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Queen's University Library

Collection Development: Levels of Collecting

The level of collecting represents the areas of concentration in which programmes are offered, related directly to the level of teaching and research -- through some courses only, undergraduate degree, master's programme, to doctoral programme and post-doctoral research. Individual faculty members may be involved in research in areas not specified in any programme, and/or at a level beyond that necessary for the programme given. Where they require library materials in areas not reflected in the collection policy statements of the department, or to a depth different from that stated in the policy, these special needs may have to be met through a combination of limited acquisitions, interlibrary loan, document delivery, and visits to other institutions.

Level A:

Exhaustive assembling of unique collections, including all printed editions plus archival and MS materials. Normally such collections would cover a very small subject area, e.g. political parties in Kingston in the 1840's.
OR
Intensive collecting in specialized scholarly fields in order to support post-doctoral research with a high degree of adequacy. This would not normally include either all printed editions, manuscript materials, or fields in which serial publications form the primary interest. It would include reprints and microform reproductions. It would normally be focussed on historical material within carefully defined time periods and geographical areas e.g.: significant publications of political dissent produced in Great Britain between 1688 and 1832. We would avoid collecting at this level where strong collections already exist at other institutions.

Level B:

Support for doctoral programmes and most post-doctoral research. Includes important primary and secondary sources in relevant subject areas, definitive editions, significant first editions, scholarly monographs, conference proceedings, and major publications of research societies. All key reference sources should be provided as well as a core selection of the most relevant and most frequently cited serial titles. Emphasis is on materials in English or other western languages especially relevant to the subject being taught (e.g.: French history, Spanish and Latin American literature, Italian art history). Most common formats are print, microform and electronic. Manuscript material is included only in narrowly-defined fields (usually in Canadian Studies) or for special needs. Manuscripts are normally collected by and held in Queen's Archives. The library occasionally purchases microfilmed manuscript collections, which are sent to Archives. It is assumed that interlibrary loan and document delivery services or visits to other institutions will be required to supplement material held locally.

Level C:

Collecting material at a level advanced enough to cover basic requirements for graduate teaching and research for master's programmes. Includes some of the most important serials (though fewer than we would provide for a doctoral programme), a wide range of subject indexes and bibliographies, major reference tools, and important primary and secondary sources as well as scholarly monographs. Emphasis is on materials in English or other western languages especially relevant to the subject being taught (e.g.: French history, Spanish and Latin American literature, Italian art history). Most common formats are print, microform and electronic. Manuscript materials are normally not collected. It is assumed that interlibrary loan and document delivery services or visits to other institutions will be required to supplement material held locally.

Level D:

Maintains a collection to support undergraduate instruction, including honours programmes (courses numbered 300 to 500). Includes a few basic journals, key reference tools, significant primary and secondary sources, and works of criticism and analysis. Limited to collecting in English except in the case of classical studies or modern language and literature programmes. Formats may be print, microform or electronic. Assumes that faculty in most disciplines provide considerable guidance to students regarding key works of scholarship in their field. At this level, it is advisable for faculty to consult with the Libraries' public service staff regarding our ability to support self-directed learning before assignments are handed out. Since interlibrary loan and document delivery may not be fast enough for students in first and second year, course packs or electronic reserve readings may be required to supplement stack collections. The Libraries do not normally acquire textbooks or classroom-teaching materials.

Level E:

This level provides general background information or supports one or two undergraduate courses. Includes a few general reference titles, and some basic monograph publications. Serials are not normally acquired at this level, though titles acquired to support other programmes would probably provide some coverage.

For further information please contact Jane Philipps, Coordinator of Collection Development, 613-533-3040 or jane.philipps@queensu.ca

Last Updated: 23 October 2013