Purpose or Scope of Collection
A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs
The English and American Literature collection supports the instructional and research needs of many programs at Michigan State University. Though the core of the collection supports activities of the English Department (which has the greatest enrollment of undergraduate majors in the College of Arts and Letters), studies in programs such as Writing, Rhetoric, and American Cultures, and James Madison College are also centrally located in the study of Literature, as well as programs in IAH, African American Studies, and others. The university’s commitment to interdisciplinary study makes this collection central to much undergraduate education across all colleges. Also, because of the University’s philosophy and emphasis on interdisciplinary education, and because interdisciplinary study is important to “Postmodern” education, there are faculty publishing and doing research that touch this collection area in nearly all colleges.
B. History of the Collection/Existing Strengths and Emphases
Including what exists in Special Collections, the collection of English and American Literature at MSU contains materials much older than the library itself. Primary texts and editions of those texts span the entirety of Western literature in print, as well as criticism and literary theory. Through approval programs and individual selection responsibilities across the library, the collection has been kept current and contemporary.