Collection Development - Medieval and Renaissance Studies

Collections Librarian : Brooke Henderson (x3258)

This collection development policy guides the development and management of materials on Medieval and Renaissance studies in the Wellesley College Library. This policy is for the use of the Wellesley community and the Medieval/Renaissance Studies collections librarian. Faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The library collection for the Medieval/Renaissance Studies program supports the undergraduate Medieval/Renaissance Studies curriculum at Wellesley College and provides resources for both study and teaching of Medieval and Renaissance studies. Medieval and Renaissance studies library material also supports other areas of study in the Wellesley College curricula.

The primary priority for the collection is support of the Medieval/Renaissance curriculum, which enables students to explore the richness and variety of European and Mediterranean civilization from later Greco-Roman times through the Renaissance and Reformation, as reflected in art, history, literature, music, and religion. The Medieval/Renaissance Studies major also includes courses on classical and medieval political theory, theatre and politics in Renaissance Italy, oral culture and books in sixteenth-century France, drama in Golden Age Spain, and medieval philosophy of human nature. This major has a strong interdisciplinary emphasis; students are encouraged to make connections between the approaches and subject matters in the different fields that make up the major. Thus, this interdepartmental program draws support from many subject collections in the Wellesley College Libraries.

A common curricular thread at Wellesley College is an emphasis on the roles and contributions of women; in Medieval/Renaissance studies this includes a study of medieval women writers and the portrayal of women in literature of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

General subject boundaries and library locations

Medieval and Renaissance Studies materials are chiefly housed in Clapp Library, except materials related to the visual arts, which reside in the Art Library and those that relate to Music, which reside in the Music Library.

There are, also, a number of medieval and renaissance titles, illuminated manuscripts, incunabula, and early Bibles in the Special Collections Department. Both medieval faculty members and thesis students benefit from this rich resource.

Reference: The reference collection for Medieval/Renaissance Studies follows the general subject parameters of the circulating collection. The collection includes, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, foreign-language dictionaries, research guides and bibliographies, indexing and abstracting databases for periodical articles and other writings. Reference works may be acquired in print or online, with online generally preferred when available. English is the preferred language. Reference materials are selected by the Research and Instruction Group librarian for Medieval/Renaissance Studies, who may collaborate with the collections librarian.

Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

Collection development for Medieval/Renaissance Studies is the responsibility of the faculty from and collections librarians for the individual departments that support and contribute to this interdepartmental curriculum. For more detailed descriptions of the collections and the scope of coverage of current collecting activities in each, consult the following related collection development policies:

Art: The Art Librarian selects works on classical art and architecture.

English: The English collections librarian selects English Medieval and Renaissance literature and related critical works.

French: The French collections librarian selects medieval and renaissance French literature in translation as well as material related to literature and culture in France at this time.

History: The History collections librarian selects general works on the history of the Middle Ages and on the Renaissance.

Italian Studies: The Italian Studies collections librarian selects medieval and renaissance Italian literature in translation as well as material related to literature and culture in Italy at this time.

Music: the Music Librarian selects material related to Medieval and Renaissance music.

Philosophy: the philosophy collections librarian selects works related to Medieval and Renaissance philosophy.

Political Science: the Political Science collections librarian selects works about medieval political theory.

Religion: the Religion Studies collections librarian selects works related to religion in the Medieval and Renaissance eras.

Spanish: The Spanish collections librarian selects medieval and renaissance Spanish literature in translation as well as material related to literature and culture in Spain at this time.