Collection Development Policies:
Purpose: History materials at Washington State University support teaching and research at the undergraduate level, the graduate level through the Ph.D., and post-doctoral and faculty research. The department offers courses of study leading to the degrees of Bachelor of Arts in History, Bachelor of Arts in Social Studies, Master of Arts in History, and Doctor of Philosophy. In cooperation with the Department of English, the department also participates in the interdisciplinary program in American Studies leading to the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Offerings in the field of history may be classified as American, Asian, European, and Latin American. Specialized areas of study within the department include United States, early Europe, early modern Europe, modern East Asia, Latin American, environmental, women’s history, public history, and world history. The History Department offers courses in all aspects of history: political, economic, diplomatic, military, social, cultural, intellectual, women’s, public, and environmental. In addition, history is interdisciplinary in that a degree or research in history may require work in other disciplines, such as Anthropology, Economics, Political Science, and Sociology. Also other programs on campus, such as African American Studies, Asian/Pacific American Studies, Chicano/Chicana and Latino/Latina Studies, Native American Studies, and Women's Studies, offer courses in the history of each of these groups.
This statement is not specifically concerned with historical treatments of disciplines offered by departments other than History, for example, the history of architecture, musicology, science, etc.
General Collection Guidelines:
- Languages: English is the most commonly collected language, followed by French and German, with emphases on Russian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian where appropriate. The intensity of collection in these latter languages should roughly reflect the geographical divisions inherent in the field, for example, French and English would be the first languages of collection for French History, German and English for German History, English and the western European languages for European diplomatic history, etc. Spanish and Portuguese materials originating in Latin America are more intensely collected than materials in the same languages originating in Spain and Portugal. Works published in languages other than those mentioned above are, for the most part, only purchased in English translation.
- Chronological Guidelines: No period is excluded.
- Geographical Guidelines: As specified under subject subdivisions. Note on local histories: publications of local historical societies are purchased only when originating in an area of particular interest to the Washington State University Libraries, for example, Washington, the Inland Empire, the Pacific Northwest, etc.
- Treatment of the Subject: Juvenile materials and introductory textbooks are not ordinarily purchased.
Types of Material: Most materials acquired are in the form of books (including numbered monographs) and serials. Reference materials, such as historical encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, directories, handbooks, etc., are collected extensively, as are the transactions and proceedings of conferences and society publications. Many key history encyclopedias and dictionaries are purchased electronically and there is a large amount of history content in electronic collections such as Oxford Reference Online and Gale Virtual Reference Library. Other electronic resources such as American National Biography, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, and Dissertations & Theses also provide quick electronic access to a wealth of material for the historian. More and more history primary source materials are available and purchased in digital format, including large collections such as Early English Books Online, 1473-1700, and the U.S. Congressional Serial Set. Microfilm and microfiche material are selectively purchased. Microforms still provides access to primary source material that is either unavailable or too expensive in "hard copy," such as papers of historically important figures, government documents, periodical backfiles. etc. The American Culture Series, American Periodical Series, Pre-1900 Canadiana, and Western Americana collections are examples of extensive collections of primary source material available on microfilm or microfiche. In the future the goal is to replace microfilm or microfiche, where possible, with digital access to these materials.
WSU Libraries provides electronic access to the two major indexes to history journals : America: History and Life and Historical Abstracts. These provide quick indexing to history journal articles from 1954 to the present. Other databases such as the Bibliography of Asian Studies provide access to journal articles in history. References to history material can also be found in a number of the library’s full-text databases JSTOR provides archival access to over 100 history journals and Project Muse provides full text coverage for over 60 history titles.. There are also a number of electronic history journals available full text, as well as a large number of freely available open access history journals.
- Date of Publication: The emphasis is on current books, with selective purchasing of out-of-print materials. In retrospective purchasing, generally no preference is given to original printings over reprints.
Other General Considerations:
These guidelines are written with the main collection in Holland and Terrell Libraries in mind. However, there are some special resources of importance to historians in the Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections that deserve mention. These include extensive manuscript collections relating to the exploration, settlement, and development of the Palouse Country, the Inland Empire, and the Pacific Northwest. For example, the DeSmet Papers reflect the activities of a nineteenth-century missionary priest in the region.
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections also contains the Pacific Northwest Agricultural History Archives, the University Archives, which contain the personal papers and records generated by Washington State University's faculty, academic departments, and administrative offices, and an extensive Historical Photographs Collection, containing a wealth of visual documentation for studying the university campus, Pullman, the Palouse, the Inland Empire, and the Pacific Northwest. Material in these collections and finding aids for searching for material are available through the MASC web site through links to manuscripts, archives, digital collections, photographs, and rare books. Digital collections include an extensive newspaper clipping file on the history of the Pacific Northwest. In Latin American History, the Archives contain the Regla Papers, which cover three centuries of Mexican history.
It should be mentioned that there is strong cooperation between WSU Libraries and the University of Idaho in terms of access to materials in their collection. In addition, WSU has a large collection of U.S., foreign, and international documents and the University of Idaho is a regional library for U.S. documents.
The WSU Libraries has electronic access through an online system called WSU World Cat to the holdings of major university libraries throughout the United States and the world, making these research resources searchable for the historian. WSU WorldCat also provides access to Summit, a union catalog of the holdings of the libraries of more than thirty university, college, and community college libraries in Washington and Oregon. Books can be electronically requested and borrowed from any of these Summit libraries. In addition to these resources, the WSU Libraries offers free Interlibrary Loan for books not in the library collection and provides free electronic copies of journal articles not available at WSU through Interlibrary Loan.
Observations and Qualifications by Subject with Collection Level:
Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire: C(2)
Eastern Europe and the Byzantine Empire: C(2)
Spain and Portugal: C(2)
Soviet Union and Successor States: C(1)
Eastern Europe: C(2)
Northern Europe and Benelux: C(1)
United States: B
Regional - Pacific Northwest: B
Regional - West: B
Southeast Asia and South Pacific:
Historiography and Historical Bibliography: B