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Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences records, 1927-1934 

Encyclopaedia of the social sciences
Phys. Desc: 
110 linear feet (88 boxes)
Call Number: 
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

The Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences originated as a jointly sponsored project of ten leading American scholarly associations in the field of social science. (They are: the American Anthropological Association, the American Association of Social Workers, the American Economic Association, the American Historical Association, the American Political Science Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Sociological Society, the American Statistical Association, the Association of American Law Schools, and the National Education Association.) This intent was to construct a comprehensive synthesis of the knowledge provided by different disciplines, in such a way that their differing perspectives would shed light on the common problems of the social sciences. The enterprise was placed under Edwin R.A. Seligman as editor-in-chief; Alvin Johnson was named associate editor. Financial support was obtained from the Rockefeller, Carnegie, and Russell Sage Foundations, and the Macmillan Company was enlisted as publisher. Having Already a broad base of support in the American intellectual community, in 1972 Seligman went abroad to meet with the leading European scholars, and met with an enthusiastic reception. The procedure worked out for the organization and composition of the Encyclopaedia was as follows. Lists of possible topics were widely circulated for comment and criticism, then responsibility for individual articles carefully assigned to authorities in each field. Translation or Englishing, if needed, fact checking, and bibliographical checking of completed articles were all preformed by the editorial staff in new York, and any doubtful points as we al editorial revisions were referred back to the original author. The editorial staff also did final proofreading of the typeset galleys. The 15 individual volumes were published between 1930 and 1935.

Scope and Contents

Correspondence; original manuscripts, translations and drafts of articles: organizational files and business records. Widely supported by the American European Intellectual communities, correspondents and contributors include Ruth Benedict, Franz Boas, Max Eastman, Felix Frankfurter, Carl J. Friedrich, Louis R. Gottschalk, Melville J. Herskovitz, Granville Hicks, Sidney Hook, John Maynard Keyes, Kenneth S. Latourette, Max Lerner, Bronislaw Malinowski, Karl Manheim, Margaret Mead, Paul Miliukov, Lewis Mumford, Joseph Needham, Frederick Law Olmstead, Henri Pirenne, Roscoe Pound, Edward Sapir, and Arthur M. Schlesinger. Note, however, that many of the more famous authors wrote only one article for the encyclopaedia, and their correspondence files are accordingly small.