Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Special Collections

Collection Management Issues

A. Preservation

Many of the books in Special Collections have bindings in poor shape, loose covers, and brittle paper.  Condition reports are underway in the vault and then will move to the Rare Book Collection. All books in the Rare Book Collection with taped bindings are being repaired.

Fluctuations of temperature and humidity remain a concern, especially in the spring and fall seasons.

An aggressive Wallace Conservation program to make boxes and other enclosures for fragile materials has started beginning in the vault and then the Rare Book Collection.

Increased annual funding for outsourcing preservation (i.e. binding, deacidification, cleaning) is needed.

B. Space

Special Collections shelf space has reached capacity. Some materials (books and archives) have been sent to Remote Storage. Despite full capacity collections will continue to be added if they fall within the guidelines of the collection development policies.

C. Endowments

Endowments are critical for the growth, quality, and preservation of collections in Special Collections. A close, working relationship with the Library Development office is important and should be emphasized in all facets of work and collecting in Special Collections.

D. Sales/Duplicates

On a highly selective basis with review and input from staff, collections and/or individual books which do not support curriculum needs or fall outside the scope of active collecting as specified in collecting policies may be sent to MSU Surplus for sale or disposal according to Library policy and procedure. Proceeds from any sales go to the Special Collections Endowment Fund, or to another designated endowment fund.

E. Transfer from circulating collection

There are guidelines in place for books to be transferred from the circulating collection to Special Collections. In the coming years there will be growing pressure to transfer more books to Special Collections which may not meet these guidelines. In these cases, the head of Special Collections will need to be flexible and a strong advocate for increased space to accommodate these transfers.

Michigan State University