Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Anthropology

Analysis of the Subject Field

A. Chronology of the Subject: Emphasis/Restrictions  

There are no limitations – all periods are selected. However, emphasis is on recent studies and revisions of older theories (e.g., revised editions of older works).  

B. Languages of Resources Collected: Exclusions/Emphases/ Translations  

English is preferred, and for works collected in another language when an English translation is or becomes available, the English language edition will be favored or may be acquired as an additional copy. Non-English languages are sometimes considered if the work is significant enough or especially relevant to a departmental or faculty research. For Classics related purchases, Latin or Greek will be considered. 

Materials in languages from Africa, Latin America, Asia and other areas will be selected by appropriate bibliographers.   

C. Geography of the Subject: Emphasis/Restrictions  

All regions of the world will be considered, and all materials of major importance selected, e.g., general works of various regions in the entire field of Anthropology, as outlined above. For classics related purchases, circum Mediterranean areas and areas encompassed by the Roman Empire will receive emphasis. 

D. Format of the Resources Collected  

Most monographs will be collected electronically, with occasional exceptions for items that are requested in print, unavailable in electronic format, or those that are particularly important in the discipline. It is acknowledged that digital books are not permanent, and for the historic record important monographs should be collected in paper format. Also, while community borrowers are not the primary focus of this collection, having important works available in paper is valuable for community access. Some important monographs or monographs used extensively in classes may be collected in both print and electronic formats for maximal access.   

Edited works, serials and reference works are electronic unless they are only available in print format.  Publications such as ethnographic reports, theoretical development reports, major site reports, symposia and proceedings of scholarly societies are collected selectively.  

Streaming video is also collected. Archival materials (original and digitized) may be collected.  Dissertations and theses from other institutions are generally not collected. Numeric datasets and statistical sources may be collected.  

The availability of digital text for computational analysis, as well as for access by persons with disabilities, will be considered when acquiring resources for the library. 

E. Diversity Equity and Inclusion 

Library collections can be seen as an outgrowth of academic research and community. Historically and presently, academia does not have broad inclusive representation of diverse people and perspectives. This means that the opportunities for collection to advance DEI may be limited by the academic research community and what is published. However, effort will be made to collect content created by or about historically oppressed, underrepresented, and underserved communities. Examples of strategies for inclusion and broadening the collection include deliberately looking for scholars from underrepresented groups (often via disciplinary societies that focus on these communities) and verifying their books are purchased as well as looking at works from small presses or occasionally self-published works.