Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: American History

Analysis of the Subject Field

A. Chronological emphasis:

  1. Comprehensive Level -- Revolutionary/Early Republic eras, the Slavery era, the Civil War, and the Twentieth Century.
  2. Research Level -- Washington's administration, Post-1880 foreign relations with China, Germany, and Great Britain. Post-1910 with the Soviet Union, Japan, and Mexico.
  3. Advanced Study Level -- John Adams', Jefferson's, Jackson's administrations.
  4. Undergraduate Study Level -- Confederation, Madison's, Monroe's, J.Q. Adams', Van Buren's, Harrison's, Tyler's, Polk's, Taylor's, Fillmore’s, Pierce's and Buchanan's administrations, War of 1812 and the Mexican War, post-Civil War administrations.

B. Languages Included/Excluded:

Overall English is the preferred language. Seminal works in other Western languages will be considered. Spanish and French works dealing with the discovery and exploration of the Americas will be added. In foreign relations between the United States and another country, important works in the vernacular of the country will be obtained. Non-English manuscript materials on microfilm will be obtained only after need has been convincingly demonstrated by researchers.

C. Geographic Emphasis/Restrictions:

Strong emphasis on Midwest, Middle Atlantic States, Massachusetts, South Carolina, and California. Increased emphasis on the South and the Trans-Mississippi West. Less emphasis on the remaining New England States and the Pacific Northwest.

D. Format of the resources collected and treatment of the subject:

  1. Materials included--Books, microform pamphlet collections (when dealing with areas of Levels D-F), serials, manuscript and newspaper collections on microform, online and spoken-word sound recordings. Pamphlets only for Level 4. Basic works on US genealogy.
  2. Materials excluded--Dissertations (with exceptions), photo-images or reproductions (with exceptions), and pamphlets (with exceptions). Extensive genealogical materials.

E. Date of Publication--No restrictions.

Michigan State University