Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: American History

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated Future Trends

There will be a continuing interest with the study of race, gender, and social history with less emphasis on political and diplomatic history. In addition, there is also an increasing focus on the study of U.S. history through a transatlantic and international lens, with a focus on the exchange of goods, services, and people between regions and cultures both within and outside the U.S.

The proliferation of electronic resources has several implications for the growth of this collection. Ebooks now constitute an important element of this collection, in large part because of the support they provide to distance and online learning students. In addition, text mining capabilities and an interest in the availability of data for analysis and mining will also influence the types of materials purchased for this collection. Finally, there is a growing interest within the History Department and across campus is engagement with digital history tools and methodologies. This interest in and emphasis on digital scholarship will shape the types of resources purchased for this collection. 

Given the price tags of many of these resources, the ultimate decision for purchasing most electronic resources will not rest with the American History selector but at higher levels. The task of the selector will be to provide timely input. Moreover, the selector should selectively publicize free Internet resources. Also the selector will have to decide on the appropriate mix of formats.

B. Relationship with Other Resources:

  1. 1. On Campus:
    1. MSU Library Special Collections -- American Radicalism & Popular Culture collections
    2. Vincent Voice Library -- Oral histories and audio recordings pertaining to U.S. History. Of note are audio collections on U.S. presidents, Lansing Auto Town, and the Women's Overseas Service League Oral Histories
    3. Government Documents -- U.S. and Canadian Documents
    4. H-Net -- stay abreast of developments and cooperate when appropriate
  2. 2. Regional or Network Resources:
    1. Archives of the State of Michigan -- primary sources in Michigan History
    2. Library of Michigan -- Michigan History and Genealogy
    3. Detroit Public Library -- Michigan History and Genealogy
    4. University of Michigan:
      • Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library -- American history
      • Bentley Library -- Source materials for Michigan History
      • Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library -- 20th Century U.S. politics
      • Clements Library -- American history and culture, 15th-20th centuries
      • Special Collections -- American radicalism, Popular Culture
    5. National Archives and Records Administration. Chicago Regional Depository
    6. Center for Research Libraries
    7. Michigan Research Library Triangle
  3. C. Relationships to Resources Treated in Other Policy Statements:
    1. US Government Documents
    2. Special Collections
    3. Ethnic Studies
    4. Political Science
    5. International Development
    6. Gender Studies
    7. Area Studies
Michigan State University