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last updated: 4/23/2012

Collection Development Policies - Geology

Geology Collection

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This Collection Development Policy is a general statement of goals for the development of the Geosciences Library's collection; it provides an overview of the existing collection and states the principles by which the collection will be developed. The policy summarizes the Library's objectives, although their achievement is dependent on the availability of resources. "Collection" is defined as all information, regardless of format, that is selected from the array of resources available world-wide for purchase, lease or license, and provided to Indiana University Libraries' users. This policy should serve as a guide for future collection development decisions, insure the best allocation of funds and provide a means of assessing progress towards the University Libraries' mission to "support and strengthen teaching, learning, and research at Indiana University". It also informs library users at the University and elsewhere about the Library's selection principles.

      This policy is intended to be a flexible document that responds to the changes, challenges and opportunities in the academic environment, scholarly publishing world and consortial relationships. It assumes that the content and format of the Collection will continue to change to meet the diverse and changing user needs and preferences of the Department of Geosciences, Indiana Geological Survey, Indiana University and other Library users. This policy also addresses the expansion of multidisciplinary research and new methods of research dissemination and delivery.

    2. Audience
      This Collection Development Policy will assist library selectors with decisions regarding the collection and inform users in the Department of Geosciences at Indiana University, Indiana Geological Survey, other IU Campuses and the wider community of Library users about the collection's current priorities and direction.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The Geosciences Library serves the needs of the Department of Geosciences at Indiana University and the Indiana Geological Survey. As the primary earth science collection in the State, it also provides for the needs of other Indiana University campuses, other Universities in the state and region, as well as state, federal and local government agencies.

      The Department of Geosciences offers both B.A and B.S degrees in Geology and a B.S. degree in Environmental Sciences, both with an Honors option, as well as a minor in Geological Sciences. The Department of Geological Sciences also offers the Master of Science and the Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The Department of Geological Sciences trains students for positions as professional geologists in industry, research laboratories, federal or state government, and university or college faculty. The BA degree provides a background in the earth sciences for secondary earth science teachers and people who want a general knowledge of geology and its relationship to other sciences. Courses cover all subject areas in geology and related fields.

      The Department's research programs deal with a variety of areas, some of which are interdisciplinary, including: Biogeochemistry, Geochemistry, Environmental Geology, Hydrogeology, Paleontology, Stratigraphy, Sedimentology, Mineralogy, Petrology, Economic Geology, Geophysics, Tectonics, and Structural Geology. Faculty have multidisciplinary research interests dealing with many areas of the world, including Indiana, other parts of the United States, Canada, the Caribbean and tropics, Europe, Asia, South America, the world's oceans and even the Moon and other planets.

      The Indiana Geological Survey is an institute of the University which serves the state of Indiana, contributes to the wise use of its energy, mineral and ground-water resources and protects the health, safety and welfare of the people of the State. It works to discover and promote resource development and conservation, maintains geological databases and samples, investigates geologic and environmental hazards and disseminates information through public education, publications, such as its maps and reports, and direct contact with the public.

      The Indiana Geological Survey conducts interdisciplinary research related to energy & mineral resources, environmental geology, and natural hazards. Some people at the Survey also teach courses in the Department of Geological Sciences, and other departments on campus.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        In 1871, the collection of David Dale Owen, a geologist, was purchased by the University. This collection contained approximately 85,000 items, including specimens, papers and books. When a building was erected to house the collection in 1873, the Natural History Department and the Geology Department were located on its third floor with the library on the second floor. This building and all of its contents, including the Owen Collection, were destroyed when it burned in 1883.

        Geology was next mentioned as an academic subject collection in 1894; at this time the geologic literature was housed in Owen Hall. The library was moved to Science Hall in 1903, and moved to Owen Hall in 1937. Upon completion of the current Geology Building in 1962, the collection was moved to its present location on the 6th floor of the Geology Building; at the time, it occupied 2/3 of the floor. The Library's expansion into its present space of 11,590 square feet was completed in 1978.

        In 1944, the State Geological Survey relocated its offices and collections to Bloomington; in 1964 they moved into the Survey wing of the Geology Building. Their library collections were integrated into the existing Geosciences Library collection at that time.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The Geology Collection contains literature covering all areas of the geosciences including, but not limited to, geology, paleontology, geochemistry, hydrology, oceanography and fossil fuels. The materials in the collection are not limited by geographical boundaries. The collection includes a complete run of materials published by the Indiana Geological Survey and other state surveys in the region. However, it also contains a broad range of publications related to the geology of the United States, Canada, western Europe and other parts of the world. The collection strength can be attributed to continued university and alumni support, the Federal Depository status of the University Libraries, and the Indiana Geological Survey's exchange program.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        The following areas of geology are covered in depth: Geology, Mineral Industries, Petroleum Science, Coal Industry & Science, Water Resources, Hydrology, Geomorphology, Geophysics, Geochemistry, Paleontology, Paleolimnology, Planetary Geology and History of Geology. Of slightly lesser importance are: Soils, Glacial Geology and Oceanography.

      4. Collection locations
        For the most part, the Geology Collection is located in the Geosciences Library, Room 601 of the Geology Building. Some geoscience materials are located in the Main Library stacks. Materials in related subject areas can be found in the Geography & Map, Life Sciences, Business/SPEA Libraries and the Auxiliary Library Facility. The Geosciences Library has a large number of shelving locations including:
        • ATLAS STAND - Used for materials located on the atlas stands near the Reference Desk. These items do not circulate
        • ATLASES - Used for any flat item shelved on the end of Compact Shelving, (A10, B1 & C10, D1).
        • CD-ROM - Used for CD-ROM materials. This is located on the top shelf of the current periodicals area.
        • COMPACT STORAGE (_GEOLSXXX) - Used for materials shelved in the shelving units located near the back door of the Geosciences Library. XXX indicates the storage unit.
        • DVD - Used for DVD materials. This is located at the end of the CD-ROMs on the top shelf of the current periodicals area.
        • MAP CASES (_GEOLMAPR) - Used for any item filed in the map cases in the Map Room except for cataloged maps. This includes USGS Topographic Maps and all the uncataloged maps.
        • MAP FILES (_GEOLMAPF) - Used for materials filed in the file cabinets in the Map Room. Most of these items are uncataloged.
        • MAP SHELVES (_GEOLMAPS) - Used for any item on the shelves in the hall leading to the Map Room and on the shelves in the Map Room. This may include maps with Su-Docs Call Numbers (starting with I 19. such as the MF, I, GQ, GP, HA, maps, etc.) and cataloged maps in envelopes which do not fit into the file cabinets. The cataloged maps in envelopes are located at the near end of the map stacks near the entrance to the hall leading to the Map Room.
        • MAPS - Used for cataloged maps in the map room. These maps are filed in the black cabinet on the east side of the map room.
        • OVERSIZED - Used for materials filed in the single large storage unit located in the E Row of Compact Shelving.
        • REFERENCE - Any item in the Geosciences Library Reference Collection.
        • SPECIAL - Any item in Special Collections, the locked room near the hall to the Map Room. These items do not circulate or leave the Geosciences Library.
        • STACKS - All materials in the stacks with locations other than those listed above.
        • VIDEO - Used for videotapes. The few videos in the Geosciences Library are located on the top shelves of the Current Periodicals Area.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      The Geology Collection is chiefly English, but not limited to any single language. Although foreign-language materials are not usually purchased, donations in other languages are selectively retained. Many of the non-English materials come through the Indiana Geological Survey's exchange program. The Geosciences Library also has many foreign-language journals; most of the holdings for these titles are closed as they are no longer received.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      Geology is a world-wide science which does not limit itself to any one geographic locality. While the collection is designed to support research on the United States, studies of other areas of the world are also important.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      In the Geosciences, the term chronology can be interpreted to represent the publication date of materials or the geological time period covered by the materials. Materials covering all geologic time periods will be considered for the collection. Section D provides information on dates of materials that will be acquired for the Collection.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Geologists use both current and retrospective materials. While the present collecting emphasis is on current materials, older materials needed to support current research or related to the geology of Indiana should be selectively acquired.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      The Geology Collection should include: books (intermediate & advanced); journals; maps; spatial data; conference proceedings; subject oriented dictionaries and encyclopedias; IU dissertations and theses; U.S. government publications; geological survey documents from all states and countries; microfiche; guidebooks; and handbooks. Some materials come in electronic form, including CD-ROM and DVD (spatial data) U.S. Government documents related to Indiana or of interest to users that are only issued as electronic pdf documents are printed and retained in print.

      The Geology Collection should also acquire some general-level textbooks. Some materials are becoming available in both print and electronic formats; decisions to collect in one or the other format (or both) should be made on a title by title basis in consultation with the Geology Faculty.

      Media: The Geosciences Library has a substantial collection of materials on CD-ROM and DVD. Most of these materials are depository materials, including spatial data, issued by the U.S. Geological Survey and other government agencies. The Library also has a small collection of videos; most of these are government publications or parts of other series held by the Library. Other media will be collected on request. All videos, CD-ROMs and DVDs are shelved on the top shelves in the Current Periodicals Area.

      Maps: The Geology Collection should retain all geologic maps that arrive through the Indiana Geological Survey's exchange program. Current geologic maps for states, countries and Canadian provinces should also be acquired. All editions of Indiana topographic maps should be retained, or obtained through other Library disposal lists. The Collection should include only the most recent edition of other U.S. Depository maps. Older editions will be sent to the Geography and Map Library.

      Spatial Data: An effort should be made to collect and archive spatial data, especially data related to Indiana. Other spatial data should be acquired as needed. The most common storage medium for electronic spatial data is CD-ROM and DVD, will have to be acquired.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Head of the Geosciences Library will primarily be responsible for day-to-day decisions regarding the collection. Geology Department faculty and collection managers in other units, including Government Publications, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Astonomy, Geography & Maps, SPEA, History & Philosophy of Science and the Lilly Library should be consulted as needed.

  4. Related Collections
    Subject areas of related interest, which are covered to some extent by other IU Libraries are Cartography (Geography & Map Library), Paleobotany (Life Sciences), Palynology (Life Sciences), Earth Science Industries (Business/SPEA), Environment (Business/SPEA), Land Use (Geography and Map Library), Law (Law) and Meteorology (Geography and Map Library).

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Materials to be purchased will be identified through recommendations from students, faculty & staff, needs identified while answering reference questions, approval slips & forms, and web sites for publishers, geological societies, map vendors and government agencies. Book reviews, especially reviews appearing in E-STREAMS and geological journals, will be consulted as needed, but because of the delay between the publication of a book and appearance of a review, book reviews from these sources should not be used as the primary means of selection.

  6. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      Material in all formats should be preserved whenever possible, especially items of significant research, historical or aesthetic value which would benefit of research and scholarship in the longer term. Items that are rare, unique or valuable should be retained in their original format, especially if they deal with local geology. If possible, these items should be placed in the Geosciences Library Special Collections. Rare or expensive material which is kept in the Geosciences Library Special Collections should be considered a high priority for Preservation treatment or mass deacidification. Serials and monographs in the main stacks area with binding problems should be routinely identified and sent for repair and/or rebinding when possible. Local area maps, or those which could be heavily used, should be considered for encapsulation prior to use. Other maps should be repaired and encapsulated as needed.

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      The following materials should be considered high priorities for preservation review and treatment:
      1. Materials in Geosciences Library Special Collections.
      2. Materials related to the Geology of Indiana.
      Maps from the early Indiana Geological Survey Annual Reports (QE 109 .A2) are very fragile, assuming that they are intact at all. These would be useful to a number of people, including historians, geologists, archaeologists and genealogists. An effort to flatten, repair and encapsulate these maps should be made. If possible, these maps should be digitized at the same time.
  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    Because geologists regularly use both current and retrospective literature, serial titles which are part of current subscriptions have not been considered for ALF. Materials which will be sent to ALF include titles with closed holdings in the GeosciencesLibrary's compact shelving area, print indexes, statistical compendia and directories. Materials printed in non-Roman alphabets, which are rarely used should also be considered. Monographs that have been sent to ALF were chosen because their subject content was not appropriate for the Geosciences Library: creationism, history, travel, ceramics and print bibliographies. These call number ranges should be reviewed further to identify additional titles that might be appropriate for ALF.

  8. Digital Projects
    1. Criteria for selection for digitization
      Materials related to Indiana, especially older materials on the geology of the State, should be considered for digitization. This would reduce the need for use of these fragile print materials and make them more widely available to people in the State and elsewhere. In particular, some of the items which have been transcribed, including the Bulletin of the Brookville Society of Natural History (Special Collections QH1.B8), should be scanned so that the information can be accessed and used while preserving the originals.

    2. Priorities for collections to be digitized
      The Indiana Academy of Sciences meeting abstracts, which have been published separately since the early 1990s, are not available in any IU Library. If possible, the electronic versions of these publications should be acquired so that they can be used to develop a searchable database of the abstracts. The Bulletin of the Brookville Society of Natural History (QH1.B8) which have been transcribed and made available on the Geosciences Library web site, should be scanned for preservation so that the originals can be preserved.Maps from the early Indiana Geological Survey Annual Reports (QE 109 .A2) are very fragile, assuming that they are intact at all. These would be useful to a number of people, including historians, geologists, archaeologists and genealogists. An effort to flatten, repair and encapsulate these maps should be made. If possible, these maps should be digitized at the same time.The List of Geological Literature Added to the Geological Society's Library (Geology Reference Z6035 .G34) is often consulted to verify citations to geological literature related to other areas of the world for faculty, colleagues and Interlibrary Loan. Digitizing these volumes would make this information more widely available to Libraries throughout the world.
  9. Other Resources and Libraries
    Other collections of earth science materials in the region include Purdue University, Indiana State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. These collections do provide materials through Interlibrary Loan, and may or may not be used by Geosciences Library patrons.

  10. Consortial Agreements

Geology Collection Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/23/2012