Anthropology Collection Development Policy


I. Academic Programs Served

The chief academic programs affected by the quality of the University Libraries’ holdings in the field of anthropology and its subdisciplines originate in the Departments of Anthropology, Sociology, and Political Science, and the Centers for Black Studies, Latino/Latin American Studies, Women’s Studies and South East Asian Studies.

B. The degrees granted under these programs of study are the Bachelors and Master of Arts and the Bachelor of Science awarded by the Departments of Anthropology, Sociology and Political Science, and the Certificates of Advanced Study awarded by the Center for Women’s Studies, the Center for South East Asian Studies. The interdisciplinary Certificate in Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Studies also draws upon the contents of this section of the University Libraries collections.

C. The Department of Anthropology plans to continue its emphasis on the traditional sub-disciplines of archaeology, cultural anthropology, linguistics and physical anthropology. Acquisitions for the University Libraries in these areas will reflect the changing theoretical and research emphases of the departmental faculty and departmental and University curricula.

II. Clientele

The core group for whom an in-depth and balanced collection in anthropology is a requisite of the undergraduate and graduate students and faculty of the Departments of Anthropology and Sociology. Participants in interdisciplinary programs offered through the Centers for Black Studies, Latino/Latin American Studies and South East Asian Studies are also part of the users group for this portion of the University Libraries collections, as are the Curator, staff and students involved with the continuing development of the programs of the Anthropology Museum.

III. General Policy Considerations

The general collection development policy considerations for the anthropological holdings of the University Libraries will be coordinated with those of related disciplines within the social and hard sciences, to extract maximum benefit from recognizably limited fiscal resources.

A. The languages of acquisition shall be, in order of priority, English, Spanish, French and German. This profile will thus allow for the acquisition of major primary documentation from both the theoretical history and ethnographic record created by anthropologists of all specializations. Materials in other languages will be evaluated on an individual basis according to need.

B. With regard to chronological emphasis, we recognize that it is not possible to expand this parameter usefully beyond a certain date. For the purposes of the departmental curriculum, emphasis is to be placed upon materials that are post- in date to allow for adequate coverage of all emergent subfields. Older primary materials in both paper and electronic formats will be acquired or linked to as available or produced, with all license agreements subject to review through established University Library procedures.

C. Geographic regions to be emphasized in this area will be Sub-Saharan Africa, Mesoamerica and South America, the Pacific and Circum-Pacific region exclusive of South East Asia, Europe and the Mediterranean, and North America. Coordination with the purchasing programs of the South East Asian studies collection and Center will be done as resources permit.

D. Desirable formats for acquisition of materials in this area will be monographs in paper and selected collections of primary serial publications and documents in either electronic or microform format.

IV. Collecting Levels

For the discipline of anthropology, general works on the field will be acquired at the basic study level (3a), as this component of the collection can be adequately handled by the purchase of updated editions of standard titles or newly issued survey volumes ; this will allow for use by both the general reader and students wishing to augment the coverage provided by their assigned texts, the latter of which will not be acquired by the University Libraries. For the four core field of cultural anthropology, archaeology, physical anthropology and linguistics, acquisition will done at the advanced study and/or research levels (3c/4) , depending on the composition of the individual literatures of the subdisciplines, the volume of publishing (in both paper and electronic formats) and the shifting research priorities of the faculty, graduate and upper-level undergraduate students of the Department of Anthropology and related fields. Emergent areas of study within anthropology will be developed to the degree they become integrated into the overall departmental curriculum and the discipline as a whole. Internet access to website resources in anthropology and its sub-disciplines will be added to the holdings of the University Libraries subject webpage as available and may be removed if the site is not maintained or ceases to exist. Electronic data sets will not be acquired, as the University Libraries server is not adequate to house or maintain such products; however, information on said data sets if available on campus will be provided to the public on the University Libraries web page for anthropology. Databases in any of the sub-disciplines of anthropology (whether commercially or privately produced) may be added to the holdings of the University Libraries by subscription after review, provided the access formats for said data are compatible with existing hardware/software configurations and any licensing agreements do not violate established legal limitations of the University.

V. The artifact collections of the Anthropology Museum provide a significant degree of support and involvement for laboratory classes in physical anthropology, archaeology and cultural anthropology: accordingly, relevant publications from the field of museology will be acquired as noted, said purchases to be coordinated with acquisitions for the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

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Dean Fred Barnhart

Phone: (815) 753-1094

Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
217 Normal Rd
DeKalb, IL 60115-2828

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