Collection Selector


Meredith Kirkpatrick


Mugar Memorial Library

General Purpose of the Collection

The library’s Psychology collection has been developed primarily to support the courses and research conducted by the Psychology Department, although the nature of the subject draws users from a variety of other disciplines. These include sociology, social work, gerontology, education, health sciences, law, communication, and management. The library acquires materials that reflect the discipline’s many trends, philosophical approaches, and experimental techniques. A representative collection of both general and specialized periodicals has been developed. Major reference and bibliographical tools are acquired, as are specialized bibliographies on topics relevant to the university curriculum. Monographs are acquired on all aspects of the discipline and there is special interest in collecting materials related to emerging areas such as evolutionary psychology, environmental psychology, psychology of women, and psychobiology. The library collects the complete works of major writers and selected works by secondary figures.

Courses in psychology are offered through the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) and the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GRS). Degrees offered in psychology include the BA, MA, and PhD.

Scope of Coverage

Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded
The library collects almost exclusively English language publications; occasionally, material by major figures that has not been translated into English will be acquired.
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, either in terms of intellectual content or publication source, 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, which 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, although most materials reflect contemporary interests and developments.
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 of the materials collected are current.

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

General Subject Boundaries and Library Locations


  • BF 1-990 : Psychology
  • Z 7201-7205 : Psychology. Bibliography
  • Z 8001-8999 : Personal Bibliography

Collected Selectively:

  • BF1001-1389 : Parapsychology
  • BF1404-2050 : Occult Sciences
  • P 37 : Psycholinguistics
  • RC 455.4 : Special Aspects of Mental Illness
  • RC 466-467 : Clinical Psychology
  • RC 475-482 : Psychotherapy
  • RC 500-510 : Psychoanalysis
  • RC 569 : Personality Disorders
  • RJ 504-505 : Child Psychotherapy

There are some subject areas within Psychology that overlap with Biology, Education, Health Sciences, Social Work, and Sociology.

Related subjects and Interdisciplinary Relationships

Biology is responsible for collecting materials on neuropsychology, although occasionally publications relating to neuropsychology are given BF classification numbers and are acquired by Psychology.
The Education Selector is primarily responsible for materials on educational psychology, but may consult about materials on counseling and on testing.
Health Sciences
Health Sciences collects psychiatry materials, although occasionally publications relating to psychiatry are given BF classification numbers and are acquired by Psychology.
Social Work
Social Work may acquire art therapy and group psychotherapy materials.
Sociology is responsible for collecting publications on social psychology that fall in the HM 251-291 call number range. Psychology collects those that fall in the BF classification.

Types of Materials

Books, periodicals, conference proceedings, and reference materials including bibliographies, encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, and indexes and abstracts.
Collected Selectively
Dissertations and theses, microforms, and electronic resources.
Not Collected
Textbooks, individual psychological tests, juvenile literature, and popular literature.

Other On-Campus or Local Resources

The Boston University Alumni Medical Library collects books and journals in psychiatry: these resources are available to students and faculty from the main campus.

The Boston University Pickering Educational Resources Library has a collection of educational and psychological tests that are available for review.