Collection Development - Russian

Collections Librarian : Sarah Becker (x3593)

The collection development policy for Russian guides the development and management of materials relating to Russian language, literature, and culture in the Wellesley College Library. This policy is for use by the Wellesley community and the Russian collections librarian. Building the Library's collection is a collaborative process, and faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The library collection for Russian supports the undergraduate Department of Russian and Russian Area Studies curricula at Wellesley College. It provides resources for undergraduate study, faculty instruction, and basic faculty research.

The collection reflects the curricula of the Department of Russian and the Russian Area Studies Interdepartmental Major. The Department of Russian, as per its Web site, focuses on "literary scholarship and undergraduate teaching... Russian is taught in the broader context of Russian society, culture, visual art and music." Both the department and the the studies program award the Bachelor of Arts degree.

The Russian Department curriculum emphasizes Russian literature and Russian language studies. Literature courses are given in either Russian or English; Russian language courses are provided at elementary, intermediate, and advanced levels.

The Russian Area Studies major provides for cultural study of Russia and former Soviet Republics from the perspectives of anthropology, economics, history, political science, sociology, and other disciplines. Students in the Russian Area Studies program take related courses for credit toward the major from other curricula, including Anthropology, History, Political Science, Russian, and Sociology, as well as courses at MIT and Brandeis.

Description of the collection

The Russian collection includes resources for study of Slavic culture and literature, with the primary emphasis on Russian literature and Russian language studies. The collection features Russian novels, short stories, poetry, drama, music, and cinema, as well as supporting critical materials. The Library attempts to acquire complete works of major authors, representative collections of works by secondary authors, and major works by significant contemporary authors. Secondary materials include biographical and critical works on Russian authors, critical studies of Russian literary periods and genres, and cultural studies of Slavic places and peoples. The Library subscribes to journals on period and genre studies in Russian literature, and also acquires materials in support of elementary, intermediate, and advanced Russian language studies.

A common thread running through all subject areas at Wellesley College is an emphasis on the contributions and roles of women. In the Russian collection, this is reflected in resources on women authors, poets, and playwrights, and the role of women, gender, and family in Russian literature.

Readership level: The Russian collection includes works written for basic through advanced undergraduate level studies, and for basic faculty research; masters-level publications are collected selectively; research-level publications are collected very selectively.

Languages collected: English or Russian are the preferred languages for writings about Russian literature and culture, and for works of literature themselves. Literary works originally written in Russian are collected in the original language whenever possible, and in English translation; translations into languages other than English are not collected. Works on or by major authors writing in other Slavic languages are collected. Reference works in Russian are collected selectively.

Geographical areas covered (intellectual content or publication source): All Slavic countries are included, with emphasis on Russia and countries of the former Soviet Union.

Chronological periods covered (intellectual content): All chronological eras are included.

Chronological period covered (publication dates): The emphasis is on works of recent publication, representing current scholarship.

Reference: The reference collection for Russian follows the general subject parameters of the circulating collection, providing resources on Russian literature and culture, and for the study of Russian language. The collection includes, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, foreign-language dictionaries, research guides and bibliographies, and indexing and abstracting databases for periodical articles and other writings. Such works may be acquired in print or online, with online preferred when available. English is the preferred language for reference works, except for dictionaries and other materials in support of Russian language studies. Reference materials are selected by the Research and Instruction Group librarian for Russian, who may collaborate with the collections librarian for Russian.

Special emphases: 19th, 20th, and 21st-century Russian literature, and literary criticism of the same periods.

Current collecting priorities: Lake Baikal, English translations of classic and contemporary novels and poetry, general cultural studies of St. Petersburg and Moscow.

Types of materials

Formats in the Russian collection include books, periodicals and newspapers, in print and online, online encyclopedias and indices, sound recordings, and video recordings.
- Reference works: see Reference section, above.
- Books: histories, sociological and anthropological studies, cultural studies, biographies, literature, literary criticism.
- Periodicals and newspapers: scholarly periodicals on Russian culture and history and on women's issues in Slavic countries; Russian-language newspapers.
- Sound recordings: compact discs of works by Russian composers, ethnographic Slavic music, and, selectively, Russian popular music.
- Video recordings: DVDs of significant films; region one coding preferred.
NB: books published by major university press and selected trade publishers are added to the Library via its approval plan.

Materials collected selectively: Bibliographies; Russian-language reference works; research-level monographs; memoirs; dissertations and theses; VHS videos; DVDs in other than region one coding.

Materials not collected: Foreign-language dissertations; translations into languages other than English; single or discrete issues of periodicals; textbooks; workbooks; microforms.

Library locations:
Slavic language and literature materials in general are housed in the Clapp Library, under Library of Congress call numbers PG 1 - PG 9665. Russian language and literature materials are in PG 2001 - PG 3987, and Russian film and film criticism are in PN 1993-1999. Works on Russian art are in the Art Library , and works on Russian music are in the Music Library .

The Knapp Media and Technology Center includes language lab facilities for the study of the Russian language.

Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

Anthropology: The anthropology collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials related to the anthropology of Slavic cultures.

Art: The Art Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials on Russian art and artists.

History: The history collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials relating to Russian history, and also collaborates with the Russian collections librarian.

Music: The Music Librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials on Russian music, composers, and musicians.

Political Science: The political science collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials relating to Russian, Soviet, and post-Soviet politics.

Sociology: The sociology collections librarian has primary responsibility for selecting materials relating to society in Russia, the Soviet Union, and post-Soviet Union countries.

Theatre Studies: The Russian collections librarian selects plays in Slavic languages and in English translation, and literary criticism on Russian drama. The theatre collections librarian may also select Russian plays in English translation, as well as materials on play production, acting, costumes, sets, and directing.