Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Canadian Studies

Page Coordinator:Dao Rong Gong Last updated: 07-2023

Purpose or Scope of Collection

1. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

The Libraries’ Canadian holdings support the activities of the University’s Canadian Studies Centre (CSC). Located in International Studies and Program, the Centre provides direction and assistance to over one hundred thirty faculty members in more than twenty-five departments in the social sciences, humanities, communications arts, education, business, agriculture, and natural sciences.

Because of the Canadian materials in our collection, the CSC serves as a focal point for research and teaching on Canada. It sponsors two capstone Integrative Studies courses in the social sciences and humanities and provides support for courses with substantial Canadian content in many disciplines. Current emphasis is on Native Peoples, Great Lakes resources, Canadian culture, and trade and industrial relationship with the US. Finally, the Canadian Studies collection serves as a resource on Canada to the outside community.

2. History of the Collection/Existing Strengths and Emphases

A Canadian presence on campus dates back to the 1930s and was associated with renowned author A.J.M. Smith. Consequently, the emphasis of the collection was entirely literary. With the establishment of an interdisciplinary committee of faculty in 1958, the Libraries began to expand our resources to include politics, government, anthropology, and history. One of the principal participants in Canadian Studies was the distinguished professor, Russel Nye who took great interest in the library, especially in its popular culture collections. In the late 1950s, the library was fortunate to obtain a strong pre-existing collection of Red River and Louis Riel materials. Due to additional purchases, it has become nearly comprehensive. French language materials are fairly well represented.

In the 1970s, the Libraries became a selective depository of Canadian Federal government materials. We receive almost all of the serials and the primary monographs offered through the Depository Services Program which total about 150,000 titles. This Canadian depository program eventually ended in 2011.

As faculty interest in Canadian topics expanded outside the humanities and social sciences, the scope of acquisition has broadened. Due to the existence of definitive collections with a day's travel and a mature inter-library loan system, the current collection policy is to acquire a representative collection with emphasis on satisfying immediate instructional and research needs. At the present time, the areas of strength are Canada-U.S. foreign relations and trade, history, literature, native peoples, social conditions, and natural resources.

As more library materials are made available electronically, acquisition of Canada-specific databases provides Canadian a range of bibliographic and full-text materials that we simply could not provide in hard copy. Moreover, other databases, especially in agriculture and the natural sciences, have significant Canadian content.

3. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

The Canadian Studies Collection is dedicated to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of its development and maintenance. We recognize that Canada is a culturally rich and diverse nation, and we are committed to reflecting this diversity within our collection. We acknowledge the historical and ongoing contributions of Indigenous peoples, various ethnicities, and underrepresented communities to Canadian society and culture. Therefore, we actively seek materials that represent a broad spectrum of perspectives and experiences.