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last updated: 4/23/2012

Collection Development Policies - History and Philosopy of Science

History and Philosophy of Science

  1. Introduction
    1. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The History and Philosophy of Science fund acquires materials primarily in support of the undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty of the Indiana University Bloomington Department of History and Philosophy of Science. The Department of History and Philosophy of Science is a small but very active department, (currently with 9 full time faculty members, 8 adjunct faculty members, and approximately 30 graduate students). In addition to a Master of Arts, a Doctor of Philosophy and a Ph.D. minor, the department offers an undergraduate Interdisciplinary Area Certificate. The Department was founded in 1960, the first Department of History and Philosophy of Science at a U.S. university. History and Philosophy of Science materials are also used by faculty and students in History, Religious Studies, Philosophy and other departments.

    2. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        In addition to scholarly monographs and journals on the History and Philosophy of Science collected by the Libraries since the department was founded in 1960, the HPS collection draws on IU's long history of strong science programs. Materials originally collected for working scientists now make up a significant part of the history of science collection.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        Strengths include medieval and early modern science, alchemy, history and philosophy of physics, chemistry, biology and mathematics. History of medicine is collected on the History fund because most of the historians of medicine at Indiana University Bloomington are currently in the Department of History.

      3. Collection locations
        Most of the collection is now housed in the Main Library and the Auxiliary Library Facility, with some materials remaining in the various science libraries.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Materials are collected in English and other western European languages, especially German, Italian and French. No languages are excluded by policy: materials in languages covered by Areas Studies programs are acquired in consultation and cooperation with Area Studies librarians.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      Emphasis is on western Europe and the U.S., but no geographical area is excluded by policy.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      Ancient/classical Greece and Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance, Early Modern and Modern. No period is excluded by policy.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Both current and out-of-print materials are collected.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Print and electronic monographs and journals, microform and digital collections, non-IU dissertations if requested by faculty or graduate students. Videos and DVDs are rarely collected on this fund, but the collection manager conveys recommendations to the collection manager for Media. Although the Department is interested in the preservation of scientific instruments, realia are currently not collected through the Libraries.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    The Librarian for History, Religious Studies and History and Philosophy of Science manages the history and philosophy of science fund and has primary responsibility for the HPS collection in the Main Library. She collaborates with collection managers for the Science Libraries and for Philosophy.

  4. Related Collections
    The science libraries, the IU Archives, the IU Herbarium

  5. Principle Tools and Selection: Major and Supply of Sources
    Approval plans from Blackwell, Harrassowitz, Casalini Libri. Book reviews in core journals, including Isis, Philosophy of Science and others, as well as Choice and Library Journal.

  6. Selection Criteria for ALF
    Rare, fragile and otherwise vulnerable materials may be selected for ALF unless they are also high-use, in which case they will shelve in the Main Library Secure Area. Other ALF criteria: generally speaking, materials deemed of little or no value to contemporary practitioners of a science, but not yet old enough to be of particular interest to historians of science.

    In addition to materials that self-select for preservation treatment by falling apart in the library users' hands, materials that are high-use, rare, not represented in microformat or digital form, monetarily valuable and/or on extremely acidic paper are given priority for preservation.

    Criteria for digitization include: relevance to Indiana University curriculum, local interest, complementarity to other digitized collections of the Indiana University Libraries.

  7. Other Resources and Libraries
    The Ruth Lilly Medical Library in Indianapolis provides a more thorough collection in the history of medicine (a subject of interest to both the Department of History and the Department of History and Philosophy of Science). Foreign and regional newspapers and highly specialized microform collections in Center for Research Libraries in Chicago complement our holdings.

  8. Consortial Agreements
    None



History and Philosophy of Science Home Page

Revised April 2012


last updated: 4/23/2012