The main entrance to the Van Pelt-Dietrich Library Center is now open. Van Pelt Library and the Fisher Fine Arts Library are currently open to Penn Card holders, Penn affiliates, and certain visitors. See our Service Alerts for details.

Accordion List

The Wharton School, the world's first collegiate business school, was founded in 1881 by Philadelphia industrialist and philanthropist Joseph Wharton. A native Philadelphian, Wharton became a leader in industrial metallurgy and built a fortune through his American Nickel Company and Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The anvil, a School symbol, reflects Wharton's pioneering work in the metal industry. Joseph Wharton envisioned creating a new collegiate foundation which would produce educated leaders of business and government. From the beginning, he defined the goal of the Wharton School of Finance and Economy (its original name) to be: "To provide for young men special means of training and of correct instruction in the knowledge and in the arts of modern Finance and Economy, both public and private, in order that, being well informed and free from delusions upon these important subjects, they may either serve the community skillfully as well as faithfully in offices of trust, or, remaining in private life, may prudently manage their own affairs and aid in maintaining sound financial morality: in short, to establish means for imparting a liberal education in all matters concerning Finance and Economy." Commencement for the first undergraduate class of the Wharton School was in June of 1884. Setting an early standard for diversity and international leadership at Wharton, graduates of the class went on to become an ambassador to Brazil, a member of the Japanese legislature, a university historian, and a manufacturer of railroad supplies. Wharton's MBA program was initiated in 1921. In 1931, the first woman earned a Wharton MBA and in 1954, the first women were admitted to the undergraduate program. The Wharton Executive MBA program began in 1974 and hosts programs in Philadelphia and San Francisco, with a Global cohort commencing in 2023. Today, the Wharton School is one of the preeminent schools of business in the world and is widely regarded as a leader in preparing students to succeed in a globally competitive business environment. It offers undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees in 10 academic departments: Accounting; Business Economics & Public Policy; Finance; Health Care Management; Legal Studies & Business Ethics; Management; Marketing; Operations, Information & Decisions; Real Estate; and Statistics & Data Science. The research interests of the faculty tend to be highly quantitative and data-driven.

1. Chronological

Emphasis is on current research.

2. Formats

All formats are collected, with a preference for electronic/digital formats for most materials. Recent acquisitions have included data sets which require storage space to be housed, maintained, and accessible to researchers.

3. Geographical


4. Language

Primarily English.

5. Publication Dates

Emphasis is on current materials. Retrospective collection is done selectively to fill in gaps or in response to requests.

Lippincott Library primarily collects materials in the Social Sciences, including Library of Congress Classes HA through HJ. Library of Congress Class QA is also a focus, as the Statistics & Data Science Department is part of the Wharton School. 

There is no formal collection arrangement with any local library. There is some overlap with the following libraries and collections:


Recommendations for materials come from a variety of sources. Emphasis is placed on resources that support faculty and doctoral candidates' research as well as resources used in real business settings which students need to know to be competitive in the workplace.

The Director of Lippincott Library is a member of the Academic Business Library Directors group which focuses on issues related to business libraries, as well as evaluation of new and existing resources. 

Subject specific listservs, blogs, journals, associations, product announcements, conferences, and regular interactions with vendors provide additional information on relevant materials. 

Lippincott attempts to acquire all books authored by Wharton faculty. Textbooks to support current classes are also collected and maintained in a reserve collection.