Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Iberian Studies

Page Coordinator: Janette Nunez

Purpose of Scope of Collection


A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

The Iberian studies collection primarily supports the teaching and research activities of the faculty of the Department of Romance and Classical Studies that focus on Spain and peninsular Spanish literature and culture. The Department offers the B.A. and M.A. as well as the PhD in Hispanic Cultural Studies.* The collection also supports study of the fine arts, music, history, politics, society and social science disciplines in the context of the Iberian Peninsula, but with the exception of social and cultural history, current acquisitions in these areas are largely limited to English-language scholarly resources, in accordance with campus curricular and research needs.

 For this subject collection, the acquisition of faculty research data for inclusion in the MSU Libraries research data repository will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

*A minor in Portuguese is offered as well, however, the emphasis of the program is on Brazilian Portuguese and culture.

B. History of the Collection/Existing Strengths and Emphases

Historically the emphasis and greatest strength of the collection has been on the canonical literary texts of Castilian Spanish and associated criticism, as well as contemporary literary production. MSU possesses great strength in library resources to support the study of peninsular Spanish literature of all periods and centuries, from Medieval to contemporary, and has counted among its faculty leading, internationally recognized scholars.

MSU Libraries was among the earliest North American academic libraries to contract with Puvill Libros of Barcelona, Spain, for the provision of new primary and secondary monographic works published in that nation, focusing on primary literature of all genres, associated criticism, festchrift, surveys and references works, but also studies of history and on topics in Spanish art, religion, society and philosophy. The collection however, far pre-dates the 1970s start of this gathering plan, with a very strong showing of Castilian Spanish literary imprints and related works from throughout the 20th century. Significant donations have also enriched the collection over the years. In the mid-1990s, the plan was narrowed to include only primary literature and related secondary works, reference works and history (excluding local history). Most recently, since the early 2000s, the Iberian studies selector has worked with the Spanish books vendor to ensure that newly published materials for the study of a broad spectrum of Spanish cultural production are also available to students and faculty, especially for film studies and popular culture. Spanish imprints on political history have been greatly curtailed. Title-by-title selection to supplement the gathering plan is crucial, especially for the acquisition of DVDs, unique or expensive materials to be housed in Special Collections and for targeted acquistions which fall outside the parameters of the plan. 

A strong core of scholary journals has long supported the teaching and research needs of faculty and students with interests in peninsular Spanish literature and culture.