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The Hoover Institution Library Collection

By: Simon Ertz

SearchWorks - General Search Strategies

The vast majority of items in the Hoover Institution Library Collection have catalog records on SearchWorks, the online catalog of Stanford University Libraries. SearchWork's feature "Refine your results" (in the column on the left-hand side) allows you to limit your search results to items at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. Currently, SearchWorks lists ca. 294,500 records for "Hoover Institution Library & Archives" materials. There are multiple ways to search for and discover library items:

If you know the exact title or author of an item, a "Title" or "Author/Contributor" search should be the fastest path to an item's catalog record. Or, you can try an "All Fields" search using the same data. When searching for titles in non-romanic script, consult the appropriate Library of Congress romanization table.

When performing searches using topical keywords, consider trying one-word searches first to receive a wide range of results. When you enter several search terms, only results containing all terms will be shown. Especially when using search terms in foreign languages, consider trying alternate spellings.

Hint: If you find a relevant item, take a look at the subject terms assigned to it. Using these to perform a subject search can help you find related or similar items. Or, you can start with a blank search field and then narrow down the list of records by selecting subject terms, a time period, a language, the media type, or other criteria. Using and combining these "faceting" options not only allows you to customize result lists. It also permits you to discover items of which you were not aware. The image below shows an example of narrowing down our library holdings by combining various faceting options: French language / journals/periodicals / from 1920-1928 / at the Hoover Library; results ordered alphabetically.

The Hoover Institution Library "Pamphlet Collection(s)"

While the Library Collection contains pamphlets and ephemera in many places, a total of 55,000 pamphlets on a variety of subjects have been organized into a separate Pamphlet Collection. These pamphlets, which are predominantly in English, but also in German, Russian, and several other languages have also been microfilmed. While SearchWorks contains many catalog entries for individual parts of this collection, the general finding aid for it can be found on OAC, the online portal for exploring our archival collections. This online finding aid page is searchable as well. Highlights and arrows will lead you to each record which contains your chosen search terms. If you request items from this collection, you will generally be handed the microfilms. Please talk with our reference staff if you would like to review the physical copies instead.

Also, please note that the Hoover Library holds are more than one thousand additional "Pamphlet Collections" that are not part of the "Hoover Institution Library Pamphlet Collection." The titles of the contents of these collections are not included in the finding aid linked above. These collections can be found by performing a search for "Pamphlet Collection" on SearchWorks and limiting the results to "Hoover Library." If you review the long list of results, you will find a large number of records of "Pamphlet Collections" that include the note "Individual items in this collection not microfilmed and not indexed in the Hoover Pamphlet Database." Hence, you need to request these collections individually.

Items That Are Difficult to Discover

Please note that many items in the Hoover Library collection do not have detailed catalog records. This especially applies to serials and special collections-type materials in our collection, whose records often lack any subject headings. As a result, such items will not appear on the result lists of "Subject" searches. While our catalogers are working hard to upgrade the records of minimally cataloged items, for the foreseeable future many interesting and valuable sources will remain difficult to discover.

Usually, items with minimal cataloging will show up as search results only when you enter the exact title (or a part thereof). Sometimes, the name of the author or contributor might work as well. Yet you will find these items only if you perform an "All fields" search. A "Title" or "Author/Contributor" search oftentimes does not lead to the record. If you know such an item exists and know its title or author, you will thus be able to find it through SearchWorks. If you don't know this data, there are ways to discover it nonetheless, including a variety of reference works and guides. Moreover, our subject and reference specialists are always happy to advise you on how to identify and find library materials relevant for your research.

Reference Works, Collection Descriptions, and Guides

During the 20th century, Hoover Institution curators and librarians authored many collection descriptions and guides. While they reflect only materials acquired up the point of publication, some of these older reference works can still be useful today, helping you gain an orientation of our collections and alerting you to rare and unusual items. Here is a small selection:

Adams, E[phraim]. D[ouglass]. The Hoover War Collection at Stanford University, California: A Report and an Analysis. Stanford University: Stanford University Press, 1921.

Boeninger, Hildegard R. The Hoover Library Collection on Germany. Collection Survey, no. 2. Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, 1961.

Duignan, Peter. The Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace: Seventy-Five Years of Its History. [Stanford, Calif.]: Hoover Institution : Hoover Institution, Stanford University, 1989.

Duignan, Peter (ed.). The Library of the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1985.

Palm, Charles G. “The Hoover Library: Saving the History of War, Revolution, and Peace.” Imprint (Published by The Associates of the Stanford University Libraries) 21, no. 2 (Fall & Winter 2002-2003): 11–20.

Peterson, Agnes F. Western Europe: A Survey of Holdings at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace. Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, 1970.

Robertson, James McJ. "The Hoover Institution's German Working-Class Collection," International Labor and Working Class History 12 (November 1977): 10–18.

Russian Language Journals and Books on Microfilm (Including Some Other East European Publication). Stanford: Hoover Institution on War, Revolution, and Peace, Stanford University, 1965.

Sworakowski, Witold S. The Hoover Library Collection on Russia. Collection Survey, no 1. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1954.

 Dwyer, Joseph W. (ed.). Russia, the Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe: A Survey of Holdings at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace. Hoover Press Survey 6. Stanford, California: Hoover Institution Press, 1980.