Urban Studies Collection Policy


subject description and guidelines

  • Materials in urban studies contribute directly to the achievement of Cornell's goal to enhance the quality and cohesiveness of the social sciences, and more specifically to "the building on the strengths in the family, poverty, inequality, and economic development" as they relate to globalization and urbanization. In recent years an increasing amount of works on suburbanization are collected in order to reflect the findings of the 2000 Census, which showed that more than half of the U.S. population now lives in the suburbs.


  • Urban Studies materials are acquired to serve the general requirements of the University community. The collection provides teaching and research materials for graduate and undergraduate students, faculty and staff, as well as the general public. The Department of City and Regional Planning is still the chief target of the urban studies collections, but aspects of the collections are becoming more and more relevant to other areas, including cultural studies, government, ethnic studies, sustainable development, real estate, etc.


collection strength

  • The overall strength of the collection is on the Study Level, i.e. adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject for limited or generalized purposes, however in several areas such as urban politics and community and urban history the collection is comprehensive enough to support research intensity. The collection needs to be strengthened in the sociology of religion and urban religions in general.

geographical guidelines

  • The coverage is world-wide, although well-defined areas of interest are developed more intensively including the United States, Canada, and Western Europe.

areas of significant geographic coverage

country (self-governing)

  • Canada
  • United States of America

transnational region

  • western Europe

language guidelines

  • English is the primary language choice; however attempts are made to acquire foreign materials in other major languages, predominantly Spanish.


  • English 

chronological guidelines

  • Emphasis is on contemporary publications, but material portraying urban history is also collected.


  • Textbooks; works on city planning and design; city architecture.

material types

  • Print monographs covering the various sub-fields; subscriptions to a range of standard periodicals and proceedings of scholarly societies worldwide. The formats include print, audio-visual, electronic resources.


housed in

  • Olin Library 

related library subject collection


library contact

  • Walker, Martha - Architecture Librarian and Coordinator of Collections (Fine Arts Library)