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Collection Development Policy


Frank Conaway
June 2009


History of the collections 

The origin of the History and Social Sciences collections substantially predates the establishment of the University itself.  One of the foundations of the library of the Old University of Chicago (to which the University of Chicago succeeded) was the important collection of United States public documents amassed by Stephen A. Douglas, a founder of the Old University.  Only a few years after the University opened, its library possessed one of the best collections of early American Congressional documents in the nation, according to the most exhaustive bibliography of the age.

The famous Berlin Collection offered the nucleus of the Library’s important Central European collections; the 9,000 volume Lane collection was a particularly key element in the foundation of the history collections in general.  The acquisition of the Eckels collection made this library at a stroke the most complete in this nation for 16th century England. 

With comparatively liberal support, the ongoing and retrospective growth of the history and social science collections in the early 20th century was impressive, and the University’s collections were among the largest and most distinctive in the nation.  The foundation of the Latin American collection dates from the professorship of J. Fred Rippy in the 1920’s.  The predominance of Mexico in our Latin American collecting also dates from these years.  (See also sections in this Statement on East Asia, South Asia, Middle East, and Slavic and Eastern European studies.)

By mid-century, the Library was considered to have one of the most extensive social science collections in the nation, both in monographic literature and serials.  Extensive exchange programs brought in remarkable collections for state governments and public institutions, particularly those serving special needs communities.  In the era of World War II, we were beneficiaries of the work of the Library of Congress mission to Europe, and in the post-war years we were founding members of the Farmington Plan to acquire foreign library materials in cooperative with other research libraries.

The University of Chicago was a pioneer in library microfilming, with the first in-house library microfilming lab.  From the 1930’s important materials, notably newspapers and other serials, were filmed for national and international preservation and then discarded.

The University was a founding member of the Midwest Interlibrary Center (later known as the Center for Research Libraries), located on our campus, and the University Library was by far the largest source of the Center’s original collections.   In a development remarkable in large research library history, in the years around 1949, hundreds of thousands and books and serial volumes were categorically transferred from our massively overcrowded library to the Center.  It is probably fair to say that of these hundreds of thousands of volumes to be held cooperatively the larger share were selected from the history and social sciences collections.   They included countless minor serials, state and foreign documents, and numberless highly specialized monographs.  Odd and curious lacuna visible even today in our extensive retrospective collections can be explained by these massive deaccessions and transfers.  Notable among them are proceedings of some state and local historical societies.  The materials, needless to say, are still available here on our campus, but they are in the custody of the Center, not on our shelves and not in our catalogs.  

The ongoing programs of the Center, have very significantly affected the overall development of our own history and social science collections.  Because the Center has undertaken to acquire microfilm from major archival repositories, we have almost entirely lacked films from the (British) National Archives (formerly, the Public Record Office), materials that may be commonly held in libraries similar to ours.  Because of our historical dependence upon the Center our filmed collections from the US National Archives are spotty -- and comparatively insignificant.  Because of the Center’s historical program to collect state publications, our own collections, even of statistical returns, are drastically limited after 1950.  The Center undertook to collect foreign doctoral dissertations comprehensively.  Accordingly, especially in years of limited book funding, our library passed over many foreign monographs explicitly derived from dissertations, resulting in sometimes surprising gaps in our collections.  Because the Center has had a major program to collect both foreign and domestic newspapers our collection of retrospective newspaper files in film is (apart from “area studies” titles) severely limited.  In recent years, the Center’s programs and policies of collecting have grown weaker and more limited, characterized by uncertainty and delay respecting the acquisition of needed material, and correspondingly we have grown more dependent upon partner libraries for the supply of material we once expected the Center to provide; and we have found it necessary or prudential to purchase more microfilmed archival material ourselves. 

The existence of other important libraries in our immediate area has notably affected our long-term collection development for history and the social sciences.  The Newberry Library, an independent research library, has gradually restricted itself to fewer and fewer areas in history and the humanities, but within them it has retrospective collections of distinction.  Its collections for the premodern and early modern history of Portugal and its empire, for instance, would make somewhat redundant any effort on our part to collect retrospectively in these areas.  In many other areas, however, our research collections complement one another.

Similarly, the existence of the Herskovitz Library of African Studies at Northwestern University, its mission of near comprehensiveness, and its hospitality to our scholars, makes it unnecessary to collect African history and contemporary African social science in depth.  The Chicago Historical Museum (formerly the Chicago Historical Society) has long had a program of collecting Chicagoiana on a truly exhaustive basis, including books, serials, photographs, and every manner of ephemera.   Our collecting practices, therefore, have largely been limited to acquiring a thorough research collection of monographs for Chicago history, and a limited supporting collection of serials.  The former Municipal Reference Library, for most of the 20th century, exhaustively collected the publications of the Chicago, Cook County, and all special government agencies, down to mosquito abatement districts.  These retrospective collections have generally been transferred to a special unit in the Chicago Public Library.  Our own collections of local Chicago area government documents are very limited.

After mid-century the library grew rapidly, particularly in the comparatively well-funded 1960’s, but the pace of publication grew still faster, and some other research libraries grew faster than Chicago.  The 1970’s saw a quite notable retreat in resources available to the University of Chicago Library, and by the late 1970’s we lacked the ability to maintain monographic purchasing in many areas at research levels.  Gaps in our collection dating from this era remain visible today. 

In the same difficult years, serials, particularly in the sciences and some other fields, exploded in terms of number, and especially in terms of cost.  To respond to dramatically increasing costs, we engaged in engaged in a major serial rescission program – it would only be the first of several over the next few decades – and as a result our once very rich collections for social science serials were repeatedly reduced.  Lesser reporters and statistical returns were cancelled; in subsequent rounds more serious retrenchments were necessary; and eventually our once remarkable social science serial collections were primarily reduced to core titles.  Unsurprisingly, foreign titles were disproportionately cut in order to preserve comparatively higher demand US titles.

Serious reductions in foreign serials were paralleled by reductions in our collection of foreign government documents.  Once comparatively inexpensive, foreign government documents became quite costly to purchase and process.  Eventually, and not without real regret, we cancelled parliamentary proceedings from Belgium, Austria, and other countries, and eventually we even cancelled the Journal officiel de la republique française, which ran back essentially unbroken to its beginning in 1870.  Orders for censuses and other major statistical reporters were generally preserved, though smaller or less important statistical serials were eventually sacrificed.  (Paradoxically, perhaps, orders for similar serials for “area studies programs” often survived.)

The lean years of the 1970’s were succeeded by years of gradual return to more adequate monographic purchasing, and still later, frequent opportunities to acquire specialized research source material, including major microform acquisitions; but our serial lists not only never recovered, they suffered further reductions.

History and the Social Sciences Collection Development in the Age of Digitization

While the impact of digitization upon collection development for history and the social sciences is too complicated to permit a detailed account, major features are too important to ignore.  Abstracts and indexes, like Historical Abstracts, were among the first library resources to be digitized, more than 30 years ago; but they were available only on a dial-up basis at prohibitively costly rates per minute.  Eventually these bibliographic databases came to be available in CD-rom form, and the entire database could be searched at a dedicated workstation in the library.  It became practicable to dispense with corresponding printed indexes.  Major databases eventually migrated directly to the internet, and their contents were generally open to members of subscribing institutions from any location.  Eventually the preponderant share of the most important periodical indexing and abstracting services in history and the social sciences followed this pattern, though not all have yet followed, particularly some important ones from Western Europe.

From the 1970’s, databases such as LexisNexis contained the full text (though not the images) of more and more articles in serials, and they too migrated from costly dialup services to internet products directly and freely searchable by end users at subscribing institutions.  By the 1990’s we could offer text from a wide range of periodicals, newspapers, and other publications that we did not hold in our own collections, at no cost to the end-user. 

JSTOR, from 1995, began to offer word-searchable page images of core academic journals on a cover-to-cover basis, on a retrospective basis, from volume 1 of the respective titles to within five years of the present.  At first limited to only a small handful of journals for history and economics, over time JSTOR has extended its coverage to more than a thousand core titles.  By design, the database superseded the actual printed volumes standing in our stacks, in the eyes of our users.

Numerous other similar products appeared, both current and retrospective, and in many cases we purchased access to many scholarly titles we had earlier cancelled in paper or had been otherwise unable to order.

Today we offer users online access to full-text articles from around 150,000 titles, in whole or part, including a remarkably vast number that we have never owned in paper, including journals, government documents, and newspapers.  This growth was accompanied by technical improvements that make exploitation of these digital serial articles highly effective, especially when linked to online indexes and abstracts.  And in general we can say that these developments have essentially totally reversed the deleterious effects of our multiple rounds of journal cancellations – as respecting English-language titles.  To date --  and this may change -- foreign language titles are far less likely to have been retrospectively digitized, and many titles that we were required to cancel years ago are still not available to our users.  (In some fields this is not true. Through Prisma and Fuente Academica, for instance, we can offer our users rich bodies of journal articles from Latin America, an area where it has been difficult or problematical to identify and maintain serial orders.)   Prudential cancellation of serial orders corresponding to titles for which digital full-text is available has been an important concern for bibliographers, as well as cancellation of the print version of titles for which we still maintain orders for digital content.

A complex issue seriously affecting collection development is the degree to which free websites supersede serials to which we may have had orders.  In many cases, the content of annual reports, statistical reporters, government documents and other publications has migrated to the producing entities’’ websites, and often the printed publication ceases.  When libraries collect statistical returns and bind and retain them, we assure future users reliable resources for their work, a confidence that is lost when the same or similar information is available only a website from which data may, at any time, disappear or be modified without warning.

The preceding remarks on digitization of research materials for history and the social sciences  pertain particularly to journals, newspapers, and government documents of the fairly recent past.  In parallel to these developments, through purchase of massive and often very costly retrospective digitization projects of printed books we can offer our users online licensed access to the full text of nearly 400,000 monographs.  Because retrospective digitization projects can operate free of copyright restrictions for earlier imprints, older titles currently predominate in this field, with extremely important effects for historians and social scientists.  For instance, as the result of very significant investments, we can now offer users full page images of practically every important title published from the beginning of moveable type in England or in English up until 1800; and until 1820 in the United States.  And we can offer users completely searchable full text to almost every important Congressional document published since the beginning of our Republic, and every parliamentary paper published by or for the British House of Commons since the beginning of Sessional printing in 1800, and a large share of earlier parliamentary papers back to 1538.  We have bought entire collections of rare books and serials documenting practically every aspect of economic life in western society since the Renaissance, and also a very large share of the monuments of history of the Americas from the beginning of printing until well into the 19th century.  The existence of these projects significantly influences decisions to buy reprints and new editions of titles that are fully viewable and searchable. 

We have also purchased scores of other more specialized digitized resources supporting history and the social sciences, such as biographical databases, public opinion polls, collections of election results, and dissertations.

 Regrettably these developments are mostly restricted to those of the United States and Britain.  At present, Germany, Austria, France, and Spain sustain important retrospective digitization projects supporting history and the social sciences, but their achievements are modest in comparison with Anglo-American progress. 

The  massive Google book digitization project in effect is making it possible to open up our book stacks to word by word searching, whether the title is old and out of copyright or recent.  Countless serial volumes are among the many millions of items digitized to date.  At present, this project permits full view primarily to only older imprints; but this is likely to change.

The developments described above very importantly condition the way in which the sections of the History and Social Sciences Collection Development policy statements that follow should be interpreted.  It should be understood that “Research Level” collections often will lack print runs of all but core research serials after the 1970’s and 1980’s, but that for English-language titles we can often offer readers full-text digitized versions of many years of texts of many additional titles.  Foreign language serials after the 1970’s and 1980’s will be restricted in general to only the most important, but that in contrast to English-language serials, we can offer comparatively few foreign language titles in the same way.  


Levels of selection:  Comprehensive, research, instructional support, basic information; for a description of these levels, see the general policy statement. 

Important notice:  For Library of Congress subclasses of Class D not represented below, for example DR, DAW, DT, and most parts of DS, see appropriate Area Studies statements.

CB—History of Civilization.  Research level.


This category is collected unevenly.  Our collections are extensive, but not exhaustive.  Increasingly guides to archives appear on websites, and they often supersede any published guides.  Notable examples of subscription databases are ArchivesUSA and ArchiveGrid.  A notable example of freely available online detailed information is the website maintained by the [U.S.] National Archives.    Generally, the intensity of collecting in this category has corresponded to intensity of our collecting in the historical-topographical classes in D, E, and F.

CE—Chronology.  Research level.

CR—Heraldry.  Study level.  Note that the Newberry Library has extensive research collections.

CS—Genealogy.  Study level.  We collect representative or important titles only.  The Newberry Library has notably extensive collections.  To support research into family and community history, we offer the digitized product Ancestry Library Edition, a searchable database of images of US census enumerators’ schedules.

CT—Biography.  Comprehensive level.  The library collects national biographical dictionaries and collections on a near exhaustive basis, with great retrospective depth.  We have acquired the full set of the World Biographical Information System Online, system, a combination of printed indexes, microfiches, and digitized images, providing the full content of tens of thousands of highly specialized retrospective biographical compilations from all parts of the world, and also major digitized scholarly biographical dictionaries like the American National Biography, the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, the African American Biographical Database, and numerous other digitized sources. 

D – History.  Research level.

Subclass D, D1-D2027, comprehends history generally, including philosophy, theory, historiography, and works treating ancient, medieval, and modern history and subperiods thereof.  For the most part, historical literature is classified in the various national and regional subclasses of Class D, or in Classes C, E, or F, or elsewhere.  History of broad movements, the histories of international relations and wars located in subclass D.  Our retrospective collections are rich and varied, and current collection intensity is at the research level.  

DA—Great Britain and Ireland.  Research level. 

The Library possesses and maintains an exhaustive collection of the English County Record Society publications.  They are part of a particularly distinguished collection of English local history materials.  The Library has purchased a complete digitized file of the House of Commons Sessional Papers from their origins in 1800 to the present.  It also possesses an essentially complete collection of Parliamentary proceedings and collected documents from 1538 to 1800, in addition to very full collections of proceedings (Hansards, etc.) and Lord’s Papers and for the 19th and 20th century. 

Notably, the library owns access to digitized files of essentially all books and pamphlets published in England or in English from the beginning of printing until 1800 (Early English Books Online; Eighteenth Century Collections Online).  It also offers access to two hundred years of the Times (1785-1985) in searchable digitized form, as well as some other newspapers, and it holds very extensive holdings of Early English Newspapers in microfilm.  We have acquired extensive files of digitized British periodicals, but to date they are not exhaustive, and their ongoing acquisition should be a continuing consideration for future budgeting.

The Goldsmiths-Kress Collections, and their digitized equivalent, The Making of the Modern World, afford our uses access to an extremely rich collection for British early modern and 19th century economic history. 

Overall, the collection is strong for all periods, but particularly from the Middle Ages through the 17th century.  Respecting monographs, it approaches exhaustiveness for the Stuart period.  The collection is large and functional and comprehensive, but not exhaustive, for the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  It collections for the Victorian period could profitably enhanced, and it is likely that ongoing digitization projects will in effect achieve this goal.  Contemporary British history, particularly economic and labor history, is collected less intensively than other subfields.  Historical archeology is collected more intensively for the periods of late Antiquity and the early Middle Ages. 

Resources for Scottish history are collected somewhat less intensively as English, but our Irish collections are particularly distinguished.  We have very large collections of Irish newspapers in microfilm.

DB—Austria.  Research level. 

In many, indeed most, ways, Austria historiography is similar to, and largely part of, German historiography, and in general the same factors that describe our German collections (see below) apply to Austria as well.  We are reckoned as having perhaps the most complete collection of Austrian history among our large research library peers, and in light of special emphasis on Austrian history here, and the fact that Austrian historiographical production is only a small fraction of German, we have generally been able to continue collecting Austrian historiography comprehensively even in times when we were unable to do so for Germany due to the factors described elsewhere in this statement.  These remarks apply to Austria and the Austrian Empire generally.  For specific reference to the Kingdom of Hungary and to the Austrian Slavs, consult the Eastern European and Slavic collection development policy statement.   Of special note is ANNO:  Austrian Newspapers Online: Historische österreichische Zeitungen und Zeitschriften Online.

DC—France.  Research level. 

Our collections are extensive and important.  The volume of French historiography, while large compared to, say, Britain, does not compare with German output.  French historiography is collected comprehensively, though not exhaustively, for all periods and topics.  The exception is the period of the French Revolution, for which monographic collecting tends to approach exhaustiveness.  In addition to countless monographs, the Library possesses extensive printed source material, and over a million pages of documentation in microfiche in the French Revolution Research Collection.  Local and regional studies are commonly, but not comprehensively collected.  After repeated cuts in serials, only a few major regional historical periodicals are currently received, and in contrast to Germany, say, there are comparatively few major monographic series, making the selection of individual monographs more important.   Gallica and Persee are government-sponsored programs for digitization of retrospective monographs and current and retrospective periodicals important for French studies.  The Newberry holds valuable retrospective collections for early modern France.

DD—Germany.  Research level. 

Our collections for German history are large and very impressive.  The problem in fairly assessing them is the fact that for the last century and a half, the production of German historiography has been, and remains, overall, extremely imposing.  Collecting it on a very thorough basis seems almost impossible.  We have numerous areas of considerable strength.  We appear always to have acquired exhaustively the great and ongoing documentary publishing projects, such as the vast and polycephalic and never ending Monumenta Germaniae Historica; or the similarly complex Regesta Imperii; or the Acta pacis Westphaliae.  Even during the 1970’s, when the rise of the Deutsche Mark against the dollar made purchase of German scholarly publications seem almost prohibitive, we never seriously reduced our orders for our orders for our many monographic series produced by German regional historical organizations. We continue to receive them today and they represent a major asset.  The famous Berlin Collection yielded us countless early works for German history.  Competent authorities indicate that our collection of the parliamentary papers of the 19th century German states is unequalled anywhere outside of Germany.

In recent years we have acquired a considerable amount of documentary material in microform in support of German history, including an exhaustive collection of the State Department Central Files for Germany, including the Federal Republic and the Democratic Republic, and extensive documentation for the ruling authorities of the German Democratic Republic, and numerous collections documenting the Third Reich.  Compared to the vast amount of material produced by German microrepublishers, however, our collections are only select, not comprehensive.  Perhaps surprisingly, German progress in systematic digitization of research material is years behind the US, and the German DigitZeitschriften represents only a fraction of its target material.

In summary, our collections for the Medieval period are extensive but not comprehensive; the same could be said for the Early Modern Period, taken as a whole.  Because of the volume of output, it is more difficult to claim real fullness as regards the 19th century (and comprehensiveness is out of the question), and that is still more true for the 20th century.  There are several factors contributing to the difficulty of acquiring a dominating preponderance of the materials of real merit.  Germany is, and has been for a long time, the largest country in Europe.  It is polycentric, composed of many regions each with its own distinct history and centers of scholarly production.  It has long had a tradition of very heavy high quality historiographical production (including large numbers of published dissertations) on national, regional, and local themes and social and economic topics.  And it has, famously, had a remarkably eventful (and often turbulent) history, especially for the last 150 years.   This last factor contributes to the ongoing production of a very large number of serious analytic and narrative histories, as well as personal narratives, ranging from those of politicians and military figures to those ordinary individuals who lived through remarkable times during the period of the rise and dominance of Nazism, World War II and its aftermath in Germany, and life under the East German regime, and many accounts of specific communities undergoing similar experiences.  Finally, for much of the period since the mid-1970’s, the cost of the most valuable German publications has been comparatively high in dollar terms.

Under these circumstances in recent years our collecting for 19th century German history has been robust, but not comprehensive; for the 20th century, still more robust, and yet still less comprehensive.  Except for Holocaust Witness literature, which has been collected reasonably thoroughly, personal narratives and 20th century community histories are collected on a selective basis, but in significant numbers.  The very extensive historiography on German Jewry is collected robustly, but, again, not exhaustively.  Social, political, and economic history is richly represented.  Acquisitions are primarily in German and English, with some systematic exceptions, such as studies in French on French influence in western Germany from the era of Louis XIV through Napoleon, and in the aftermath of World Wars I and II, and in events leading to the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, and World War II.  Full-text digital subscription sources of note include Testaments to the Holocaust, and its related title Post-War Europe: Refugees, exile and resettlement, 1945-1950.

DG—Italy.  Research level. 

Overall, the Library’s collection for Italian history is considered to be among the strongest in the nation, but its strengths are nonetheless uneven.  From the Late Middle Ages through the beginning of the 19th century, the collections can be considered extremely thorough, and their ongoing development is particularly supported by the Eric Cochrane Memorial Fund.  The Library has numerous local history monographs and serials.  These include documentation in Latin and local Italian languages.  We routinely acquire collections of local laws for the late Middle Ages and Early Modern period.  (The Newberry Library possesses similar and complementary materials.)

The periods of the Risorgimento, Fascist era, and World War II, though important, were particularly scanted during the years of low funding in the 1970’s and 1980’s, and there are lacunae in the collections.  Contemporary Italian political history is somewhat problematical and conceivably may be over collected in proportion to its merits.

While the collection includes a good deal of documentation in local histories and serials, there exist surprisingly few large edited collections of primary documents; and  have been in the marketplace comparatively few large documentary collections either digitized or in microform, and hence few in our collections.

The collections are primarily in Italian and English.  Because of international interest in the Renaissance, there is significant scholarly literature produced in German, French, and other foreign languages, which we collect.  In addition we collect important literature produced in Spanish for the period of Spanish involvement and dominance in Italy, from the 13th century to the early 18th century; in French from the late 15th century to the mid-19th century; and German for the entire Medieval period through the early 19th century, and again for the period of World War II.

DH-DK—Netherlands.  The retrospective collections are research level; current collecting intensity is rather less.

Dutch history has been collected at research levels for the 16th and 17th centuries, which includes the Reformation, Eighty Years War, the rise of the Dutch overseas empire, and the Golden Age generally, including published source materials.  Materials for the Medieval period are not necessarily collected extensively, nor those for the 19th and 20th centuries, for which we primarily collect major or important works.  There may be omissions in the literature of recent decades.  Belgian and Luxemburger history is collected at similar levels, but more sparingly.

DL—Nordic Countries.  Retrospective collections are research level; current collecting intensity is rather less for countries other than Norway.

Our collections for the history of the Nordic Countries are well-selected but not large, reflecting in substantial measure the nature of the region’s historiography.  In recent years the areas of more than rather modest collecting have been the Viking Age and Sweden’s Era of Greatness.  Publications supporting research and study of the Viking Age are often archeological in nature.  Social and economic studies often appear to be of limited interest outside the region, but some have broader interest and are acquired, as are works dealing with Nordic Countries’ involvement in broader European political and military history in the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  Literature considered to be of international interest is often published in English; sources and specialized works in the national languages.  Every year we buy a few items in Finnish and Icelandic. 

DP—Spain and Portugal.  Research level. 

Spain.  In the last 40 years, largely under the influence of French models, Spanish historiographical production has matured and proliferated.   We collect quality works not only for the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries, but also for the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  Those for the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries are comparatively fewer in number.  The historiography of the 20th century remains dominated by the Civil War and its antecedents, and the long period of franquismo; both personal accounts and analytic studies are produced in numbers and are routinely collected.  Many medieval muniments and records from religious institutions are published, but in a rather irregular and occasional fashion, and we collect them opportunistically rather than comprehensively.  Quality works of medieval history are comparatively few in number and are collected routinely.

We routinely collect books in Spanish and Catalan, as well as occasional works in Galician and other Spanish languages.  Both French and English-language materials are important; German is no longer so.

Portugal.  Portuguese historiography remains less sophisticated and less interesting than Spanish, and its production is much slighter.  We have always collected materials supporting research and study of the Portuguese overseas empire at research levels.  The twentieth-century dissolution of the empire and post-Salazar political history is of moderate interest.  Nearly all the literature of importance is in Portuguese or English, with occasional items in Spanish and French.

DQ—Switzerland.  Retrospective collections are research level; current collecting intensity is rather less.

In contrast to its surrounding countries of France, Germany, Austria, and Italy, Switzerland is less the focus of substantial study here and its historiography is less collected.  It is collected sparingly for periods other than the Reformation and World War II, although we collect notable works of social and economic history as they appear.

DS 101—151.  Jewish History.  Research level. 

Jewish history.  Jewish history is a highly defined area of study, but its literature is diffused throughout many fields of study, and responsibility for it in this library is widely shared. Parts of Jewish history can be considered particularly important aspects of Western and Central European Medieval and modern history; for the history of other Diaspora communities, and for Jewish history in antiquity, refer to other appropriate parts of this overall collection development statement, and for other aspects of Jewish studies see other subject parts of this policy statement.

With respect to Jewish communities in Western and Central Europe, in general monographs and sources in support of their study are, or should be, collected on an intensive research basis, especially for Iberia, Italy, Germany and Austria, where Jewry has been important and long influential, and also for Medieval and contemporary history in the Britain, France, and other European countries, as well as in North and South America and other parts of the world.  Sources and narratives documenting all aspects of the Jewish Holocaust are collected at a highly comprehensive level.  Ideally we should be collecting retrospective research materials, particularly in the form of Jewish-audience newspapers and periodicals from the 19th and 20th century in Europe and other communities. 

The history of the State of Israel and its antecedent Jewish community in Palestine should be collected at a research level.

We hold extensive source collections in microform in support of Jewish history.  Licensed digitized resources include Gedenkbuch:  Opfer der Verfolgung der Juden unter der Nationalsozialistischen Gerwaltherrschaft in Deutschland, 1933-1945; Arab-Israeli Relations, 1917-1970; Testaments to the Holocaust, and its related title Post-War Europe: Refugees, exile and resettlement, 1945-1950.

DU—Oceania.  Research level.  Collections for Australia and New Zealand and Hawaii are maintained at research levels, over a broad range of subjects.   The larger share of literature for Melanesia, Micronesia, and Polynesia may be considered as aspects of anthropology and geography and travel.

DX—Romanies.  Research level.  Much of the literature dealing with Romanies is treated with that of the nations among which they reside.

E and F—History of America.  Research level. 

E 11-143—America in general.  Research level.

Notable digitized collection:  Sabin Americana, a comprehensive collection of comprising some 26,000 early works for the history of the Americas. 

E99-135—Indians.  Research level.  See also Anthropology.

E151-904—United States history, and F1-975—United States local history.  Research level. 

All eras and aspects are collected intensively.  Retrospective holdings are large and deep, including very rich collections of monographs, pamphlets, serials, and source materials, in print and in microformats.  Extensive holdings of rare books and manuscripts are held in Special Collections Research Center.  Important digitized collections of sources are too numerous to specify.  Some notable examples:  LexisNexis US Congressional, providing digitized and searchable images of almost all Congressional working papers, documents, reports, hearings, prints, and proceedings; Early American Imprints, providing full text of almost all books and serials from the beginning of printing in America until 1819; American Periodicals, providing full text of most early magazines and journals; extensive full-text newspapers; etc. etc.

F 1001-1145—British America. Canada.  Research level.

Despite historically quite moderate demand, our collections of Canadiana are important and extensive, covering all eras and subjects of Canadian history.  For many decades we were a depository of Canadian public documents.

F1201-3799—Latin America.  Research level. 

Our collections for Latin America are strong and important, though they do not constitute one of the most eminent collections in the nation.  Our retrospective collections are considerable, including significant holdings of rare books and early imprints.  Since systematic Latin American purchasing commenced in the 1920’s, Mexico has been the chief focus of collecting, resulting in very strong collections for that country.  The collections are generally strong for other major Latin American producers of historiography, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, and Peru, with good holdings for other nations and regions.  The library possesses quite notable microform holdings, including a collection of source material for Mexican history in microform quite likely unequalled anywhere else.  The library offers extensive digitized files of Latin American serials, thanks to its subscriptions both to Fuente Academica and Prisma.  Sabin Americana and The Making of the Modern World both provide rich collections of digitized early monographic and serials literature for Latin America.  The Newberry Library has important holdings of early imprints for Latin American history, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is our partner constituting a Title VI Area Studies Center.

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Nancy Spiegel
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Bibliographer for History
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