Collection Development - Audiovisual Materials

Collections Librarian : Pamela Bristah (x2076)

This collection development policy for audiovisual materials guides selection and management of media materials in the Wellesley College Library. This policy is for use by the Wellesley community and by librarians who select audiovisual materials. Collection development is a collaborative process, and faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials, with the understanding the Library adds films for curricular use, and not for recreational viewing.

General purpose of the collection

The Library's audiovisual collection supports undergraduate study, faculty instruction, and basic faculty research across all curricula. The primary uses of the collection are classroom instruction and individual study by students. The Library is actively building its media collection to serve the changing needs of faculty and students.

Items in the collection circulate as liberally as the nature of the material, copyright restrictions, and demand allow. Items may be placed on course reserve, used by faculty in class instruction, signed out of the library by faculty for course preparation, and checked out to students for course study. Within the limitations of copyright and demand, the collection is also available for educational purposes to the College community as a whole.

Description of the collection

Audiovisual materials are collected in all subject areas taught at Wellesley. Materials on subjects not in Wellesley's curricula (e.g. law, medicine, business) will be acquired only when they have demonstrable cross-disciplinary value. The Library does not collect films intended chiefly for recreational viewing.

Audiovisual materials of a general or multidisciplinary nature are housed in Clapp Library. The audiovisual collection in Clapp consists chiefly of video materials-DVD, VHS, and laser discs-with a small number of materials in other formats. Videos in Clapp include a large collection of feature films and documentaries, as well as speeches and plays on video, television programs, instructional videos, and other video content. Other formats in Clapp include CD-ROMs, government document data files, spoken-word sound recordings, and software.

Highlights of the Clapp video collection include the complete Shakespeare plays, best picture winners of the Academy Awards, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA), the American Film Institute, and the Cannes International Film Festival, selected winners of Sundance, Toronto, Venice, Berlin, and other film festivals, East Asian film and television, and films directed by women.

VHS and DVD videos in the Clapp Library are shelved with the rest of the collection by subject and call number. The Art , Music , and Science Libraries have smaller video collections in their respective subject areas. The Art Library primarily collects videos that support the art curriculum, such as films on applied photography, video- and film-making, and on photography as an art form. Some films of wide interest, such as PBS programs, are purchased to enhance the general art collection. The Music Library collects videos of operas, musicals, and symphonic, chamber, popular music, jazz, world music, and solo artists, along with documentaries on music and composers, and pedagogical works on techniques of playing instruments and singing. Videos in the Science Library cover the subject areas described in each of the Science collection policies. Examples of typical purchases are videos which illustrate basic organic and physical chemistry concepts, demonstrate classic physics experiments, or describe environmental topics from various chemical, biological, and geological perspectives.

English subtitles are preferred for foreign-language videos, but the Library will acquire videos without subtitles for foreign language and literature instruction. The Library generally does not collect dubbed videos.

Sound recordings of music are located in the Music Library, and are chiefly on compact disc. The Library also provides online collections of sound recordings, available to Wellesley College faculty, students, and staff, on-campus and off. Online and on CD, the music collection includes classical music, jazz, world music, musical theater, and pop music. Spoken-word recordings are located in library storage, off-campus, and are chiefly on LP vinyl disc at present; however, compact disc or online recordings are the preferred formats for new spoken-word recordings. The spoken-word audio collection features recordings of authors and poets reading their own works, speeches by important political, social and historical figures, and other spoken-word material.

All media materials are listed in the online library catalog.

Video formats and public performance rights

DVD is the preferred format, although many titles in VHS are present in the collection.

For DVDs, region 1 coding is preferred; for VHS videos, NTSC is the preferred format. The Library will purchase DVDs in other than region 1 coding, or VHS tapes in PAL or SECAM format, only when the preferred format is not available.

From time to time it will be necessary for the Library to migrate this collection from a superseded format to the current one. In deciding to take on this costly process, the Library will be guided by the following: the pedagogical importance of the new format, the degree of penetration of the new format in the entertainment and education marketplaces, staff expertise, wide availability of the appropriate viewing equipment or technology on campus, and the availability of funding.

Related resources

The Knapp Media and Technology Center provides video and audio production and editing equipment.