in the field and the retrospective acquisition of political history.