Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Muslim Studies and Middle East Studies

Author: Deborah J. Margolis, last updated August 6, 2023

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic needs

The Muslim Studies collection supports the undergraduate courses that comprise the Muslim Studies Program (minor), a thematic program within MSU’s International Studies and Programs. Muslim Studies is highly interdisciplinary and the need for resources spans the social sciences and humanities.  Muslim Studies spans the globe in terms of geographic coverage.

Middle East studies does not have an administrative home at MSU, however, faculty, graduate students, and undergraduates do have the Middle East as a focus of study.  For MSU Libraries, Middle East includes Turkey through Afghanistan. The MSU Asian Studies Center is very supportive of library efforts to build West Asian collections.

Undergraduate students in MSU’s Arabic Program and the large number of native Arabic speakers from the Middle East on campus are important factors in the growth of MSU’s Muslim and Middle East studies collections. 

B. History of the Collection

MSU’s Muslim Studies Program was created in 2006.  Prior to 2011, materials related to Muslim  Studies were collected by the Religion bibliographer, Agnes Widder, and other bibliographers by discipline or geographic area, and Middle East studies collected by the African Studies librarian, Joe Lauer.  In 2011, MSU Libraries dedicated a bibliographer to Muslim Studies and Middle East.  At present, the collection reflects the buying pattern of an average academic research library, with core materials about Islam, materials examining contemporary Muslim experiences and diversity of Muslim experiences, and materials in Arabic, as growth areas.

C. Library Goals 

The MSU Libraries strives to be a partner in educating the MSU campus about Muslims and Islam, through collections, programming (including the Muslim Journeys series) and library instruction, exhibitions, and other efforts. A Reflection Room is located in the Main Library, 2E.