Purpose or Scope of Collection
1. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs
The Libraries’ Canadian holdings support the activities of the University’s Canadian Studies Centre (CSC). Located in International Studies and Program, the Centre provides direction and assistance to over fifty faculty members in more than twenty-five departments in the social sciences, humanities, communications arts, education, business, agriculture, and natural sciences.
Because of the Canadian materials in our collection, the CSC serves as a focal point for research and teaching on Canada. It sponsors two capstone Integrative Studies courses in the social sciences and humanities and provides support for courses with substantial Canadian content in many disciplines. Current emphasis is on Native Peoples, NAFTA, Great Lakes resources, and Canadian culture. Finally, the Canadian Studies collection serves as a resource on Canada to the outside community.
2. History of the Collection/Existing Strengths and Emphases
A Canadian presence on campus dates back to the 1930s and was associated with renowned author A.J.M. Smith. Consequently, the emphasis of the collection was entirely literary. With the establishment of an interdisciplinary committee of faculty in 1958, the Libraries began to expand our resources to include politics, government, anthropology, and history. One of the principal participants in Canadian Studies was the distinguished professor, Russel Nye who took great interest in the library, especially in its popular culture collections. In the late 1950s, the library was fortunate to obtain a strong pre-existing collection of Red River and Louis Riel materials. Due to additional purchases, it has become nearly comprehensive. French language materials are fairly well represented.
In the 1970s, the Libraries became a selective depository of Canadian Federal government materials. We receive almost all of the serials and the primary monographs offered through the Depository Services Program which total about 150,000 titles. For the past twenty years, the Libraries has received Canadian government funding for library collections. We also receive sporadic support from the government of Quebec in the form of cash and gift books.
As faculty interest in Canadian topics expanded outside the
humanities and social sciences, the scope of acquisition has broadened.
Due to the existence of definitive collections with a day's travel and
a mature inter-library loan system, the current collection policy is to
acquire a representative collection with emphasis on satisfying
immediate instructional and research needs. At the present time, the
areas of strength are Canada-U.S. foreign relations and trade, history,
literature, native peoples, social conditions, and natural resources.
The explosion of online resources in the 1990s has proven to be a windfall for Canadian Studies. Acquisition of Canada-specific databases provides Canadian a range of bibliographic and full-text materials that we simply could not provide in hard copy. Moreover, other databases, especially in agriculture and the natural sciences, have significant Canadian content.