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

Gregory A. Crawford, Glenn McGuigan, Debra Mattern Kephart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)108-112
Number of pages5
JournalCollection Building
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 28 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Library and Information Sciences


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