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Business collection development policy

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Program information

The Wharton School, the world's first collegiate business school, was founded in 1881 by Philadelphia industrialist and philanthropist Joseph Wharton. A native Philadelphian, Wharton became a leader in industrial metallurgy and built a fortune through his American Nickel Company and Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The anvil, a School symbol, reflects Wharton's pioneering work in the metal industry.

Joseph Wharton envisioned creating a new collegiate foundation which would produce educated leaders of business and government. From the beginning, he defined the goal of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy (its original name) to be: "To provide for young men special means of training and of correct instruction in the knowledge and in the arts of modern Finance and Economy, both public and private, in order that, being well informed and free from delusions upon these important subjects, they may either serve the community skillfully as well as faithfully in offices of trust, or, remaining in private life, may prudently manage their own affairs and aid in maintaining sound financial morality: in short, to establish means for imparting a liberal education in all matters concerning Finance and Economy."

Commencement for the first undergraduate class of the Wharton School was in June, 1884. Setting an early standard for diversity and international leadership at Wharton, graduates of the class went on to become an ambassador to Brazil, a member of the Japanese Diet, a university historian, and a manufacturer of railroad supplies.

Wharton's MBA program was initiated in 1921; the Wharton Executive MBA (WEMBA) program began in 1974.

Today, the Wharton School is one of the preeminent schools of management in the world and is widely regarded as a leader in preparing students to succeed in a globally competitive business environment. It offers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in eleven academic departments and units: Accounting, Operations and Information Management, Finance, Health Care Systems, Insurance and Risk Management, Legal Studies, Management, Marketing, Public Policy and Management, Real Estate, and Statistics. In addition, there are twenty-two specialized research centers and programs and three education programs. The School has 180 standing faculty and enrolls over 1,500 undergraduate, 1,400 MBA, and 300 Ph.D. students. Thomas P. Gerrity became the School's 11th dean in July 1990. He is the School's second dean to come from the private sector.

Major areas of research at Wharton are in accounting, finance, management, and marketing. The research interests of the faculty tend to be highly quantitative.

Collection description

The Lippincott Library is the main library for the Wharton School. The print collection consists of about 225,000 volumes. The Library subscribes to nearly 4,200 serials, including over 1,000 periodicals. The microform collection consists of approximately 220,000 pieces, mostly annual reports of U.S. and foreign corporations. The Library collects paper annual reports from major U.S. and international companies.

The Library's networked electronic files include locally loaded bases (ABI/Inform) and subscriptions to several commercial databases (Dow Jones News/Retrieval, IAC's BusinessFile and PROMT databases, and Disclosure's Global Access). In addition, the Library subscribes to several CD-ROM financial and numeric databases (e.g. Compact Disclosure, Worldscope, World Trade Atlas) and uses passwords to several commercial time sharing systems (e.g. Datastream, Dialog, and DataStar). The Library also subscribes to UMI's Business Periodicals Ondisc. Business Periodicals Ondisc has about 450 business periodicals on CD-ROM from 1987 to date.

In addition, the Library provides links to business resource on the Internet through its WWW homepage. The links are chosen on the basis of their content, authority, accuracy, currency and organization.

Guidelines for Collection Development

1. Chronological

The Library purchases material that is largely concerned with current business practice. An exception is the history of corporations.

2. Formats

Collecting is done in journal, monographic serial, monographic, working paper, microfilm, audio tape, and electronic formats.

3. Geographical

The emphasis is on the U.S. although the collection is beginning to include more material that is international in scope. Materials on industrialized nations and on the Pacific Rim region are presently being added, especially in finance, management, and marketing.

4. Language

English language material is collected almost exclusively with the exception of some 40 foreign language periodicals purchased for the Lauder Institute.

5. Publication dates

The emphasis is on currently produced materials.


Lippincott attempts to acquire all books authored by Wharton faculty. Working Papers produced at Wharton are solicited from Wharton departments.
We consider subscribing to electronic files in the form of CD-ROMs or passwords to commercial time sharing in the areas of business and applied economics. We consider CD-ROMs or commercial time sharing passwords for systems with the following characteristics:

- Systems that provide information in subject areas heavily researched by Wharton students and faculty. (Finance is an example.)

- Systems that provide direct and easy access by student and faculty (preferably through the World Wide Web).

- Systems that allow extensive manipulation of numerical data.

- Systems that substitute in whole or in part for printed or microform material.

- Systems that provide academic discounts for student use.

Principal sources of supply and major selection tools

Printed materials are selected from prepublication information supplied by publishers, published reviews, holdings of other major business libraries, gifts, and user requests, especially requests for documents by Wharton faculty through Lippincott's document delivery service.

Decisions to subscribe to periodicals are based on the periodical's subject, its subscription cost, and coverage of the periodical in standard indexing sources, as well as faculty recommendation. Business titles requested for the Table of Contents service receive special attention.

  • Subjects collected and levels of collecting

    Subjects Collected Levels of Collecting Notes
    Accounting 3E/3E
    Advertising/Direct Marketing 3E/3E
    Agricultural Economics-U.S. 2E/2E
    Banking (Worldwide, includes central banks) 4E/4F
    Bibliographies (Business) 2E/2E
    Business Law 2E/2E With Biddle-emphasis on principles applications
    Business-Directories 4E/4E
    Career Opportunities 3E/3E
    Commerce (General) 4E/4F
    Communications/Media 2E/2E With Annenberg-Telecommunication industry and business communication
    Computers-Office Automation 3E/3E
    Corporate Finance 4E/4E
    Corporations 4E/4F
    Economic Conditions-U.S. 4E/4F
    Economic Theory 3E/3F With Van Pelt-Applied Economics
    European Economic Integration 3E/4F
    Finance (General) 4E/4E
    Foreign Exchange 4E/4E
    Health Care (Business aspects) 3E/3E With Biomedical-Management financial and policy aspects
    Income, Expenditure, Budget 2E/2E With Van Pelt & Biddle-Public financial management
    Industry and State 3E/3E With Van Pelt & Biddle-Government relations to business (regulation, contracts, enterprises)
    Industry (General) 4F/4F
    Insurance 3E/4E
    International Statistics 3F/3F With Van Pelt-Statistics, macroeconomics statistics, consumer demographics
    Labor (General) 4E/4E With Van Pelt & Biddle-Labor relations
    Management/Multinational Business 4E/4F
    Marketing/td> 4E/4E
    Money 4E/4E
    Public Credit, Loans, Debts 2E/2E With Biddle-Governmental securities, deficit financing
    Public Finance 3E/3E With Biddle-Fiscal policy and investment
    Rail Transportation 4E/2E Historical
    Real Estate 2E/3E
    Revenue, Taxation 3E/3E With Biddle-Corporate and taxplanning
    Specific Industries & Trades 4E/4E
    Statistical Theory & Methodology 3E/3E With M/P/A, SEAS, VP-Business application of statistics
    Stocks, Investment, Futures (includes World Trade Exchanges) 4E/4F
    Telecommunications 3E/3E
    Transportation (Includes air, auto, water) 3E/3E With SEAS-Transportation industry
    United States Statistics 4E/4E With Van Pelt-Industry statistics, macroeconomics statistics and consumer demographics

Subjects excluded

Economics: Wharton offers undergraduate and graduate economics courses, although the Economics Department is not in Wharton. Lippincott purchases "applied" materials in economics; Van Pelt purchases "theoretical" economic material. Often the distinction is hard to make, particularly as finance becomes more theoretical.

Law: In general, Lippincott does not purchase legal reporters and legal treatises and services. The exceptions are in support of the Legal Studies (specifically the areas of government regulations of business, labor and employment law, securities regulation) and Accounting curricula (taxation).

Criminology: The Criminology Department is in the Wharton School, but with a few exceptions (such as "white collar crime") criminology material is purchased by the Van Pelt Library.

Popular and Practitioner material: Lippincott is selective in acquiring this type of material. In general, we do not purchase popular titles for the non-academic reader. Also, we do not buy practitioner material, i.e. "how to" guides, "self-help," etc. Exceptions are made in the areas of small business and entrepreneurship.

Cooperative arrangements

There is no formal collection arrangement with any local library. Lippincott has agreed in principle to purchase journals cooperatively with several RLG libraries. Lippincott uses the local online system of the Wharton Computing Center to access their WRDS (Wharton Research Data Sets) including CRSP tapes (stock return information) and the COMPUSTAT database.

There is some overlap with the following department libraries:

- Biddle Law (taxation, securities regulations, labor law)
- Van Pelt (Economics, Criminology)
- Math/Physics (Operations Research and Statistics)
- Fine Arts (Transportation, Energy, Environment)
- Engineering (Transportation, Energy Industrial Engineering, Management of Technology)
- BioMedical (Health Care Systems)

Related departmental collections in Wharton include libraries in human resources, international banking, legal studies, health economics, management technology, real estate, and U.S. - Japan management studies.

Related subject collections