Michigan State University

Collection Development Policy Statement: Museum Studies and Library Science

Last updated: January 21, 2023

Purpose or Scope of Collection

A. Curricular/Research/Programmatic Needs

MSU offers a minor in the Museums Studies program, which can cover various topics in the Humanities, Social Science, and STEM area. Museum Studies collection encompasses materials that support the University's programs in the areas of museum education and exhibition, administration, diversity of collections, curatorial methods and practices, and the museum internship. It also includes research materials on the preservation and/or conservation of both books and the many types of objects that make up a museum collection.

The Library Science collection in the Main Library supports the Libraries staff needs to complete successfully their mission of providing quality library services to the MSU faculty/staff/students and community. The collection also supports the Libraries staff requirements for professional literature and research materials on the several curricular areas for which an individual bibliographer acquires materials for the Main Library and the various branch libraries. The collection also meets the needs of patrons requiring general information, instructional and/or research materials in the fields of the history of books and printing, paleography, typography, book industries (book trade and publishing), book evaluation, copyright, and censorship.

B. Collection/ Existing Strengths and Emphases

The existing strengths and emphases of the Main Libraries collection are on current materials in the English language about contemporary academic libraries concerns and problems, including management, administration, personnel, and leadership; buildings and architecture; reference, automation, online catalogs, networking, library systems, online searching, the Internet, and library instruction; acquisitions and cataloging; preservation or conservation of materials; collection building and bibliography; copyright, censorship, and intellectual freedom. There is also a rather limited core collection in archives and archival administration, offset somewhat by the fact that it is fairly international in scope, in a number of mostly European languages.

The history of books and printing has never been a major area of curricular instruction at MSU, although it is part of a professional librarian's development, and so has a place within the collection. Book history, the book trade, and typography were an area of personal interest for two bibliographers, Robert Runser and Henry Koch, whose work helped turn what had been a college library into a major research library in the years after WWII and on into the 1980's. The bulk of the collection is represented in the areas of the history of printing in the U.S. and UK; paleography; the history of individual presses; book industries and trade; book design and construction; composition, typesetting, practical printing, and typographical innovation. Much less has been added in these areas in the last decade of the 20th century and currently. The collection is comprised of materials for research at the master's level, includes a fair amount of foreign language items, and is dominated by monographs.

The Libraries has been collecting advisedly although widely in the areas of conservation and preservation from about the mid-nineteen seventies. The majority of acquisitions address issues such as the history and philosophy of museums; professional development, e.g. ethics; exhibition design; technologies; museum management; and the various aspects of collections management of non-textual materials (works of art on paper, ceramic, glass, metalwork, stone, textiles, woodwork, photographs, sound recordings, storage media, etc.); care or curatorship, that is, chemical composition of materials, handling, repair, conservation, and storage; public relations and marketing; diversity, education, and interpretation. The preservation and conservation areas include both paper and non-paper objects and cover disaster management and emergency preparedness; environment (temperature, humidity, pests, lighting, etc.); in-house repairs; library binding operations; preservation microfilming, copying (brittle books), digitization; and program planning and administration. 



Library Science and Museology Collection Development Policy Statement: originally created by Mary Ann Tyrell; adopted and revised by Michelle Allen (2009); adopted and revised by Ranti Junus (2010, 2016, 2023)