Subject coverage

An excellent insight into the diverse subject coverage of the Goldsmiths’ Library collection can be found in the subject arrangement that was devised for the printed Catalogue of the Goldsmiths’ Library of Economic Literature.

The basic chronological arrangement of the items in the library itself is followed in this printed catalogue, and supplemented by the adoption of fourteen general subject divisions. Eight of these subject divisions are the same as those named by L.W. Hanson, in his seminal bibliography Contemporary Printed Sources for British and Irish Economic History 1701-1750.

To these have been added the headings “Corn Laws”, “Population”, “Slavery” and “Socialism”, which, although they might equally well have been included within the larger subjects, have been given separate headings because they represent subjects in which the Goldsmiths’ Library possesses material of special interest.

“Politics” and “Miscellaneous” have also been added for subjects which, though found in the collection, are not strictly economic. The full list is given below; together with some of the less obvious subjects included in each.

  1. General. Including general treatises on sociology and political science as well as economics; topography, and the theoretical and general aspects of emigration.
  2. Agriculture. Including fishing, mining, surveying and landed property in all its aspects, except tithes.
  3. Corn Laws. Including their agricultural, financial and commercial aspects.
  4. Population.
  5. Trades & Manufactures. Including practical manuals and technology in general.
  6. Commerce. Including shipping, piracy and smuggling.
  7. Colonies. Including all subjects relating to particular colonial areas, but not usually those concerning the relationship between the mother country and the colonies.
  8. Finance. Including, coinage, numismatics and tithes.
  9. Transport. Including transport technology.
  10. Social Conditions. Including public order, public utilities, debtor and creditor (except discussions from a financial standpoint), penology, criminology, trades unions and temperance.
  11. Slavery.
  12. Politics. Including some political theory.
  13. Socialism. Limited to theoretical works on the subject and not including works on other subjects from a socialist viewpoint.
  14. Miscellaneous. Including national defence, local government, subjects not relevant to the social sciences (e.g. theology), and the unclassifiable.