Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: African American Studies

Scope of Collection

Current and retrospective materials are selected for the collection, with the aim being to acquire and retain authoritative works and those of historical interest and research value. Superseded or out-of-date editions may be transferred to remote storage or withdrawn.


The LC classification schedule does not neatly describe the interdisciplinary nature of African American Studies. The Ethnic Studies bibliographer for African American Studies is the primary selector of African American materials for the Main Library collection in all formats and in collaboration and consultation with bibliographers in other subject areas and locations. It is the responsibility of the Ethnic Studies bibliographer to make any final decisions concerning replacement, transfers, and withdrawals of African American Studies materials in the Library. The bibliographer is also responsible for collection maintenance and makes the necessary bindery or repair decisions.


The primarily language of the collection is in English. There are no language restrictions and the emphasis is on appropriate material in any language.

Geographical areas:

Areas considered and selected include all materials primarily pertaining to African American Studies regardless of place or country of publication. In addition, special efforts are made to represent the presence of the African American community in Michigan and the Midwestern United States.

Material types collected:

All types of materials describing the African American experience are considered for acquisition. Special attention is paid to factors such as potential use, budgetary concerns, and other relevant factors.

Format of materials collected:

In general monographs, microfilm, serials, videos, and digital texts are potential sources of information to be included in the collection. In addition, ephemeral material is also collected and housed in the Special Collections Library.


Adding research data is always a potential step for this subject collection. For MSU Library guidelines regarding data see  http://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=139267. For possible depositories consult Simmons College Graduate School of Library and Information Science List of Data Repositories and re3data.org registry of research data repositories.