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last updated: 4/23/2012

Collection Development Policies - English and American Literature

English and American Literature

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This policy is intended as a guideline for purchases on the English and American Literature budget. This document provides an overview of the English and American Literature collection, and should serve as a guide for maintaining and updating the collection, and a reference for other collectors and administrators.

    2. Audience
      The intended audience is comprised of Libraries staff and administrators, faculty and students at Indiana University, and colleagues at other research libraries with comparable collections.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The English Department, one of the largest in the College of Arts & Sciences, has approximately 60 faculty, 500 undergraduate majors and 200 resident graduate students. It has a national and international reputation as a strong department and is typically ranked in the top 20 in national surveys of English graduate programs. The department offers the following degrees: B.A., M.A., M.A.T. (Master of Arts in Teaching), M.F.A. (Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing), and Ph.D.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History
        The collection has been carefully developed over the past several decades to become one of the nation’s best research collections. The Library materials purchased on the English and American Literature fund are intended primarily to support the instruction and research through the Ph.D. degree of English Department students and to support the research of the English Department faculty. A second objective is to make materials on English language literature available to the university community and to the scholarly community at large.

      2. Collections strengths and weaknesses
        The English Department offers courses in such a wide range of subjects and sponsors research is such a variety of areas that the holdings in these areas must be both very wide and very deep. To support reading and research in areas ranging from medieval language and literature to contemporary poetry, a vast collection of materials has been assembled over the years and must be maintained and augmented.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        The collection excels in its English and American literature from all major movements and time periods. Traditionally other literatures in English outside the U.S. and U.K. were collected only at a basic level, but the current trend is to take a more inclusive approach by collecting literatures in English from throughout the world.

      4. Collection locations
        The collection is located primarily on the 10th floor of the Wells Library Research Collections; other materials are housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF).
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded:
      Most of the materials purchased on the English and American Literature fund are in English, but there are many works in French, German, and Italian or other languages.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      Highest priority is given to the literature of Great Britain and the United States. However, collecting at either the basic or the instructional level has traditionally been done in the literature in English of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the West Indies, and South Asia. Most African literature in English is selected by the African Studies bibliographer using African Studies funds. Collections need to be built in these areas now to accommodate trends in postcolonial studies and the globalization of scholarship.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      All periods are covered.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      To date, collection development has been strong so there is only occasional need for retrospective collecting in the traditional areas. From the 19th and 20th centuries, Anglophone literature from countries other than the US and the UK needs retrospective attention.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Inclusions: The English and American Literature fund is used primarily for the purchase of books and periodicals. Microform series of rare or old materials are also acquired, as are facsimile editions or facsimile series. Dissertations are ordered as requested in xerographic printout form if possible. OP books and periodical runs are acquired for the Wells Library only as funds and availability permit.

      Exclusions: Audiovisual materials are not ordered on the English and American literature fund, but are instead ordered by the Media librarian on the Media fund. As a rule, rare and expensive books are not ordered on the English and American Literature fund. Generally children’s literature is not purchased on this fund but facsimile reprints of old classics and books about children’s literature may be acquired on this fund.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Librarian for English and American Literature has primary responsibility for selection and collection management. There is frequent collaboration/cooperation with collection managers for Performing Arts, History, Folklore, and Film Studies.

  4. Related Collections
    Related disciplines include African-American and Diaspora Studies, Chicano-Riqueno Studies, Children’s Literature, Classical Studies, Comparative Literature, Film Studies, Fine Arts, Folklore, Gender Studies, History, Jewish Studies, Journalism, Library Science, the Lilly Library, the Media Center, Music, Philosophy, Reference, Religious Studies, and Theatre and Drama.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Approval plans, vendor catalogs, reviews, announcements, and advertisements from publications including but not limited to the following:
    • Australasian Victorian Studies Journal
    • Australian Book Review
    • English Literary History
    • Irish Studies Review
    • Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies
    • Romanticism
    • Scottish Studies Review
    • Shakespeare Quarterly
    • Studies in English Literature, 1500-1900
    • TLS
    • Victorian Studies
  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      • Pre-1800 publications
      • Nineteenth-century materials
    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      • Pre-1800 publications
      • Nineteenth-century materials
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    To date, selection has been based on the existence of duplicate copies. For the next phase, age (i.e., pre-1990), use and condition will be considered. Journal runs that are available in electronic form will also be considered for transfer.

  8. Digital Projects
    1. Projects current as of 2007 include Midwestern Identities, a collaborative project with other subject librarians. The project will digitize and create a context for 200 titles published in the U.S. that are characterized by attention to immigrant culture and assimilation in the Midwest. The Wright American Fiction project also falls under the purview of the Librarian for English and American Literature.
  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    Major University resources include the Media Center with its audiovisual materials, and the Lilly Library, with its special collections of rare books, manuscripts, papers, letters and notes contemporary belles-lettres. The collections of the Lilly and Wells Libraries combined constitute a comprehensive collection of English and American Literature since 1960. A major local resource is the library of the Kinsey Institute.

  10. Consortial Agreements
    None


Revised April 2012


last updated: 4/23/2012