Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: British History/Studies

Analysis of the Subject Field

A. Chronology of the Subject: Emphases/Restrictions

Our collecting is broadly based and covers all periods at the undergraduate level. Beyond this we pay particular attention to those periods in which there are active campus researchers.

B. Languages of Resources Collected:


English is the language of origin; the materials are almost exclusively in English

C. Geography of the Subject: Emphases/Restrictions

We collect more in-depth for England than for Ireland and Northern Ireland and more in-depth for these three than for Scotland, Wales, and the other smaller islands.

D. Format of the Resources Collected: Restrictions, if Any

We do not collect paper printed pamphlets or ephemera less than 50 pages in length for Main, as it is vulnerable to destruction in the stacks. Significant pieces of grey literature may be collected online in pdf format.

The Art Library collects heavily illustrated material, but the Main Library does not as much.

We do not collect dissertations and masters’ theses from other universities or undergraduate textbooks.

We do collect electronic resources, full-texts of primary and secondary works, and online indexes. We prefer electronic resources accessible on the Internet to software that must be housed in the Digital and Multi Media Center. We prefer to own, rather than subscribe to online resources, when possible.

We do collect primary resources in microformats, although full-texts online are preferable, when they are available and affordable online.

We do not collect very many videos. Our users have expressed a preference for reading as opposed to viewing owing to limited funds.

Special Collections houses British history manuscripts, manuscript facsimiles, and antiquarian works published 1866 or before, whether collected by Special Collections' rare book librarian or the British history/studies bibliographer or jointly.

E. Date of Publications Collected: Emphases, if Any

We emphasize recently published books and periodicals in the Main Library stacks. Special Collections emphasizes valuable and pre-1866 materials.

Michigan State University