Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: General History

Written by: Michael Rodriguez Date Drafted: 02/. 2024

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic needs


Resources in “General” History serve the instructional and research needs of the undergraduate and graduate programs in the Department of History as well as those in other units, namely English, Political Science, James Madison, Sociology, Integrative Studies, etc. The collection also supports graduate and faculty research in primarily in History, Political Science, and International Development. The collection also serves the general information and interest needs of the University community.


B. History of the Collection/Existing strengths and emphases.


It is hard to see this entire category as a coherent collection. It can best be regarded as a smattering of areas and interests. For the most part, it fills in for aspects of history that are not covered by other selectors or straddle disciplines.


Two Library of Congress classification schemes catch many works: "C"  (Auxiliary Sciences of History) and parts of  “D” (History (General)). Otherwise, works can classify anywhere.


“C” classification is a hodge-podge of materials that cover Civilization, General Archaeology, Archives and Manuscripts, Numismatics, Genealogy, and Biography. To talk of strength for this classification is misleading; its materials support other activities in academic research, especially the humanities. Oftentimes, materials ordered from other funds land here due to the whims of the LC classifiers. Strengths and emphasis in specific areas are best covered in IV.


Strengths in the areas of the “D” classification are Historiography, the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries (especially the World Wars and Cold War).  The language is predominantly English.