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English Collection Development Policy

Librarian: William Baker

Revised: September 2003

I. Academic Programs Served

A. Principal department served is English. Areas of concentration at the graduate level are Linguistics or Philology; Medieval literatures (Old English Literature and Medieval English Literature); 16th century to 1600 (to 1616 for Shakespeare); 17th century; Restoration and 18th century, 19th century, 20th century, American literature to 1865; American literature since 1865; Rhetoric, and a special field as determined by the examination committee and student in consultation, e.g., teaching of English as a second language. Of course, the collecting profiles of English would also serve such other departments as Women Studies, Black Studies, History, Philosophy, Communication Studies and Foreign Languages.

B. Degrees offered are the B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in areas of concentration indicated above.

II. Clientele Served

A. Primary clientele served are the undergraduates, graduate students, and faculty in the Department of English. Of course, inasmuch as lower-division offerings by the Departments are required or elected by most undergraduates, the clientele served extends beyond students and the faculty of the Department of English.

B. Given the nature of the collections for the Department of English, there is considerable mutual referral between History-Political Science, Language/Literature (e.g., Communications Studies, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy).

III. General Collection Policy Considerations

A. Languages collected are primarily English (Old, Middle, Modern), and Neo-Latin. Ordinarily, studies in other languages are collected in translation, if available; otherwise, in original. Neo-Latin is collected in original. Generally, non-western languages are excluded, although some minor collecting is done in translations of Japanese and Chinese (e.g., haiku, studies of English and American literature).

B. Chronological emphases are Old English (Beginnings to 1100), Middle English (1100-1500), or late 6th century to the present. Current works are collected but, when necessary, retrospective collecting is emphasized. Primary emphasis is on early modern (Renaissance) to the present.

C. Geographical emphases would be the British Isles, United Kingdom, and the United States.

D. Almost all formats are collected with special emphases on monographs, serials, periodicals, microforms, CD-ROM, electronic text; and to a lesser extent, handbooks and filmstrips. Reprints are acceptable; microforms are less acceptable because of limited portability. However, when originals are excessively costly, microforms are acceptable. For scholars and students engaging in textual collations, studies, editing the originals are quite necessary.

E. All relevant current materials are or should be collected. If current imprints are not available then it is necessary to purchase retrospectively (i.e., o.p.) in order to support the department’s programs.

IV. English Collecting Level

  • Philology Linguistics
    LC Class: P
    Title Count: 6,020
    Present Collection Strength: 3c
    Collecting Activity Now: 4
    Desired Strength: 4
  • English Language
    LC Class: PE
    Title Count: 4,348
    Present Collection Strength: 3c
    Collecting Activity Now: 4
    Desired Strength: 4
  • Prose Fiction
    LC Class: PN 3311 - 3503
    Title Count: 1,050
    Present Collection Strength: 3c
    Collecting Activity Now: 3c
    Desired Strength: 3c
  • Oratory [Rhetoric]
    LC Class: PN 4001 - 4355
    Title Count: 1,259
    Present Collection Strength: 3c
    Collecting Activity Now: 3c
    Desired Strength: 3c
  • General Collections
    LC Class: PN 6010 - 6146
    Title Count: 1,620
    Present Collection Strength: 3c
    Collecting Activity Now: 3c
    Desired Strength: 3c
  • English Literature
    LC Class: PR
    Title Count: 41,000
    Present Collection Strength: 4
    Collecting Activity Now: 4
    Desired Strength: 4
  • American Literature
    LC Class: PS
    Title Count: 29,181
    Present Collection Strength: 4
    Collecting Activity Now: 4
    Desired Strength: 4

V. Other Resources

A-B. The collections in Founders Memorial Library are the major source at NIU for the department of English. However, English faculty and graduate students use extensively the collections at all major libraries such as the Newberry, University of Illinois, the Huntington, etc., or, abroad, the British Library, Cambridge, Oxford, for example. Access to such collections is, desirably, by interlibrary loan, via the internet and web, photocopy, microform; but, when necessary, collections are consulted on site. Of course, the Center for Research Libraries is utilized extensively.

VI. Special Remarks

None.