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last updated: 4/24/2012

Collection Development Policies - Mathematics


  1. Introduction
    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      The purpose of this policy statement is to provide an overview of the collection development plan and offer guidance about which print and electronic materials best support mathematics research and teaching at Indiana University.

    2. Audience
      This policy is intended to inform the librarian, faculty advisors to the library, university administrators, and prospective or new faculty and graduate students in the mathematics department.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      The IU Mathematics department is the primary user of mathematics materials collected in the Swain Hall Library. The collection also serves a significant number of faculty and students in Computer Science and the Business School (mostly statistics materials, or financial mathematics). Currently the Mathematics Department has approximately 65 faculty members, 14 postdoctoral fellows, and 117 graduate students.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        Of the four collections housed in Swain Hall Library, the mathematics collection is most likely the oldest. Around 1900, there were approximately 600 volumes organized with labels on the back of the books, and shelved in Wiley Hall until 1926.[1] From 1926-1940, the mathematics collection was in a room on the top floor of the University Library. Swain Hall was completed in 1940, and the mathematics collection was then merged with physics and astronomy in the Swain Hall Library. [1] Lowell, Mildred Hawksworth, Indiana University Libraries, 1829-1942; Thesis (Ph.D.) University of Chicago, 1957, p. 353.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        Key strengths of the mathematics collection include materials in algebra, analysis, complex analysis, geometry, logic, mathematical physics, partial differential equations, applied mathematics and computation, probability/ statistics, and topology. Other interdisciplinary mathematics collected in the Swain Hall Library include financial mathematics, quantum computing as it relates to mathematics, and econometrics. The mathematics collection also includes a small number of educational videos / lectures from the American Mathematics Society.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        Those areas emphasized include computational mathematics, mathematical modeling, and mathematics related to fluid dynamics.

      4. Collection locations
        The mathematics collection is located on both levels of the Swain Hall Library. Older backruns of mathematics journals are stored in a Swain East Storage Room, and some materials are in the ALF.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      Currently there is no systematic collecting of mathematics materials in non-English languages, however, the library collects a small number of mathematics periodicals, received through the IU Mathematics Journal exchange program, that are primarily in Russian, Chinese, and a small number of other foreign languages.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      No geographical areas are excluded; mathematics research (articles/books) originating from the former Soviet Union prior to 1990 tend to be more important than more recent Russian mathematical literature. Gratis mathematics periodicals not collected include:
      • "Memoirs on Differential Equations and Mathematical Physics" from the Georgian Academy of Sciences, ISSN: 1512-0015

      • "Applications of Mathematics" from the Mathematical Institute, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, ISSN: 0862-7940
    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      There are no chronological periods excluded, and older mathematics literature is important to the collection.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      In general, the focus of the mathematics collection is current research, where the goal is to maintain a good working collection of computing materials to support research and instruction through the Ph.D.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Journals, monographs, conference proceedings, and standing orders for monographic serials are the primary formats of material collected. Introductory lower-level textbooks and reprints of journal articles in monograph form are not collected. Mathematics education, in general, is not collected in the mathematics collection, but often redirected to the Education Library. Popular mathematics, when received, is often redirected to the Main Library.
  3. Collecting responsibility
    It is the responsibility of the Swain Hall Librarian to make collection decisions about the mathematics collection in consultation with the Swain Hall Library committee.

  4. Related collections
    Business, Economics, Computer Science, Philosophy, and Physics are related collections on the IUB campus.

  5. Principal sources of supply and major selection tools
    The major source of supply and the primary selection tool is the Academic Book Center/ Blackwell Book Services science approval plan and approval forms.

  6. Selection criteria for ALF
    Criteria include: availability of the journal run or monographs online.

  7. Other resources and libraries
    The most important database to mathematics research is MathSciNet, the online version of Mathematical Reviews. Other useful mathematics resources include the American Mathematical Society site, the arXiv,, Eric Weisstein's World of Mathematics, and the Mathematical Association of America site

  8. Consortial agreements
    The CIC Wiley agreement, as well as the Academic IDEAL package, are beneficial to the mathematics collection in terms of access to electronic journals.

Mathematics Home Page

    last updated: 4/24/2012