Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: German Studies

Factors Influencing Collection Policy

A. Anticipated Future Needs

Demand for German language training waned somewhat in the late 1990s but enrollment has increased in the 2000s. German remains an important language in literature, commerce, arts, medicine, and all other fields on this campus. Economics, education and politics are of some interest. Studies relating to the World Wars, the Holocaust, the reunification of Germany, and immigration/emigration/multiculturalism are vital.

B. Relationships with Other Resources

  1. Departmental
    The Department of Linguistics and German has a small library of several thousand titles, mainly reference works and major authors. These duplicate library holdings, and are mainly donated works with no systematic collection policy.
  2. MSU Library (non-German)
    A number of areas have English language titles relating to Germany, including the American history (US-German relations), military science, political science, art history, and music. German funds are used only to buy German language materials in these areas. Art and music also buy some German language materials with their own funds.
  3. Regional
    The University of Michigan has a strong German collection which MSU faculty often use. Within the CIC, Wisconsin-Madison has a particularly rich German literature collection, as does Indiana University. The CRL continues to expand its Germanic holdings.
  4. Digital
    Many German newspapers and news magazines that previously arrived weeks late despite airmail subscriptions are now instantly available on the Web. Increased digitization has made many journals available both in retrospective and current editions, although some maintain a "moving wall" of one to five years. Print issues are therefore retained for these until replaced by digital issues. Discrete replacement of print journals with digital versions is ongoing. Despite cancellation of numerous journals in 2009 (in consultation with German faculty), a substantial collection of journals remains. Various databases (JSTOR, for example) have increased our ability to supply material we do not own. The CRL is also a vital source for unusual materials, whether in print, digital or microform.