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last updated: 4/23/2012

Collection Development Policies - Latin American

Latin American, Iberian and Latino Studies

  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      Latin American collection at Indiana University supports the advanced research and curriculum needs of various academic departments and programs in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences that offer both undergraduate and graduate programs in this field of study.

    2. Audience
      Faculty and students affiliated with the Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies (CLACS) are our most important constituents. CLACS is a multidisciplinary program that encompasses the humanities, social sciences, and the professional schools. It offers both undergraduate and graduate programs. Graduate programs range from traditional M.A degrees to Ph.D. area certificates, including special dual graduate degree programs in the fields of business, library science, and public affairs. Undergraduates may pursue a minor or an area certificate. There are approximately sixty faculty members affiliated with Latin American Studies program In addition, History, Spanish & Portuguese, Anthropology, Folklore, SPEA, Political Science, and Music have traditionally had strong interests in the collection.

    3. Brief overview of the collection
      1. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The strength of the graduate-level research materials in the Latin American collection relates to Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Peru, with history, language and literature, folklore, and anthropology as the subjects best represented in the collection. According to the 1997 North American Title Count, the Latin American collection ranks among the top research collections in the country in the following fields: South American history, Mexican history, colonial Brazilian literature, and South American literature. The collection's holdings in Central American and Caribbean history, modern Brazilian literature, and Mexican literature are of national importance. The collection is also strong in Latin American indigenous language materials, which includes Haitian Creole.

      2. Collection locations
        Primarily housed in the Main Library Research Collections, the Latin American collection consists of both primary and secondary source materials with a humanities and social science orientation. The collection has been estimated at over 350,000 volumes of monographs, serials, microforms, maps, and videos on Latin America and the Caribbean. Including resources in other branch libraries and repositories on the Bloomington campus, the collection holdings exceed 500,000 pieces of materials for the teaching and research of Latin American topics.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Preponderance of materials in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. Materials in indigenous languages are actively selected. Titles in French, Italian, and German are selectively acquired. As to works of fiction, English-language translations are acquired when are of scholarly interest.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      All countries of Latin America and the Caribbean region are covered, with Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Venezuela, and Central America receiving most emphasis. The non-Hispanic Caribbean is selectively collected. Imprints published throughout the Western Hemisphere and Europe predominate in the collection.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      Materials dealing with pre-Columbian civilizations to present times, with particular strengths in colonial and modern periods. Post-1800 imprints predominate.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Acquisition of current materials is the norm. Purchase of retrospective and out-of-print materials is undertaken in limited scale, primarily in response to research and curricular demands of faculty.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Monographs and serials acquisitions in print format predominate. Primary source materials in microform are purchased on a more selective basis. We currently subscribe to the main online bibliographic indexes in the field (the Hispanic American Periodical Index, the Handbook of Latin American Studies, and ARL's Latin American Periodicals Tables of Contents), but expansion in this area is limited to available funding. Resources in video, DVDs and CD-Rom formats are only occasionally purchased. At present, no newspaper subscriptions are maintained.
  3. Collecting Responsibility
    A full-time librarian is responsible for the Latin American collection in the Main Library and for collaborating with other collection managers and units of the IU Libraries on matters of Latin America and the Caribbean.

  4. Related Collections
    Latin America figures prominently in the anthropology, economics, folklore, gender studies, government publications, history, linguistics, philosophy, political science, reference, and religion research collections.

    Several branch libraries and collections have important holdings that enhance the Latin American collection. The Lilly Library has extensive and unique rare book and manuscript holdings in the history of Latin America from discovery through the early Independence period. A broad collection of legislative and statistical resources is housed in the Government Information, Microforms, and Statistical Services Library (GIMSS). The Geography-Map Library and the GeosciencesLibrary both have large map collections. Business, labor, sustainable development, trade, and public administration are actively collected by the Business/SPEA Library. The Music Library and the Latin American Music Center contain books, scores, and sound recordings covering the colonial period to the present. The Archives of Traditional Music has a significant collection of audio recordings of distinctive value for Latin American ethnomusicology. The Fine Arts Library selectively collects Latin American art and exhibition catalogs. The Main Library Media/Reserves Department and Instructional Support Services Media Resources actively collect Latin American film and documentary resources. The ethnographic and archaeological collection of the Mathers Museum and the human sexuality materials of the Kinsey Institute both have important holdings for research on Latin American topics. The international law collection of the Law Library has important, selected resources for the study of Latin America, specifically the civil codes of several countries.

  5. Principal Sources of Supply and Major Selection Tools
    Selection of Spanish- and Portuguese-language print resources is carried out on a title-by-title basis by the Librarian for Latin American Studies. At present, only two small approval plans are in place: the Brazilian Emerging Writers plan with Susan Bach and the Peninsular literature and criticism with Puvill Libros. In addition, the IU Libraries' general approval plan program increases the Latin American collection's base budget by supporting the purchase of monographs in English from American and British university and trade presses.

    Both print and electronic lists and catalogs from publishers as well as from domestic and foreign book vendors who specialize in the Ibero-American book trade constitute our most important selection tools.The Librarian also relies on the following tools and resources to select new and retrospective titles:
    • recommendations by faculty, researchers, and graduate students;
    • topical and author searches in online union catalogs, such as OCLC's WorldCat and RLIN/Eureka;
    • the print newsletter and listserv of the Seminar on the Acquisitions of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) Please note that the site has the contact information for Ibero-American vendors and links to Latin American collection websites.
    • book reviews from core journals in the field published in the United States and abroad (Examples: Hispanic American Historical Review, Latin American Research Review, Journal of Latin American Studies, Estudios Mexicanos/Mexican Studies, Luso-Brazilian Review; Hispania);
    • H-NET Reviews;
    • attendance to international book fairs, most notably the Guadalajara International Book Fair
    • websites from international cultural organizations, such as Casa de las Américas;
    • other Latin American collection's recent acquisitions lists (available through SALALM page);
    • and foreign news broadcasts and cultural TV programs, including NPR, Univisión, Telemundo, CNN en Español, Canal 22/Conaculta Mexico, and Television Española.
    Periodically, I also scan the bibliography section of recent titles to search for relevant citations for possible addition to collection. In addition, the Librarian also searches the online inventory of books in print published by CERLALC, the Centro Regional para el Fomento del Libro en América Latina y el Caribe

    To a lesser extent, gifts-in-kind are another source of supply of resources for the collection. The Librarian is currently exploring ways to establish an exchange program with other Latin American collections.

  6. Preservation
    At present, the Latin American collection has no routine preservation program in place. Nonetheless, IU has contributed to important regional cooperative preservation initiatives of Latin Americana. In 2002, the Big Ten libraries were awarded a NEH grant for preservation microfilming of Latin American periodicals. As part of this project, IU was responsible for microfilming 920 titles published in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This project was successfully completed in December 2002.

  7. Selection Criteria for ALF
    The Librarian for Latin American Studies will rely on the following criteria for selection of titles to be transferred to the Auxiliary Library Facility (ALF):

    • Physical condition of the volume (brittleness, deterioration)
    • Low-use resources
    • Inactive subscriptions (ceased and cancelled serial publications)
    • Duplicates (multiple copies of a book and various editions of textbooks)
    • Outdated directories
  8. Digital Projects
    None currently in place.

  9. Other Resources andLibraries
    The Center for Research Libraries' (CRL) extraordinarycollection of Latin American newspapers and dissertations help fill animportant lacuna in our collection.

  10. Consortial Agreements
    The IU Libraries participate in key national and international cooperative projects that support the study of Latin American literature. IU is a member of the Association for Research Libraries' (ARL) Latin Americanist Research Resources Project Together with partners in Latin America, ARL's initiative seeks to build a table-of-contents database for more than 700 Latin American scholarly journals not indexed elsewhere. Through this project (known as Latin American Periodicals Tables of Content, or LAPTOC), IU is responsible for subscribing to and indexing twelve journals: eight from Central America, three from Brazil, and one from Mexico.

    IU is also a member of the Center for Research Libraries, through which we have access to foreign dissertations and newspapers, among other critical research materials. We also participate in CRL's Latin American Microform Project (LAMP),an initiative which supports the filming of "at risk" print and archival collections in Latin America.

    The Librarian for Latin American Studies is a member of the Seminar for the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM), and a founding member of the Midwest Organization of Libraries for Latin American Studies (MOLLAS), a recently created entity that promotes regional cooperation in the areas of collection development, preservation, and access to Latin Americana.

Latin American,Iberian and Latino Studies Home Page

Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/23/2012