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Research Institute for the Study of Man (RISM): Finding RISM Materials at NYU

The Collections of RISM at New York University

Finding RISM Materials at NYU

The great value of the RISM Collections has not only enhanced the NYU Libraries’ capacity to support research in the Caribbean region but has itself been enhanced by integration in the broader collections of the NYU Libraries. Set among the university’s rich holdings in both Caribbean materials and the broader resources of a strong humanities and social science library, the RISM Collections benefit from integration with the monographs, journals and other resources that now surround them.

The preponderance of the RISM monographic and serial items have been merged into the Bobst Library stack collections, but others have been placed in NYU’s Tamiment Library or the Fales Library, either out of concern for their rarity or because their subject matter best serves one of these more focused locations. * A total of 10,709 monographs were added to the NYU collections. 9,169 of these were added to the stack collections, while 1,213 were placed in the Fales Library and 327 in Tamiment. Of the 918 RISM journal titles, 843 were added to the stacks, while 25 were place in Fales, 9 in Tamiment, and the 41 newspapers on microfilm went to the Microform Reading Room. *

Of the 1,275 items from the RISM Collections that have been added to the holdings of NYU’s Fales Library on the 3rd floor of Bobst Library, many are items published in the 18th and 19th centuries that require special care and handling. But there are also many twentieth-century RISM titles in Fales, including most of the items from RISM relating to the Study of Chronic Marihuana Users in Jamaica (the Ganja Project). Books associated with the RISM archival collections [separately housed in the University Archives] have also been added to Fales Library. Books from the libraries of Vera Rubin, Carl Withers, Ruth Landes and Sula Benet are among these materials. There are also are three items in the Fales Library from the RISM vertical file, all associated with Vera Rubin.

Fewer RISM materials, 345 titles, were added the Tamiment Library collections on the 10th floor of Bobst. The focus here is on materials closely related to the Tamiment Library’s mission as a repository of radical politics and labor, and so materials related to political movements or activities and to labor force organization were selected for this location. Important primary source materials were identified, as were political materials that are unique or rare. While materials in these subjects published by university and commercial presses in the U.S. were largely sent to the stacks, publications from Latin American presses and some government documents were located in Tamiment. Of the 345 titles, 55 were drawn from the RISM vertical file. These are largely pamphlets and small monographs, forming a small but rich collection related to political activism and labor organizing in the Caribbean region.


* In addition, 3,968 duplicate titles were identified as already held in Bobst Library. These titles, marked “RISMX,” were not brought to NYUand are being sent to the University of the West Indies.