Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Fine Arts Library Art Collection

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated future trends

Current trends include expansion of the curriculum beyond the survey level in the area of Asian art. Latin American art is another potential area for expansion. The program in Museum Studies is developing as well and will have an impact on both the Main and Art Library collections. Recent trends in art education make it imperative that the collections in Art and Main are maintained, and the students and faculty in Interior Design will continue to depend heavily on the Art Library for much of their research support. Integrative Arts and Humanities (IAH) has a growing impact on the Art Library, and a strong general undergraduate collection must be provided for the program. The future Residential College, with a planned emphasis on an arts and humanities curriculum, will likely depend on the art collection for a variety of research needs.

The trend for other disciplines-from entomology to political philosophy-to use pictorial material in their curriculum and research appears to be on the increase, and the Art Library has provided that support thus far. Other trends include changes in the formats necessary for the study of the history of art. Non-print (and alternative) formats such as video are extremely valuable for studies such as African art where context is important. Video art, a relatively new medium, is a potential area for collecting. Many books or exhibition catalogs are now accompanied by a video supplement. Reference tools in CD-ROM format are proliferating (Louvre and National Gallery catalogs, for example). Artists' books are increasingly important in graphic design programs (see Appendix). It is critical that non-print formats be collected but location, fund and cataloging aspects need to be determined.

B. Relationships with other resources

  1. The Art Library collections are enhanced by materials in Special Collections, Main Reference, Africana, the Digital and Multimedia Center, Government Documents, and the Main collections in classical studies, history, philosophy, ethnology, handicraft, textiles and many other areas. Special Collections, for example, houses many illustrated books in addition to the illuminated facsimiles collection. Africana holds important bibliographies and works on African art classed outside the N classification. Government Documents' international holdings include, for example, material on cultural property and its preservation. In sum, the Art Library's resources are augmented greatly by collections throughout MSU Libraries and provide rich ground for research and reference needs.
  2. Regional resources include the two other statewide major art library collections, the Art and Architecture Library and the Tappan Fine Arts Library at the University of Michigan and the art holdings (there is no separate art library) at Wayne State University. The art library at the Detroit Institute of Arts is a major collection, but it offers access by appointment only. Other libraries in the state hold smaller visual arts collections, and specialized collections, such as that at the Kendall School of Design, are probably available although no formal network exists. The State Library has art holdings as well. Cooperative agreements are most likely with UM and WSU but have not yet been established. Programmatic differences are substantial among the three institutions.

    Other CIC libraries have strong holdings in the history of the visual arts, and there is an organized group of CIC art librarians which meets at the annual Art Libraries Society of North America (ARLIS/NA) conference and which facilitates cooperation.

    CRL has some important holdings for the history of art, and the library at the Art Institute of Chicago should be considered a major nearby research resource as well, although interlibrary loan is not an option (their collections are non-circulating.)


C. Relationships to resources treated in other policy statements:

  • Classical Studies (archaeology)
  • Technology (handicrafts and textiles)
  • Philosophy (aesthetics)
  • Anthropology (ethnography, cultural artifacts)
  • Ethnic Studies, including Native American, African American, Asian American, and Chicano/Latino (ethnography, sociology, cultural artifacts)
  • Latin American and Caribbean Studies (Pre-Columbian thru contemporary ethnography, artifacts)
  • Education (art education)
  • Museum Studies (non-art museum materials)
  • Journalism (photojournalism and graphic design)
  • Religious Studies (history, iconography of religions, churches, orders, saints, gods in Western and Eastern religions)
  • History (pictorial works, such as history documented in WPA photographs)

Michigan State University