Special Bibliography

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Special Bibliography


(otraslevaia bibliografiia; sometimes translated as “subject bibliography”), bibliography serving an individual branch of knowledge or practical activity.

While always remaining part of a unified bibliographical system, special bibliography is at the same time an integral part of individual branches of knowledge. It is guided by their problems and subordinate to their structure and characteristic features. Hence, each individual field of special bibliography may be regarded as an auxiliary discipline within its respective field. In Soviet bibliographical theory and practice, the concept of special bibliography first emerged in the 1930’s in place of the broader concept of specialized bibliography; foreign bibliography has no equivalent term.

Individual books on bibliography with special content are encountered as early as the 16th century. However, the actual development of special bibliography dates from the 19th century, first appearing as manuals encompassing the literature of several closely related branches of knowledge. With the increasing differentiation of branches of knowledge, bibliographical indexes treating individual disciplines and their subdivisions appeared. By the late 19th and early 20th centuries, bibliographical textbooks and aids devoted to narrow, specialized fields appeared more often, along with textbooks and manuals devoted to individual topics. By the mid-20th century, topical bibliography (tematicheskaia bibliografiia; also translated as “subject bibliography”) had formed and was on a level with special bibliography.


Ivanov, D. D. “Podytozhivaiushchaia funktsiia otraslevoi bibliografii.” In Trudy BAN SSSR i FBON AN SSSR, 1961, vol. 5.
Bibliografiia obshchestvenno-politicheskoi literatury, part 1, 2nd ed. Moscow, 1968.
Bibliografia obshchestvenno-politicheskoi literatury, parts 2–3. Moscow, 1963–64.
Bibliografiia estestvennonauchnoi, tekhnicheskoi i sel’skokhoziaistvennoi literatury. Moscow, 1971.
Bibliografiia khudozhestvennoi literatury i literaturovedeniia. Moscow, 1971.
Bibliografiia iskusstva. Moscow, 1973.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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