The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Economics Libraries and Documentation

  • P. Sturges
Reference work entry


Libraries for a discipline are formed and characterized by that discipline. It is quite easy for a visitor to recognize that a library is for scientists or for humanists or for social scientists just by a glance at the types of books, periodicals and other material on the shelves. Libraries for economists reflect the distinctive and changing sources and documentation of economics, which are in turn products of changes in the discipline itself. As economists have successively widened the scope of their enquiries and added weapons to their methodological armoury, so the types of material they have needed to consult have multiplied. As the immediate communication of their results has become more and more pressing, so the types of publication they have favoured have evolved in response. The library providing effective service to an econometrician today would have been as irrelevant to a 17th-century mercantilist as the literature of econometrics would have been incomprehensible. This article will deal with economics libraries in their natural context of economics documentation.

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© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. Sturges
    • 1
  1. 1.