Collection Selector


Meredith Kirkpatrick


Mugar Memorial Library

General Purpose of the Collection

The library’s collection in gerontology supports gerontological research campus-wide. The library acquires materials in all areas of gerontology. The collection includes commercially published monographs as well as non-commercial publications such as papers and reports from universities, associations, and agencies. Major reference and bibliographical sources and a representative collection of core journals are also included. Gerontology is closely tied to other areas such as social work, health sciences, psychology, and management; materials in those subject areas are useful to those doing research in gerontology. There is no gerontology department on campus but courses in gerontological subjects are taught in several departments and schools.

Scope of Coverage

Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded
Only English language publications are collected in this subject area.
Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations on geographical areas covered, although the emphasis is on materials published in and about the United States and Europe. There is, however, an increasing interest in cross-cultural studies and they are acquired whenever possible.
Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movements or schools, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations in terms of chronological periods covered.
Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate
There are no limitations in terms of publication dates, although most materials collected are current.

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations

All materials collected by Gerontology in the following Library of Congress classifications are found in Mugar Memorial Library.

  • HQ 1060-1063.6 : Aged. Gerontology
  • HV 1450-1493 : Public Welfare. Aged
  • RC 953.8 : Special Therapies with the Aged
  • Z 7164 O4 : Political and Social Sciences. Old Age. Bibliography
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Related subjects and Interdisciplinary Relationships

As mentioned, Gerontology is connected to a number of other areas, including Health Sciences, Management, Psychology, and Social Work.

Health Sciences
Health Sciences collects materials related to the medical treatment of geriatric patients, while Gerontology covers materials related to the aged that are not specifically medically oriented. Long-term care is covered by Health Sciences if it involves physical and medical care and by Gerontology if it is social work oriented.
Management is responsible for publications related to Social Security.

Works on the psychology of aging are acquired by Gerontology.
Social Work
Social work with the aged is collected by Gerontology.

Types of Materials

Books, periodicals, handbooks, and reference materials including bibliographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and indexes and abstracts.
Collected Selectively
Conference proceedings, dissertations and theses, and microforms.
Not Collected
Textbooks and popular literature.

Other On-Campus or Local Resources

The Boston University Alumni Medical Library has materials which cover the biomedical and psychiatric aspects of aging.

The Boston University Law Library has legal materials that might be useful to those doing research in gerontology.