History Collection Development Policy

I. Academic Programs Served

A-B.The major purpose of the collection is to support instruction and research in history and related disciplines. The Department of History offers an undergraduate major (Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science) and minor in history, a teacher certification program, an honors program and a foreign study-abroad program as well as a comprehensive graduate program leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The graduate program in history emphasizes each of the following areas: Ancient, Medieval, Early Modern European, Russian, Asian, British, United States, Latin American, and General/Comparative.

C.No new programs are anticipated in the Department of History at this time.

II. Clientele Served

A-B.The collection aims to serve primarily the students and faculty in the Department of History and secondarily the general public. Interest in history is also shared by numerous disciplines in the social sciences and humanities, namely: Anthropology, Economics, English, Foreign Languages, Geography, Philosophy, Political Science, Sociology, as well as the Colleges of Education, Business, Visual and Performing Arts, Professional Studies, the Law School and the Graduate School.

III. General Collection Policy Considerations

A. Languages collected; language exclusions: The Department of History is interested in collecting in all languages, since its comprehensive program is not exclusive of any nation-state or culture. But from a practical standpoint, the languages which have been the most heavily used by specialists in the department in the past decade include: Latin, Greek, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, numerous languages in the Slavic family, Chinese, Japanese, Indian and numerous languages associated with the South East Asia Studies Center and program. The intensity of development, of course largely depends on budget considerations, hence the assignments listed below by LC class are more suggestive rather than firm commitments, except where indicated as otherwise.

B. Chronological emphasis: The Department of History, as a rule, collects in all time periods.

C. Geographical limitations, priorities, exclusions: Due to the comprehensive graduate program, all geographic areas are included.

D. Format: Most materials acquired for the history collection are in the form of books and periodicals. However, the department allocation is also used to subsidize major microform collections of interest to the History faculty and graduate student body. From a reference standpoint, the History Area of Founders also collects dictionaries, encyclopedias, bibliographies, abstracts, indexes, directories, atlases and dictionary catalogs which emphasize resource sharing. Proceedings of conferences, symposia and other major state, national and international meetings and related papers are also purchased, budget permitting. Textbooks, as a rule, are not systematically collected. Finally, rare books and manuscripts are only purchased when a departmental consensus has been reached regarding the importance of said items. The trend in recent years has been to purchase manuscript collections in microform.

E. Publication dates: The emphasis is on materials published since 1990; however, retrospective purchasing is emphasized but only on a selective basis.

IV. History Collecting Levels

  • Subject: Auxiliary Sciences of History
    LC Class(es): C
  • Subject: History General and European General
    LC Class(es): D 1- 1065
  • Subject: Great Britain
    LC Class(es): DA
  • Subject: Austro-Hungarian Empire; Austria
    LC Class(es): DB
  • Subject: France
    LC Class(es): DC
  • Subject: Germany
    LC Class(es): DD
  • Subject: Mediterranean General
    LC Class(es): DE
  • Subject: Ancient, Modern Greece
    LC Class(es): DF
  • Subject: Italy, Roman Empire
    LC Class(es): DG
  • Subject: Netherlands; Low Countries
    LC Class(es): DH/DJ
  • Subject: Russia (USSR); 
    LC Class(es): DK
  • Subject: ScandinaviaH 
    LC Class(es): DL
  • Subject: Spain; Portugal 
    LC Class(es): DP
  • Subject: Switzerland
    LC Class(es): DQ
  • Subject: Eastern Europe; 
    LC Class(es): DR
  • Subject: Asia General 
    Southeast Asia 
    LC Class(es): DS (excludes SEA Center 30,000)
  • Subject: China, Japan, Korea
    LC Class(es): DS
  • Subject: Total
    LC Class(es): DS (excludes SEA Collections)
  • Subject: Africa
    LC Class(es): DT
  • Subject: Oceania
    LC Class(es): DU
  • Subject: Oversize Volumes
    LC Class(es): D
  • D Grand Total: 50,690 EST. TITLES
  • Subject: North America (general); 
    LC Class(es): E 11 -74
  • Subject: Indians
    LC Class(es): E 77 -99
  • Subject: Explorations
    LC Class(es): E 101 - 143
  • Subject: U.S. General
    LC Class(es): E 151 - 169.5
  • Subject: Sources; 
    LC Class(es): E 171 - 183.9
  • Subject: Ethnic Groups
    LC Class(es): E 184
  • Subject: Black History
    LC Class(es): E 185
  • Subject: Colonial; 
    LC Class(es): E 186 - 298
  • Subject: Collected Works 1783 - 1789
    LC Class(es): E 301 - 309
  • Subject: 1789 - 1809 Period
    LC Class(es): E 310 -337
  • Subject: Early Nineteenth Century
    LC Class(es): E 337.8 - 400
  • Subject: 1845 - 1860
    LC Class(es): E 401 - 453
  • Subject: Civil War
    LC Class(es): E 456 - 655
  • Subject: Late 19th Century
    LC Class(es): E 660 -738
  • Subject: 20th Century
    LC Class(es): E 740 - 839
  • Subject: Oversize
    LC Class(es): E
  • E GRAND TOTAL: 17, 760
  • Subject: Local State, 
    (Illinois ), 
    (Northern Illinois)
    LC Class(es): F 1 - 975
  • Subject: British, French, Dutch America
    LC Class(es): F1001 - 1170
  • Subject: Latin America
    LC Class(es): F1200 - 1399
  • Subject: Religious History
    LC Class(es): BR, BX
  • Subject: Economic History
    LC Class(es): HB 75, HJ 1839
  • Subject: Political History
    LC Class(es): JC 20, JV 9500
  • Subject: Social History
    LC Class(es): HM 19, HX 63
  • Subject: History of Education
    LC Class(es): LD
  • Subject: Art History/ Music History
    LC Class(es): M and N
  • Subject: Literary History
    LC Class(es): PN 400 - 1008
  • Subject: History of Science
    LC Class(es): Q 125
  • Subject: Military History
    LC Class(es): U, V
  • Subject: Southeast Asia Studies
    LC Class(es): DS

V. Other Resources

Since this policy was last updated there has been a significant change in the way historical materials are indexed, and generally made available. The massive expansion of electronic resources has greatly enhanced the ability to locate and access research materials. For instance, the major indexes in the field- America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts- are fully digitized and heavily populated with full-text content. The opening of OCLC's union catalog- WorldCat- to students, scholars and the general public has equally enhanced access to recondite historical materials. Moreover, NIU has invested in a broad array of databases that feature primary historical materials a short list of these databases include 19th Century Masterfile, Accessible Archives, Civil War Letters and Diaries, American Periodical Series Online 1740-1990, Early Encounters in North America, Harp Week, NIU's own Abraham Lincoln Digitization Project, the Nation and Illinois Sanborn Maps. The library remains dedicated to expanding access to all varieties of historical materials and all formats.

VI. Special Remarks


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Dean Fred Barnhart

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