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The ownership of presidential campaign biographies by libraries: an empirical study

Gregory A. Crawford (Penn State Harrisburg Library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)
Glenn McGuigan (Penn State Harrisburg Library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)
Debra Mattern Kephart (Penn State Harrisburg Library, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, USA)

Collection Building

ISSN: 0160-4953

Article publication date: 4 July 2008

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to examine the inclusion of biographies of presidential candidates in library collections.

Design/methodology/approach

OCLC's WorldCat database was used to search for biographies of presidential candidates that were held by libraries. Only biographies from the two years preceeding and the actual year of a presidential election were included in the analyses.

Findings

The results show that although candidate biographies are plentiful, most are owned by only a few libraries. Recent elections have seen the greatest number of these biographies, many of which have been produced by special interest groups. Analyses show that libraries collect these biographies without regard to party affiliation of the candidate or whether the candidate was victorious.

Research limitations/implications

Only major party candidates were included in the analyses.

Originality/value

Although such campaign materials may seem ephemeral, the paper shows that this material provides the raw material for future research on presidential campaigns and its associated advertising.

Keywords

Citation

Crawford, G.A., McGuigan, G. and Mattern Kephart, D. (2008), "The ownership of presidential campaign biographies by libraries: an empirical study", Collection Building, Vol. 27 No. 3, pp. 108-112. https://doi.org/10.1108/01604950810886013

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited