History of the University of Pennsylvania

Document Type


Date of this Version

January 1940


All rights reserved. Except for brief quotations used for purposes of scholarly citation, none of this work may be reproduced in any form by any means without written permission from the publisher. For information address the University of Pennsylvania Press, 3905 Spruce Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19104-4112.

Reprinted from Faculty Survey of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, edited by the Bibliographical Planning Committee of Philadelphia (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1940).


This survey of the resources of the University of Pennsylvania libraries forms a small part of a large plan for the survey of library resources in the whole Philadelphia Metropolitan area. It was undertaken at the instigation of the Bibliographical Planning Committee of the Philadelphia Metropolitan Area, a joint committee of the University of Pennsylvania and the Union Library Catalogue of the area, created to plan for the closer integration of Philadelphia library resources and made possible by a generous grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

This survey differs from most surveys of the same sort in that it was made, not by the distributors of books, but by the users of books; not by librarians, but by scholars. It represents an appraisal of the library collections of the university by the experts in the several fields of knowledge represented on the university faculties. To some extent it reaches beyond the university libraries and calls attention to other valuable collections of books in other Philadelphia repositories.

It serves, of course, to show at once the strong points and the weak points of the university libraries. It will be valuable to the university itself as a guide in rounding out its collections. It will be valuable to other librarians in the metropolitan area as a check list upon existing resources. And it will be of considerable value to students inside and outside of Philadelphia as a revelation of the very considerable treasury of books at the University of Pennsylvania. The Bibliographical Planning Committee hopes to use it as a pattern for the survey of other great collections in the Philadelphia area, and as a basis for determining the contributions which the university may make and the responsibilities which the university should assume in any integration of metropolitan library resources.

In the opinion of the Bibliographical Planning Committee it marks a significant step forward in library appraisals, and may perhaps suggest the appropriate technique for a realistic estimate of library resources in the country at large.



Date Posted: 22 May 2008