Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Radicalism

Collection Management Issues

Specific policies, if any, on replacement, deselection, out of print acquisitions, preservation, etc.

The very nature of the printed material of radical movements raises significant preservation issues and problems which must be assessed. A large number of items and collections in the Radicalism Collection was not produced with the intention of long term use. The paper is usually highly-acidic, thin, and frequently shows the result of much handling and use. Many of the books/pamphlets are inexpensively produced with fragile bindings. Currently, procedures are underway to slow down the deterioration of the collection. On a case by case basis items are given some protection. This included using acid-free folders, mylar covers, acid-free boxes, and some preservation photocopying of selected collections (Weather Underground; Ku Klux Klan, etc.). There is currently no plan to reformat or deacidify major sections of the collection. However, it will prove wise to explore the possibilities of digital conversion for heavy use items, especially selected items from the ARVF.

The Radicalism Collection is open to inquiries to digitize selected items and collections for wider access while also protecting the material from repeated use. In the past radical documents were digitized inhouse to enhance use and preservation, and partnerships have been established with commercial vendors to digitize materials as part of larger projects. In these cases, Special Collections has received royalty payments for the use of its materials.

Michigan State University