Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy: Maps & Geospatial Data

Analysis of the subject field

A. Chronological Factors

MSU Libraries' collection development in geography and maps largely focus on contemporary materials, acquiring antiquities only when they intersect with a topic of particular interest to the university, such as the settling and farming of Michigan, development of nations, development of the art of cartography, world exploration, or major historical events.  Historical treatment of a topic is almost always collected.

B. Languages:

Materials on cartographic history and reference materials are collected with a preference to English, but many or even most foreign atlases and maps are often collected in the vernacular.

C. Format

All appropriate formats, including print, electronic raster, electronic vector, and electronic numeral are collected.  Vendors for electronic geospatial data are in the beginning stages of offering acceptable licensing terms for geospatial data and will be cultivated whenever possible.  Adding research data is a potential step for this subject collection. For guidelines see  http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=139267 )

Excluded Materials: Aerial photography is generally not collected.

D. Location

Most scholarly monographs and journal subscriptions are housed with the main collection, including exploration, some cartography, and most GIS. The Map Library has many of the gazetteers and carto-bibliographies in addition to the expected maps and atlases. Some manuals for GIS are housed in duplicate in the Map Library.


See also the 'Levels of Collecting Intensity' section for detail of geographic areas of focus.

Michigan State University