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last updated: 4/24/2012

Collection Development Policies - Newspaper Collection

Newspaper Collection

  1. Definition
    A newspaper is a serial publication, appearing usually at least weekly, which serves as a primary source of information on current events of general interest. While format can vary widely, newspapers are normally published without a cover, but with a masthead or banner, and are normally larger than 12 x 17 inches.” -- Library of Congress, “U.S. Newspapers” (

  2. Scope of Coverage
    The IUB Libraries’ newspaper collection includes papers of local, national, and international scope, in all major languages, and in a variety of formats, including print, microform, and electronic. This collection development policy covers both foreign and domestic papers, but see also subject collection development policies for details on specific collecting strategies for newspapers in various disciplines:

    The IUB Libraries collect and preserve the local (Bloomington and Monroe County) daily newspaper and its antecedents, including the Indiana University student paper. The state’s newspaper of record, the Indianapolis Star, is retained in both microform, and for the 19th century, in print format. Indiana is also represented by newspapers from Evansville, Gary and Terre Haute. The Libraries also collect major metropolitan newspapers from every region of the United States for both current awareness purposes and for historical research. Because of the strength of the University’s research and teaching programs in area and international studies, the Libraries also collect the newspapers of major world capitals, as well as other selected newspapers that represent the less-taught languages offered at Indiana University. Because the focus of the Libraries’ newspapers collections is on the support of teaching and research, the Libraries do not purchase the hometown newspapers of Indiana University students and faculty.

  3. Selection Criteria
    1. Primary criteria
      1. Support of the curriculum: The newspaper is, or will be, actively used in support of the teaching program of the university; use is broader than existing subject and area funds.
      2. Support of research: The newspaper is, or will be, actively used by faculty or students in research, and will have research value for a number of active or potential users.
      3. Influence: The importance of the newspaper as an opinion shaper and/or the journalistic ranking of the newspaper will be considered.
    2. Secondary criteria
      1. Use: Frequent requests or heavy use will be taken into consideration.
  4. Range of Coverage
    The Libraries will seek to maintain a broad range of newspapers from major geographical and political regions of the world and representing various points on the political spectrum.

  5. Collecting Responsibility
    Many of the newspapers received have a broad scope and therefore are carried on the General Fund, which is managed by the Director of Collection Development. A number of subject-specific and international newspapers are funded by subject funds.

  6. Research Strengths
    The Libraries’ collection is especially strong in the following areas
    • Indiana newspapers
    • Indianapolis News and Indianapolis Star (original print publication)
    • Early American Newspapers (available in microform and electronic form)
    • Foreign and international newspapers, especially Slavic and East European languages
    • ProQuest Historical Newspapers
  7. Access to Current Issues
    The Libraries offer online access to a number of newspapers, either directly from the publisher, through third-party vendors, or through aggregators such as Access World News and Lexis/Nexis Academic Universe. Since the specific newspapers offered by aggregators often change, and do not contain the full content of print newspapers, the Libraries do not rely on this form of access for archival purposes.

  8. Permanent Retention
    Most paper issues are kept for six to twelve months. The Libraries do not retain backfiles of printed newspapers (with the notable exception of the archival run of the Indianapolis News and Indianapolis Star.) The Libraries’ Office of University Archives and Records Management permanently keeps two copies of the Indiana Daily Student. The Libraries purchase online backfiles of newspapers of record (e.g., Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and the Washington Post) when funding permits and the importance of the newspaper for research and teaching warrants. Microfilm copies of newspapers are purchased if permanent access to a paper is considered important for the support of research or teaching. The Libraries retain microfilm copies of a small number of U.S. newspapers including the New York Times, the New York Post, the Indianapolis Star, the Indianapolis News, the Herald-Times ( Bloomington , IN) and the Indiana Daily Student. A number of Slavic and East Asian newspapers are also subscribed to on microfilm.

  9. Review
    The newspapers acquired on the General Fund are reviewed every four years by the Collection Development Committee. Collection managers are encouraged to periodically review the newspapers on their funds.

  10. Other Resources and Libraries
    The IUB Libraries are a member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL) (, which has extensive holdings of U.S. and foreign newspapers. A special foreign newspaper database is available at: CRL newspaper holdings are available to patrons through interlibrary loan for extended loan periods.

    The International Coalition on Newspapers (ICON) project, based at CRL, develops strategies to preserve and improve access to newspapers from around the globe, working on issues including bibliographic access, copyright, and information dissemination. ICON provides a freely accessible database of bibliographic information for more than 20,000 newspaper titles from participating institutions (

    The Serial &Government Publications Division of the Library of Congress ( maintains one of the most extensive newspaper collections in the world. It is exceptionally strong in U.S. newspapers, with 9,000 titles covering the past three centuries. With over 25,000 non-U.S. titles, it is the largest collection of overseas newspapers in the world.

    The Indiana State Library in Indianapolis receives approximately two hundred newspapers which include a newspaper from every county in the state except for Crawford County in which no paper is published. It has extensive paper and microfilm backfiles. A detailed inventory of the Library’s holdings is available at:

    The Monroe County Public Library subscribes to a handful of major newspapers including the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, and also receives every newspaper published within a fifty mile radius of Bloomington including the Bedford Times Mail, the Brown County Democrat, and Martinsville ’s Reporter Times. The library creates an index for the Herald-Times in-house. Newspaper issues are retained for three months and then discarded.

    Revised April 2012

last updated: 4/24/2012