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last updated: 4/30/2012

Collection Development Policies - West European

Western European Studies

  1. Introduction

    1. Purpose of the policy statement
      This document provides information on the West European Studies collection of the Indiana University Libraries, detailing the scope of coverage, collection responsibilities, and selection tools, and giving an overview of the collection and its clientele. It will serve as a basis for managing, maintaining, and planning for the future development of the collection, and as a tool for other collectors and administrators.

    2. Audience
      The intended audience is Library staff and administration, the West European Studies Department, as well as students and faculty in related disciplines.

    3. Description of institution/department and clientele
      Founded as a seminary in 1820, Indiana University-Bloomington (IUB) has been classed by the Carnegie Foundation for Advancement in Teaching as a Doctoral/Research-Extensive institution, offering doctoral programs in 86 disciplines, master's degrees in 125 fields, professional degrees in two areas, and bachelor's degrees in 98 subject areas. One of the leading research universities in the United States, IUB has many strong programs in a broad range of fields, but historically has been noted for its strength in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

      The West European Studies Department (WEST) at IUB pursues teaching and research related to contemporary West European Studies, including social scientific inquiry, public policy, and postwar European history, as well as languages and literatures. Associated faculty whose needs are directly addressed by this collection reside in the Departments of Anthropology, Economics, Geography, History, Sociology, Political Science, as well as in the School for Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) and the Law School. WEST-associated faculty whose needs are primarily addressed by other Library collections reside in the Departments of Comparative Literature, French and Italian, Fine Arts, Germanic Studies, Journalism, and Spanish and Portuguese, and in the Schools of Business and Education.

      WEST is presently a Department of Education Title VI National Resource Center (funding cycle 2003-2006). WEST complements humanities and language study with a strong interdisciplinary focus on contemporary social and policy sciences, as well as on contemporary history. WEST has become a nationally prominent center for the study of sociopolitical and institutional change, policy, and business as it affects the European Union and its member states. WEST's mission is to advocate research and scholarship on Western Europe and the European Union in order to train specialists who will carry on the work of strengthening transatlantic ties through government service, research, and teaching.

      WEST offers a variety of advanced degrees that provide an interdisciplinary approach to the study of modern Europe. In addition to an undergraduate minor, WEST offers an MA degree, a Ph.D. minor, as well as joint master's degrees with the School of Public and Environmental Affairs (MA in WEST/MPA) and with the School of Business (MA in WEST/MBA). In 2004-05 the department comprised 40 undergraduate majors, 12 MA students, 13 active Ph.D. minors, and 16 ABD Ph.D. Minors (WEST does not offer a Ph.D. degree). The department has one core faculty member and 118 affiliated faculty. More detailed information on the department is available at its website:

      The primary clientele for the Libraries' WEST collection are faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates associated with WEST, as well as faculty and students engaged in the study of contemporary Western Europe in the related social science departments and professional schools enumerated above.

    4. Brief overview of the collection
      1. History of the collection
        The West European Studies collection has evolved with the change in focus of West European area studies over the past several decades. The collection has a strong focus on postwar West European area studies and on European integration. Within this framework, the collection has increasingly centered on social scientific and ethnographic inquiry, as well as on contemporary history. Of continuing interest has been the evolution of the institutions of the European Union (EU), as well as the political, cultural, sociological, and economic issues surrounding the management of and enlargement of the EU as an emerging supranational political entity. The collection also supports the study of European-Union-related policy issues, given that this area is a new focus of WEST's leadership and faculty.

      2. Collection strengths and weaknesses
        The collection is especially strong in the area of European integration and enlargement, regionalism in Europe, gender, European educational reform, and the national politics and sociology of the main states of the European Union. The collection is also quite strong in the areas of citizenship, nationalism, and related social movements.

      3. Subject areas emphasized or deemphasized
        Collection priorities currently reflect the increased attention given in the literature to monetary policy, migration, immigration and asylum policy, human rights, and pension reform.

      4. Collection locations
        The bulk of the collection is housed in the Main Library and the ALF. The West European Studies collection is complemented by the European Union Depository collection. The Libraries have served as an EU Depository since 1963; these materials are housed in the Government Information, Microforms, and Statistical Services Department. Holdings related to West European Studies are also located in the Business/SPEA, Law, Fine Arts, Geography and Maps, Education, Journalism, and Lilly Libraries.
  2. Scope of Coverage
    1. Languages collected and excluded
      The collection includes materials in continental West European languages (Catalan, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Italian, Norwegian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Swedish) as well as English.

    2. Geographical areas covered and excluded
      The focus is on the fifteen member states of the EU, as well as Norway and Switzerland. As the EU expands to 25 member states, materials from central and eastern Europe, Malta, and eventually Cyprus may be purchased where directly relevant to the politics, society, culture, and economy of the European Union - and where the materials are published in the traditional West European languages.

    3. Chronological periods covered and excluded
      The focus is on post-World-War-II Western Europe. Titles covering a very broad historical arc that include the postwar period may occasionally be purchased, but are most often referred to the History bibliographer.

    4. Dates of publication of materials collected; current vs. retrospective coverage
      Emphasis is on collecting current materials, but if gaps are noted in the collection, retrospective acquisitions are also undertaken, if financially feasible.

    5. Formats collected and excluded
      Monographs and serials are the chief formats collected. This includes electronic journals, as well as other electronic resources, such as Eurocat. Occasionally, serial backfiles, such as Le Monde Diplomatique,, are collected on CD-ROM (oftentimes by patron request or to take advantage of the advanced search capabilities). Electronic versions of journals will be preferred if they are the visual and textual equivalent of the print versions and are not more expensive, and if access is provided to permanent archival copies of all issues. Microfilm is also collected, such as the collection, Art Looting and Nazi Germany: Records of the Fine Arts and Monuments Adviser Ardelia Hall, 1945-1961.
  3. Collecting responsibility
    The Librarian for West European Studies is responsible for the bulk of the collection, and is assisted by the Library Associate for West European Studies. There is collaboration with other collection managers, mainly those for Economics, Political Science, Sociology, and History, as well as Business/SPEA, Law, and Government Information, Microforms, and Statistical Services (GIMSS). Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the field, and the smaller budget, many items for potential selection are forwarded to the collection managers for the above collections. The West European Studies collection is complemented by the EU Depository in GIMSS and by holdings in the libraries noted above.

  4. Principal sources of supply and major selection tools
    The chief vendors for West European-related materials are Aux Amateurs (Paris), Blackwells Book Services (Oxford), Casalini Libri (Florence), Jean Touzot (Paris), Kluwer (Dordrecht), Otto Harrassowitz (Wiesbaden), and Puvill Libros (Barcelona). Smaller journals are often purchased directly from the publisher. Most English-language publications are acquired from Blackwell's Book Services; many of these titles are covered by an approval plan profile for university press and trade titles.

    Major selection tools include bibliographic information on new titles supplied by vendors in both paper and electronic form (including Harrassowitz, Puvill Libros, and Casalini Libri), Martinus Nijhoff's New Publications from the Netherlands and Continental Europe); review journals, such as Bulletin critique du livre en fran?ais or the Times Literary Supplement; bibliographies and cites of important works from scholarly journals such as Modern Italy; French Politics, Culture and Society; German Politics; European Societies; and European Urban and Regional Studies; other publications such as Livres Hebdo, Bibliographie de France's Livres du mois, and the Deutsche Nationale Bibliographie. Other selection tools include citations from newsletters such as the European Studies Newsletter, the EUSA Review, and the Western European Specialists Section Newsletter from the ALA. The many publishers' catalogs are also an important selection tool, as are recommendations from faculty and students.

  5. Preservation
    1. Criteria for selection for preservation and/or mass deacidification
      Criteria to be taken into consideration for selecting items for preservation include demand for the item; the condition of the binding and/or paper; and its availability, either commercially or in other libraries (i.e. its uniqueness or rarity). Candidates for mass deacidification might include parts of the collection published prior to 1970, depending on the state of the brittleness of the paper (books that are too brittle cannot be successfully deacidifed). Other factors may include demand, as well as a need to preserve an item for future use even if it is in low demand at the moment.

    2. High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment
      High-priority areas of the collection for preservation review and treatment in this collection are volumes published before 1970, because of the higher likelihood of brittleness. The collection has few if any volumes published in the nineteenth century.
  6. Selection criteria for ALF
    Unless they are reference-type materials, many items published prior to 1993 that have never or rarely circulated since 1990, especially if the last use was not recent, are being sent to ALF.

    In general, items that are in poor condition or brittle may be sent to the ALF, where environmental conditions are much better than in the stacks. Depending on copyright restrictions, if an item is in high demand it may be scanned to produce a copy to be shelved in the Main Library stacks, with the original being sent to the ALF.

    Journals that are available electronically through Project Muse will be sent to the ALF. Electronically available volumes of JSTOR journals will also be sent to the ALF. Some journals indexed in the Periodicals Contents Index (PCI) will be sent to the ALF, in whole or in part.

  7. Digital projects
    Because the focus of the West European Studies collection is on materials dealing with post-World-War-II Europe, most of the holdings are fairly recent and not likely candidates for digitization by the IU Digital Libraries Program.

  8. Other resources and libraries
    There is a small library in the departmental office. Most, if not all, of the materials duplicate holdings in the Main Library.

    Other libraries at IUB with holdings related to contemporary Western Europe include the Law Library, Geography and Maps, Business/SPEA, Music, Fine Arts, Education, Journalism, and the Political Science Research Collection in Woodburn Hall. As noted above, a major complement to the West European materials in the Research Collections of the Main Library are the holdings of European Union documents in the Government Information, Microforms, and Statistical Services Department of the Main Library.

    National university libraries with strong West European Studies collections that possess important holdings include the University of California at Berkeley, Duke University, Harvard University, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Washington at Seattle. Other universities with West European Studies Departments that have historically been National Resource Centers may provide strong collections as well. The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) has a large collection of foreign dissertations. The European University Institute in Florence is also an important resource for continental materials.

  9. Consortial agreements
    No cooperative collection development agreements are currently in place for the West European Studies fund.

West European Studies Home Page

<Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/30/2012