Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: South & Southeast Asian Studies

Geographic Guidelines

  • Resources are collected from all areas of South and Southeast Asia, to varying degrees.  See "Levels of Collecting Intensity" for more information.
  • South Asia includes: Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka.  Afghanistan is covered under the Muslim Studies and Middle East Studies Collection.
  • Southeast Asia includes: Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Disciplinary Guidelines

  • South Asian and Southeast Asian studies, like all Area Studies fields, are inherently interdisciplinary in nature.  The Asian Studies Center focuses broadly on the content of Asia, but the South and Southeast Asian Studies Collection cannot include materials from all countries equally.  Rather, MSU faculty and students are the first consideration when collection decisions are made.
  • Dissertation-level work in every conceivable domain of South or Southeast Asian Studies cannot be fully supported, but an effort is made to collect enough primary materials covering all disciplines so that graduate students are able, at the very least, to begin research.
  • Faculty research interests and curriculum needs are also a primary concern of the collection, leading to deeper collections in certain areas such as Vietnamese history, Urdu literature, South Asian film and theater, and human rights in Indonesia.  These areas continue to grow and change as other faculty members are hired.  Recent hires, particularly in James Madison College, have necessitated expanding the focus of the collection into disciplines including development, environmental studies, and migration studies.  Attention is also paid to faculty members who might not be traditionally affiliated with Area Studies, such as faculty working in education and agriculture.
  • Subjects such as politics, ethnography, literature, and language learning are covered to provide undergraduate and graduate students the opportunity to conduct more traditional Area Studies research on South or Southeast Asia.

Chronological Guidelines

  • The collection of current materials is emphasized.  Some retrospective collection occurs in some subject areas to account for growing and changing campus interests as well as the importance and relative scarcity of older materials from the areas of geographic focus.

Languages of Resource Collected

  • English language materials are collected to support instruction and undergraduate research.  Literature in translation is prioritized, though literature in vernacular languages is also collected.
  • Vernacular language materials are collected with an emphasis on graduate and faculty research interests; areas of collection and campus strengths, such as agriculture and environmental science; and underrepresented or historically marginalized viewpoints.

Formats of Resources Collected

  • Materials published by large publishers in Europe, the United States, and Canada are generally collected in electronic format, with some duplication in print for areas of particular subject emphasis.
  • Materials published in South and Southeast Asia are generally only available in print and thus print collection emphasizes these materials.
  • The accessibility of electronic materials is taken into account when making acquisitions decisions and the subject librarian regularly communicates with electronic resource providers on this matter.
  • DVDs, streaming video, comic books/graphic novels, cookbooks, and maps of note that are related to areas of emphasis in the collection and curricular needs are all collected.
  • Archival materials (original and digitized) are collected when relevant to teaching and research needs.
  • Datasets and statistical sources are collected, including faculty-produced data that is related to collection strengths and priorities.
  • Dissertations and theses from other institutions are generally not collected.