Collection Development - South Asian Studies

Collections Librarian : Graham Henderson (interim) x3514

The collection development policy for South Asia Studies guides the development and management of South Asia Studies materials in the Wellesley College Library. This policy is for use by the Wellesley College community and the South Asia Studies collections librarian. Faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

South Asia Studies materials in the Wellesley College Library support the South Asia Studies interdepartmental major curriculum. The materials provide for undergraduate study, faculty instruction, and basic faculty research.

The South Asia Studies curriculum, introduced in Fall 2006, is designed to acquaint students with the many facets of South Asian civilizations through an interdisciplinary study of the languages, literatures, histories, religions, arts, social and political institutions, and cultural patterns of South Asia, the region defined as including India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the South Asian diaspora. Through courses in history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, religion and the creative arts (especially literature), students examine the South Asian world and the relationship between South Asia people and the larger world system. As such, the South Asia Studies collection contains works in history, sociology, anthropology, political science, and literature. In addition, the collection draws on collections in other Wellesley College departments such as Art, History, Sociology, Anthropology, and Political Science.

Formats in the South Asia Studies collection will include books, periodicals, electronic resources, and video recordings. The majority of these circulate to students, faculty, and staff.

Description of the collection

1. Readership level: The South Asia Studies collection consists primarily of works written for the advanced undergraduate level and for basic faculty research, along with introductory materials on Hindi and Urdu languages. Graduate- and research-level publications are collected selectively.

2. Languages collected or excluded: Materials in Hindi and Urdu are collected to support the study of those languages. Materials relating to the history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, and religion of the geographic areas identified as South Asia are primarily collected in English.

3. Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both, and specific areas excluded, as appropriate: The majority of acquisitions cover the geographical areas of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, and the South Asian diaspora. Other geographic areas are acquired selectively.

4. Chronological periods collected in terms of publication dates, and specific periods excluded, as appropriate: The collection emphasizes current material, with the primary purpose of supporting faculty and student research and coursework. Older imprints are acquired selectively, usually as replacements for classic works, or at the specific request of a student or faculty member.

5. Chronological periods covered by the collection in terms of intellectual content, movement, or schools: All chronological periods are included.

Reference: Reference material for South Asia Studies is purchased by the South Asia Studies collections librarian for Research and Instruction and follows the general subject parameters of the South Asia Studies collections policy. The scope includes, but is not limited to, the following types of material: biographies, dictionaries/thesauri/nomenclature aids, encyclopedias, style and/or literature guides, and occasional electronic search aids and directories which support curricular or related professional programs.

General subject boundaries and library locations

South Asia Studies materials are housed in Clapp Library.

1. Special Subject Emphases: The South Asia Studies collection emphasizes South Asian cultural studies: literature, history, education, biographies of South Asians, past and present, the South Asia Diaspora, South Asian religion, sociology of South Asians, and materials relating to South Asian women.

2. Current Collecting Priorities: Current collecting priorities include a basic Hindi and Urdu language collection as well as the acquisition of classic editions of standard sources as well as materials which describe and explain Hindi and Urdu literary works, history of Hindi and Urdu literature, and criticism.

Related subjects and interdisciplinary Relationships

Anthropology: The Anthropology collections librarian selects materials pertaining to physical anthropology, social anthropology, and archaeology of South Asia.

Art: The Art collections librarian selects materials pertaining to the art of South Asia.

Economics: The Economics collections librarian selects materials pertaining to the economic aspects of South Asia.

English: The English collections librarian selects India literature written in English.

History: The History collections librarian selects materials pertaining to historical aspects of South Asia.

Music: The Music collections librarian selects materials pertaining to the music of South Asia.

Philosophy: The Philosophy collections librarian selects materials pertaining to philosophers and philosophical aspects of South Asia.

Psychology: The Psychology collections librarian selects materials pertaining to psychological aspects of South Asia.

Political Science: The Political Science collections librarian selects materials pertaining to the political aspects of South Asia.

Religion: In conjunction with the South Asia Studies collections librarian, the Religion collections librarian selects materials pertaining to religions and religious life in South Asia.

Sociology: The Sociology collections librarian selects materials pertaining to sociological studies of South Asia.

    Types of materials

    Collected: Books, periodicals, and reference works, including encyclopedias, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, handbooks, and almanacs.

    Collected Selectively: Conference proceedings, multi-media publications, spoken-word recordings, electronic resources, dissertations, foreign-language monographs, research-level monographs, foreign-language periodicals, and videos and DVDs (Region 1 DVD and NTSC VHS are the preferred formats for video materials. Region 2/PAL videorecordings are acquired when this is the only format available).

    Not Collected: Textbooks, foreign-language dissertations, single or discrete issues of periodicals, vanity press publications, non-journal microforms, and 16mm or 35mm films.