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   Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences records, bulk 1927-1934.

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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.

COinS Metadata available (e.g., for Zotero).

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.:MS#1803
Bib ID:12107465 View CLIO record
Title:Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences records, bulk 1927-1934.
Physical description:110 linear feet (88 boxes).
Language(s):In English
Access: This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least two business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room. This collection has no restrictions.  More information »



This collection is organized into six series:

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Scope and Content

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, 1972-1934

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.

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Using the Collection


Access Restrictions

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

This collection has no restrictions.

Restrictions on Use

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 Finding Aid:

International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences

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About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries. Rare Book and Manuscript Library; machine readable finding aid created by Columbia University Libraries Digital Library Program Division

Processing Information

Papers processed, 09/27/2016, PTL

Machine readable finding aid generated from MARC-AMC source via XSLT conversion September 27, 2016 Finding aid written in English.
    2016-09-27 File created

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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.


HeadingCUL Archives:
CUL Collections:
Nat'l / Int'l Archives:
American Anthropological Association.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Association of Social Workers.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Historical Association.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Political Science Association.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Psychological Association.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Sociological Society.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
American Statistical Association.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Benedict, Ruth, 1887-1948.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Eastman, Max, 1883-1969.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, Inc.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Encyclopedias and dictionaries.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Frankfurter, Felix, 1882-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Friedrich, Carl J. (Carl Joachim), 1901-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Gottschalk, Louis Reichenthal, 1899-1975.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Herskovits, Melville J. (Melville Jean), 1895-1963.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hicks, Granville, 1901-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Hook, Sidney, 1902PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Johnson, Alvin Saunders, 1874-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Latourette, Kenneth Scott, 1884-1968.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Lerner, Max, 1902-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Macmillan Company.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Malinowski, Bronislaw, 1844-1942.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mannheim, Karl, 1893-1947.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Milukov, P.N. (Pavel Nikolaevich), 1859-1943.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
National Education Association of the United States.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Needham, Joseph, 1900-PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Olmstead, Frederick Law, 1822-1903.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pirenne, Henri, 1862-1935.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Pound, Roscoe, 1870-1964.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Sapir, Edward, 1884-1939.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Schlesinger, Arthur Meier, 1888-1965.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Seligman, Edwin Robert Anderson, 1861-1939.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID
Social Sciences--encyclopedias.PortalCLIOArchiveGRID

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History / Biographical Note

Historical Note

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.

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