Art Collection Development Policy

I. Academic Programs Served

A. Departments Served:

Art; to a lesser extent, Theatre Arts and the College of Education, Anthropology, and Human and Family Resources

B. Degrees Offered:

Studio Art: B.F.A., M.A., M.F.A 
Art Education: B.S.Ed., M.S.Ed., M.A.T., Ph.D. through cooperation with Secondary Education 
Art History: B.A., M.A. 
General Art: B.A.

II. Purpose and Clientele Served

A. The purpose of the collection is to support instruction and research in the visual arts to the appropriate level within the particular degree. The principal clientele served consists of undergraduate and graduate students as well as faculty members in the Department. In addition, there are many other departments in the university community that share specific interests with the Department of Art and use art materials from the library.

B. Nationally, this Department stands as one of the largest comprehensive departments of art. Locally, the University Library exists as the main cultural resource center for the Northern Illinois area. These two factors require that the selection of books, periodicals, and related materials be of high quality material since they affect a great population in the Department, the University, and the civic community.

III. General Collection Policy Consideration

A. Languages

While English is the primary language collected, material will also be collected on a selected basis in other languages and widely collected when the visual material is the primary consideration. Art History materials will be collected in the major modern European languages.

B. Chronological Emphasis

Generally, the Divisions within the Department of Art will be interested in acquiring materials on both historical and contemporary topics according to the needs of the discipline or Division.

C. Geographical Limitations

In general, basic works from all cultures and geographical regions will be collected. Certain disciplines will collect more intensely in specific regions according to their needs.

D. Formats of Material Collected

Most art material purchased for the library's collection will be in printed form. All types of books and serials relevant to art will be purchased, including subject encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, curriculum materials, bibliographies, (i.e., the materials that make up the art section of reference). Exhibition catalogues will be given more emphasis as this is sometimes the only material available on a contemporary artist. Video tapes and DVDs will also be purchased. These tapes/DVDs are thought by the School of Art to be of such quality as to be appropriate for graduate and faculty use. Reproduction prints of all forms of art will be purchased, when available, for classroom use by art educators.

E. Publication Dates

The tendency will be to purchase in-print materials. Out-of-print materials can frequently be of much value in art, regardless of the area or discipline involved and will be purchased as is relevant.

F. Special Note on Art History

It is virtually impossible to divide the N classification into subject period for Art History. Therefore, the entire N classification collection of books is to be counted as essential for Art History's purposes, with no subject breakdown.

IV. Collecting Levels

V. Other Resources


The slide library in the Visual Arts building contains, in addition to slides, a few current titles of art periodicals (duplicates of those in Founders).

B. Off Campus

In Chicago, the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries (Art Institute of Chicago) are very valuable specialized libraries for Art History students. The Newberry Library also can be thought of as an important source for these students. Downstate, the University of Illinois art library collection is a valuable resource. The contents of this library, as well as those of other libraries, are identified in Illinet Online and may be readily borrowed. The holdings of some 800 plus libraries (including public libraries, special libraries and library systems or networks) are identified in IO but the availability (whether the book has been checked out or not) cannot be determined, nor can this material be borrowed directly through the system. Material not obtainable directly through the Illinet Online system may be borrowed through Information Delivery Service (IDS) on the library's homepage. WorldCat, the world's largest bibliographic database, provides access to millions of titles held in libraries around the world.

VI. Special Remarks/Observations


Contact Us

Dean Fred Barnhart

Phone: (815) 753-1094

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

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