Collection Development - American Studies

Collections Librarian : Pamela Bristah (interim) x2076

General purpose of the collection

The interdisciplinary American Studies program draws support from many areas of the Library collections, such as literature, history, art, and the social sciences. The American Studies major requires courses in historical studies; American literature; the arts; social and behavioral analysis; epistemology and cognition; and religion, ethics, and moral philosophy; and may include a concentration in an area or field, such as law, women, or Asian America. Most courses at the College that are primarily American in content may be applied to the American Studies major. American Studies majors are encouraged to take as part of, or in addition to, their major courses, surveys of American history, literature, and art, and a course on the American Constitution and political thought.

Core American studies collections

The interdisciplinary American Studies program relies heavily on the collecting activities under the following subjects:

The collections librarian for English has primary responsibility for American Studies, and selects American literature and related critical works, biographies and memoirs, cultural studies, and some materials on American history.

The collections librarian for History selects materials on American history, and broader historical studies (e.g., American involvement in Central America)

The collections librarian for Sociology

The collections librarian for Women's Studies

The collections librarian for Art selects . These materials are located in the Art Library

The collections librarian for Africana Studies

The collections librarian for Economics

The collections librarian for Political Science selects materials on American politics and political thought.

    Secondary related subjects & interdisciplinary relationships

    In addition, materials supporting American Studies are acquired for the following subjects:

    The collections librarian for Anthropology

    The collections librarian for Cinema & Media Studies (CAMS) selects feature films, documentaries, and secondary materials (critical studies, biographies, etc.) on American cinema and media studies in collaboration with the American Studies collections librarian.

    The collections librarian for Education

    The collections librarian for French

    The Jewish Studies collections librarian selects most materials on Jewish culture and religion, and on Jews, in the United States, Latin America, and South America. The collections librarians may collaborate on works dealing generally with Jewish culture in the United States.

    The collections librarian for Cognitive & Linguistic Sciences

    The Middle Eastern studies collections librarian selects materials on Islam and on Muslims in the United States, Latin America, and South America. The collections librarians may collaborate on works dealing generally with Islamic culture in the United States.

    The collections librarian for Music selects most works dealing with American music, including blues, jazz, pop, rap, musical theater, and other genres.

    The collections librarian for Religion selects materials on religion in the United States, Latin America, and South America. The focus of the American Studies curriculum is on religion in society.

    The Theatre studies  collections librarian selects American plays, in video and in playscript; the American collections librarian selects secondary works on American drama (critical studies, biographies, etc.).

    The Wellesley College Library Documents Collection : The Library has been a congressionally-designated federal depository for U. S. Government publications since 1943. Our selection rate ranges between 32%-34%. The primary collection areas are demography, education, and Congress.