Doing Research in Sociology in the Princeton University Library
 Videos, Images and Maps

Video Resources. Psdfaerinceton's Video Library includes some several thousand videos, DVD's, and laserdiscs.  It is located in the Humanities Resource Center in 011 East Pyne, on the basement level.  Records for these materials are found in the Main Catalog of  the University Library with the location symbols LRC or VIDL.  Searches for videos can be enhanced in the Main Catalog by using the Guided mode, and then Limiting the search to Video format.  The Sociology Selector especially welcomes recommendations for videos relevant to Sociology to be purchased for the video collections.

Videos, especially historic documentaries, provide an unparalled opportunity to see first hand what has happened at critical junctures in our history as a world people, and so open the doors for study and analysis in sociological terms. Note especially this British archive that covers events in most of Europe for a very long while:

    • British Pathe. Open Internet: <>
      Archive of 90,000 videos covering newsreel, sports footage, social history, documentaries, entertainment and music stories from 1896 to 1976
    • American Experience.. Open Internet <>
      Many of the powerful documentaries in this series from PBS television are available online. Others are often held as DVDs in the Video Library in the Humanities Resource Center at Princeton. While some programs here are dramatizations using art work and objects from the time, still others have actual footage of the events being considered, and contain interviews with those who were present. It is compelling to hear and see commentary from those who were present, even many years afterward.

Image Resources. Literal snapshots of events and persons. Note especially the Associated Press archive.and the image file from the New York Public Library.

    • AP Images
      The Associated Press' current year's photo report and a selection of over 4.6 million images from their library dating from the 1820s.
    • New York Public Library Digital Collection
      NYPL Digital Gallery provides access to over 275,000 images digitized from primary sources and printed rarities in the collections of The New York Public Library, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints and photographs, illustrated books, printed ephemera, and more.

Maps.  Holdings of maps in both paper and digital  formats are especially strong at Princeton.

    • The Map Library in Fine Halll is one of the largest cartographic collections at an academic institution, with a large collection of contemporary (post 1918) maps in political, physical, and cultural geography Current road maps and atlases for all countries and major cities are available as well. The collection is also strong in geoscience, topographic, and bathymetric maps charts.  In addition, staff in the Map Collection is happy to acquire on request any maps not already held.
    • The Digital Map and Geospatrial Information Center is located in the Geosciences and Map Library  in Guyot Hall.  The Center provides access to geospatial data, digital map services and geographic information systems, (GIS) for computer based mapping and analysis.  Also provided are reference  assistance, research consultation, and instruction for all levels of user experience.  Data of interest  in Sociology such as that from the U.S. Census can be related to physical geography here.
    •  Princeton's Historical Maps Collection is found in the Visual Materials Division of the Rare Books  and Special Collections  Department in Firestone Library.  The Collection of Historic Maps contains  some 40,000 pre-1919 sheet maps and charts, from  all parts of the world, especially Europe and the Americas.

Page last updated  14 March 2012 in the Princeton University Library.