Collection Policies

General Collection Guidelines
Collecting Codes

To support research and instruction in the undergraduate programs in history, political science, international studies, and secondary education social studies with a history major. The collection also supports the MA in History, the MA in Humanities, and the MA and doctoral programs in International Studies as well as faculty research. History Department courses cover all aspects of history including political, economic, social, military, religious, cultural, intellectual, and diplomatic subjects. Other departments with an interest in historical works are Art, English, Foreign Languages, Music, Philosophy/Religious Studies, Sociology, Women's Studies, and Theatre Arts. This policy covers both general collection and reference materials.


Language: English (or translation into English) is the primary language of the collection. Primary and secondary sources in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Chinese, and other languages may be selectively purchased in support of faculty research and graduate programs.

Chronological Guidelines: The collection contains materials on all periods of history.

Geographical Guidelines: The collection includes materials on all areas of the world. However, collecting efforts focus primarily on the history of the United States, Great Britain, Europe, Russia and former Soviet states, Latin America, East Asia (especially Japan and China), and the Middle East. Tidewater Virginia (especially Hampton Roads) is an area of special interest.

Treatment of Subject: Scholarly works offering a critical, technical, historical, or biographical treatment of the subject are acquired. Juvenile materials, textbooks, and popularizations are not purchased. Genealogical studies are not normally purchased. Foreign dissertations are acquired only if the material is not available from the Center For Research Libraries. Domestic dissertations are acquired by faculty request.

Types of Material: Major emphasis is on the purchase of scholarly monographs, reference works (including dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, atlases, bibliographies, etc.) and serials. Transactions and proceedings of meetings, conferences, and symposia are acquired on a selective basis. Collections of primary sources in microform or in reprint sets are collected to the extent that funds permit. However, collections available from the Center For Research Libraries are not normally purchased. Films, videos, slide collections, and cassettes providing instructional support are selectively acquired. Non United States Government documents are collected selectively. These publications are primarily United Kingdom, United Nations, European Community, and Virginia documents. Local histories of Virginia and the South are acquired. Local histories for other areas are purchased by faculty request.

Increasingly, electronic formats for indexing/abstracting services and full text journals are becoming the norm. If appropriate and if funds permit, electronic formats should be considered for purchase. In addition, many valuable resources are becoming available from VIVA, including FirstSearch, Congressional Compass, IACís Expanded Academic Index, Periodicals Content Index, etc. Purchases by VIVA will not normally be duplicated by the Library. Also, a number of Web sites related to the study of history are listed on the libraryís homepage under "Internet Resources by Discipline." These sites are reviewed and updated annually by the history bibliographer. In addition, various listservs and discussion groups provide information on historical topics.

Date of Publication: Emphasis is on the purchase of current materials. Acquisition of retrospective materials, including out-of-print titles, is initiated as funds permit. No preference is given to original printings over reprints.

Other General Considerations: 

Access to The Center for Research Libraries' catalog is available through the library's home page and the Centerís website:  A microfiche catalog is available in the library's Interlibrary Loan Office. Items from the Center can be borrowed on extended interlibrary loan from the Interlibrary Loan Office.