Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences Records, 1927-1934

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#1803
Bib ID 12107465 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Encyclopaedia of the social sciences
Title Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences Records, 1927-1934
Physical Description 110 linear feet (88 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is organized into six series.



Correspondence; original manuscripts, translations and drafts of articles: organizational files and business records. Widely supported by the American European Intellectual communities, correspondents and contributors include Ruth Benedict, Franz Boas, Max Eastman, Felix Frankfurter, Carl J. Friedrich, Louis R. Gottschalk, Melville J. Herskovitz, Granville Hicks, Sidney Hook, John Maynard Keyes, Kenneth S. Latourette, Max Lerner, Bronislaw Malinowski, Karl Manheim, Margaret Mead, Paul Miliukov, Lewis Mumford, Joseph Needham, Frederick Law Olmstead, Henri Pirenne, Roscoe Pound, Edward Sapir, and Arthur M. Schlesinger. Note, however, that many of the more famous authors wrote only one article for the encyclopaedia, and their correspondence files are accordingly small.

  • Series I: Business Records, 1927-1934

    This series contains the business records of the staff, which produced the Encyclopaedia. It includes correspondence with Macmillan (the publisher of the Encyclopaedia), with sponsoring organizations, and with subscribers. Also present are financial records, including bills and invoices, checkbook ledgers, account books, and information on Encyclopaedia staff and salaries. Files of press notices, reviews of the Encyclopaedia, and a scrapbook of press clippings are also present in this series.

  • Series II: Lists, Outlines, Abstracts, Card files, 1927-1934

    This series contains an assemblage of files used in planning the Encyclopaedia. First is a set of lists of suggested topics, arranged by broad subject field. These lists were circulated to eminent authorities in each field for comment. Each file consists of the lists, comments by the outside authorities, and related correspondence. Second there is a set, also filed by broad subject area, of outlines and abstracts of articles, including enumerations of suggested word lengths for each article. This is followed by a series of Memoranda to Authors, filed alphabetically by subject, giving the scope for each suggested article or series of related articles. A set of miscellaneous files relating to these lists and outlines follows. The remainder of the series consists of the card files used in the preparation of the Encyclopaedia. First, a set of Topic Cards with brief summaries of articles, suggested word lengths, and often notes on who suggested the topic, and possible authors for the articles. Then there is a set of Abstract Cards (A through L only), which mainly seem to include suggested authors for the articles, although some outlines and suggested word lengths are also present. Finally is a set of Biography Cards, which are identical to Topic Cards except that they treat personal name subjects.

  • Series III: Manuscript Folders, 1927-1934

    This series contains the original manuscripts and edited drafts of the articles of the Encyclopaedia. Often included are notes on background information and statistics, as well as slips for sources consulted at the New York Public Library in the course of the factual checking done by the Encyclopaedia staff. Occasionally correspondence relating to the article will be found in these files, but most correspondence is filed in the next series.

    Arrangement note

    The folders are arranged alphabetically by the title of the article

  • Series IV: Correspondence Files, 1927-1934

    This series contains the correspondence of the editors with the contributing authors, advisers and potential contributors. Most of the correspondence is in English, but European correspondents commonly employ the French and German. The list of correspondents below is not exhaustive, but includes only major sets and famous names: the series as a whole contains correspondence with more than 1200 persons. Much of the correspondence with famous people, such as W.E.B. DuBois and Oliver Wendell Holmes, consists merely of polite refusals, but many, such as Margaret Mead and Felix Frankfurter, did make substantial contributions to the Encyclopaedia.

    A large gap exists in this series: there are no files from correspondents with names beginning with the letter C; in fact, none between the letters BR and DR. This material was not present when the collection was first inventoried in 1984 and must have been lost prior to that time.

  • Series V: Killed Files, 1927-1934

    This series contains files of manuscripts and index cards for projected articles that were "killed", that is, not used in the printed version of the Encyclopaedia. The contents of these files correspond to those of the "live" files from which they were drawn.

  • Series VI: Printed Editions of the Encyclopedia, 1927-1934

    This series contains the published editions of the Encyclopaedia. First is an incomplete set of the first printing, and next a complete set of the 16th printing. Finally is a complete set of the new International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, the successor edition was published in 1968.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

You will need to make an appointment in advance to use this collection material in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. You can schedule an appointment once you've submitted your request through your Special Collections Research Account.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences Records; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences records http://findingaids.cul.columbia.edu/ead//nnc-rb/ldpd_4078527


No accruals are expected

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact rbml@columbia.edu for more information.

Ownership and Custodial History

Transfered to the Rare Book and Manuscript Library from Hampshire College in 2016.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

2016.2017.M023: Source of acquisition--Hampshire College. Method of acquisition--Transfer; Date of acquisition--date.

Gift of the Macmillan Company (through Jeremiah Kaplan, president of Macmillan) to Hampshire College, 1969.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Papers processed, 09/27/2016, PTL

Revision Description

2016-09-27 File created

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
American Anthropological Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Association of Social Workers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Historical Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Political Science Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Psychological Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Sociological Society Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
American Statistical Association Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Benedict, Ruth, 1887-1948 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Encyclopedias and dictionaries Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Friedrich, Carl J (Carl Joachim), 1901-1984 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Gottschalk, Louis Reichenthal, 1899-1975 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Herskovits, Melville J (Melville Jean), 1895-1963 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hicks, Granville, 1901-1982 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Hook, Sidney, 1902-1989 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Johnson, Alvin Saunders, 1874-1971 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Latourette, Kenneth Scott, 1884-1968 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Lerner, Max, 1902-1992 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Macmillan Company Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Malinowski, Bronislaw, 1884-1942 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mannheim, Karl, 1893-1947 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mili︠u︡kov, P. N. (Pavel Nikolaevich), 1859-1943 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
National Education Association of the United States Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Needham, Joseph, 1900-1995 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 1822-1903 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pirenne, Henri, 1862-1935 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Sapir, Edward, 1884-1939 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Schlesinger, Arthur M (Arthur Meier), 1888-1965 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Seligman, Edwin R. A (Edwin Robert Anderson), 1861-1939 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Social sciences -- Encyclopedias Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences originated as a jointly sponsored project of ten leading American scholarly associations in the field of social science. (They are: the American Anthropological Association, the American Association of Social Workers, the American Economic Association, the American Historical Association, the American Political Science Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Society, the American Statistical Association, the Association of American Law Schools, and the National Education Association.) This intent was to construct a comprehensive synthesis of the knowledge provided by different disciplines, in such a way that their differing perspectives would shed light on the common problems of the social sciences. The enterprise was placed under Edwin R.A. Seligman as editor-in-chief; Alvin Johnson was named associate editor. Financial support was obtained from the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Russell Sage Foundations, and the Macmillan Company was enlisted as publisher.

Having already a broad base of support in the American intellectual community, in 1972 Seligman went abroad to meet with the leading European scholars, and met with an enthusiastic reception. The procedure worked out for the organization and composition of the Encyclopaedia was as follows. Lists of possible topics were widely circulated for comment and criticism, then responsibility for individual articles carefully assigned to authorities in each field. Translation or Englishing, if needed, fact checking, and bibliographical checking of completed articles were all preformed by the editorial staff in new York, and any doubtful points as we al editorial revisions were referred back to the original author. The editorial staff also did final proofreading of the typeset galleys. The 15 individual volumes were published between 1930 and 1935.