Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: British History/Studies

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated Future Trends

We anticipate that usage of the collection will remain steady. We will continue to purchase quality monographs and maintain numerous periodical subscriptions and record society memberships to support our range of faculty teaching and research interests as well as we can, covering all periods from the medieval to the present. While methods by which scholars study history change somewhat over time, the older approaches do not disappear. Now that the History department has moved to the College of Social Science we must support social science methodological approaches as well as the more traditional narrative and textual ones. The emphases on Migration studies, Labor and Working Class History, and Gender dictate this. We also support the cultural and interdisciplinary approaches favored by some of our literature scholars.

We expect some impact upon this collection and its usage from Residential College in the Arts and Humanities.

We must be attentive to DEI, diversity, equity, and inclusion in our collecting going forward, looking for publications from both mainstream and small independent publishers about racial minorities, religious minorities, LBGTQ+ persons, and other under represented peoples in the British Isles, their experiences and difficulties, both primary and secondary sources.  Consider online, open access, as well as traditional paper formats.  Our rich, in-depth collections provide both primary and secondary sources that can be used to study all-the-now-viewed-as- terrible things the British have done around the world in the name of progress and civilizing indigenous peoples.

In terms of primary sources, we already have a significant investment in full-text electronic resources, with the subscription to the Oxford English Dictionary and purchases of LION, EEBO, ECCO, House of Commons Parliamentary Papers, British Periodicals I-IV, Empire Online, Global Commodities, NCCO, many British and Irish regional newspapers, Times Digital, MEMSO, and many others. We want to attract scholars of “things British” and in order to do that we must offer suitable electronic products.  We anticipate collecting electronic research data subsets created by faculty and graduate students from our electronic resources.

We will continue to support Murray and Hong Special Collections’ 18th-Century Studies Collection by funding purchases with the Bushell  fund, mentioned above.

We do not collect very many DVDs; streaming services are preferred when possible.

We own many microform sets and record society publications, which need item level cataloging and analyzation, respectively; in consultation with the bibliographer, Technical Services staff will be working on improving access to these materials via our online catalog.

Shelf-ready approval books from GOBI on paper are very important.  GOBI approval slips are used in great abundance, as well as firm orders from other sources.  Paper is the preferred format for monographs, so the books can be lent on ILL, helping to fulfill our land grant mission.  Duplicate format copies may be obtained via E book packages or by individually requesting them through GOBI, as needed.

Free web sites are added to our online research guides.  Some really important online free resources are requested to be cataloged using the free web resources cataloging request.  British history/studies bibliographer does these things.

B. Relationships with Other Resources

On campus branch or format collections, if any:

Reference collects reference and travel materials, but the British history/studies selector also collects these for Main.  E format is usually preferred for reference items, but paper for travel.

Murray and Hong Special Collections collects materials published prior to 1866, plus popular culture material, such as the Princess Diana Collections.  The British history/studies subject librarian collects early modern conduct literature and some history material for SPC.

Map Library collects maps, and atlases that are over 50% maps.

Science librarians collect works about gardens and landscaping, but the British history/studies subject librarian also does.  Ditto for works in history of other sciences.  Medical librarians are not collecting history of medicine, but the British history/studies subject librarian does.

Art Library collects art, art history, architecture, design, decorative arts.  British history/studies subject librarian may collect some history of architecture material.

Music Library collects music scores, recordings, and works about music.

Microforms collects materials in microformat, but we are not adding microforms, except via the STC standing order.

Digital and Multimedia Center/Voice Library collects software and DVDs.  British history/studies subject selector selects some DVDs.

Regional or network resources, if any:

According to the National Shelflist Count and the OCLC WorldCat Collection Analysis system, the M.S.U. Libraries’ collection of British history is among the dozen or so largest in the country. Compared to other collections ours is particularly strong in local history for England, Scotland, and Wales. The other similarly sized collections include: Library of Congress, University of Wisconsin, Columbia University, University of California-Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses, University of Michigan, Indiana University, Ohio State University, University of Washington, University of Virginia, University of Texas-Austin, and University of North Carolina.  For many years M.S.U. Libraries' has had the largest collection in British history that was available for lending to MeLCat member libraries. 

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is a significant resource for us to draw upon. They own many newspapers, dissertations, and primary materials on microform which we borrow for patrons on interlibrary loan. 

We often purchase or subscribe to electronic resources cooperatively with other BTAA  institutions and the Midwest Collaborative for Library Services.

We need to keep an eye on, and possibly participate in, cooperative print collection development with other BTAA libraries as this program develops.  We are already participating in retention of significant primary sources in the British area that are out at Remote Storage via the MI-SPI program.  We are a member of LOKSS and should work on how to contribute to this program.  And SPARC.

C. Relationships to Resources Treated in Other Policy Statements

  • The art librarian collects art, art history,  architecture, and decorative arts works.  The British history/studies librarian may assist with this effort.
  • The music librarian collects music scores, recordings, and works about music.
  • The Murray and Hong Special Collections collects imprints prior to 1866, manuscript facsimiles, and other rare, valuable items.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort.
  • The librarian for agriculture and horticulture collects gardening and landscape architecture works.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort.
  • The British history/studies librarian collects history of science material, especially in areas where the science librarians are not and we have faculty and researchers who are interested in it.
  • The park and recreation resources librarian collects works about parks and recreation
  • The map and geography bibliographer collects geography, maps and atlases over 50% maps.
  • The bibliographer for military science collects works about World Wars I and II.
  • The military and naval science bibliographer collects military and naval history, primarily from the Napoleonic War onwards.
  • The political science, law, and criminal justice bibliographers collect political science, law, and criminal justice works.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort.
  • The women’s studies bibliographer collects works about women.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort.
  • The sociology/social work bibliographer collects works about marriage, children, family, sexual life, organizations, urban/rural areas, communities, classes, criminal justice, social welfare and social problems.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort, but does not collect the professional, practical materials used by social workers, counselors, educators, police, criminal justice workers, etc.
  • The economics bibliographer collects works about economics.  The British history/studies librarian assists with collecting historically oriented material and material about the contemporary British Isles economic situation.
  • The education and psychology bibliographers collect works about education, schools, and psychology.  The British history/studies librarian collects historical material but not contemporary material for/used by practitioners in these fields.
  • The U.S. and U.K. Literature bibliographer collects British and Irish literature since the Middle Ages.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort, especially medieval and Renaissance/early modern periods.
  • The classical studies bibliographer collects works on Roman Britain.  The British history/studies librarian assists with this effort.

In the areas above, the British history/studies bibliographer may recommend, purchase, or jointly purchase titles. The British history/studies bibliographer tends to handle periods not covered, historical aspects of the topics, sometimes biography, and works originating in the British Isles.