Rare Books and Photographic Archives Collection Development Policy
The Department of Special Collections: Rare Books and Photographic Archives, exists within Ekstrom Library to provide primary resources for research, study, and teaching within the University’s instructional programs, and to provide distinctive and unique resources for the scholarly community worldwide.The Rare Book collections emphasize literature, history and popular culture. The collections of the Photographic Archives include internationally significant collections of documentary photography, along with collections of fine art photographic prints, and works important in the history of photography. The Rare Books collections also include fragile materials and some materials printed in Louisville and likely to become rare or ephemeral in future.
The ultimate responsibility for policy decisions related to the selection of library materials rests with the University Librarian. Within the Department of Special Collections, specific responsibility rests with the curators, who act in consultation with colleagues in Special Collections and with the faculties of academic units.
The primary clientele are the faculty and students of the University. The Department of Special Collections also serves faculty and students from other institutions, museum and historical society professionals, publishers, and media professionals worldwide, as well as members of the community.
III. SCOPE AND COVERAGE
The scope of the collection includes primary and secondary materials to support the instructional programs and research needs of the faculty in a variety of disciplines including English, history, modern languages, fine arts, mathematics, physics, biology, sociology, anthropology, and geography. Additional collections document the cultural history of Louisville.
Specific collections include:
- Documentary photography
- Local and historical photography
- Fine Arts photography
- Gay and Lesbian literature
- Irish Literary Renaissance literature
- Modern English and American literature
- Edgar Rice Burroughs
- Rare Mathematics and Astronomy
- Popular culture
- History of books and printing
The majority of the collection consists of photographic prints and negatives, printed books and journals, and manuscripts. Other formats collected included microform, videos, CD-ROMS and other electronic media, maps, posters and prints, and memorabilia and realia.
V. SELECTION CRITERIA
- Languages: Publications in English have the highest priority but no languages are excluded.
- Chronological Parameters: Active collecting follows the chronological frame of each subject collection. No periods are excluded.
- Geographical Parameters: Collection emphasis is on America and Western Europe with some collections emphasizing the Far East and Africa. No area is specifically excluded.
- Dates of Publication: Publications of lasting scholarly value will be purchased regardless of imprint date. Variant editions will be acquired for comprehensive collections or when new editions add a substantial quantity of new information.
- Exclusions: Textbooks, except for those significant in the cultural history of Louisville, color photography, unidentified or undocumented family photographs.
VI. GIFTS IN KIND
The Department of Special Collections gratefully accepts donations of materials that enhance existing collections or provide significant or unique resources for study and teaching. Gifts are accepted according to the University Libraries Gift and Appraisal Policy.
Selected duplicate editions may be collected when textual or binding variants are significant. Other duplicates will accepted as gifts, but may also be declined due to space considerations.
Materials that do not support the Department’s purposes and objectives may be withdrawn. Materials will be identified for withdrawal as they come to the attention of the librarian in the normal course of work. Books withdrawn from the Rare Books collections or the Photographic Archives reference collections will be added to the Ekstrom Library’s circulating collection, if appropriate.
The Department of Special Collections acquires reference materials appropriate to particular subject collections and to the general study of photography or the history of photography, and to the history of books and printing.
X. ELECTRONIC RESOURCES
When possible, indexes are purchased in electronic format and delivered via the web. CD-ROMs that come with books are housed separately in the media section.
Stand-alone CD-ROMs are purchased if they provide substantial and significant information that cannot be found elsewhere. The Department of Special Collections is committed to making its proprietary collections available electronically.
XI. THESES AND DISSERTATIONS
The Department of Special Collections may add theses and dissertations researched within its collections.