Collections Contact: Sarah Barbrow (x3021)

The collection development policy for Physical Education guides the development and management of the physical education and athletics collection. This policy is for the use of the physical education collections librarian as well as members of the College community. Faculty members are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The collection supports the academic and, to a lesser extent, the recreational needs of the community. The subject scope of the collection extends from science materials on applied human anatomy, sports medicine, sports physiology and sports psychology to materials on exercise, athletic performance and coaching. The library collection specifically provides support for undergraduate study and basic faculty research as well as the athletic activities and instructional needs of the Department of Physical Education , Recreation and Athletics (PERA). PERA offers neither a major nor a minor but is charged with "developing students' knowledge and skills in physical activities". The department does this by offering courses and programs to fulfill the general degree requirements, to broaden students' understanding of applied human anatomy and kinetics and to encourage practices that are conducive to maintaining life-long health. Degree requirements are fulfilled by completing physical education instructional courses, by membership in physical activity clubs and by participation in varsity athletic teams. The department offers one 1-unit course in Sports Medicine.

Since the College does not offer a degree in physical education, the Library's collection is focused specifically on PERA's instructional program. Subjects most actively collected provide support for the Sports Medicine course, including applied human anatomy, kinesiology and sports medicine (conditioning, injury prevention, diagnosis, first aid, treatment, and rehabilitation) and coaching. Works on fitness and exercise are collected, as are guides, rules and techniques for all of the individual sports included in the athletic programs of the College. Currently (2005-06) these include the following: aerobics, archery, badminton, ballet, basketball, crew, cross country, contemporary and world dance, fencing, field hockey, fitness, flexibility, golf, horseback riding, lacrosse, martial arts, Pilates, racquetball, sailing, skiing, snowboarding, soccer, squash, softball, strength training, swimming and diving, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, and yoga.

Basic information on other sports and athletic activities may be collected very selectively to meet the physical fitness interests of the community.

A common curricular thread at Wellesley is an emphasis on the roles and contributions of women; within the Physical Education collection the primary emphasis is on women's physiology and health as well as their participation in sports and other athletic activities.

More in-depth information on sports-related research, business practices, consumer behavior and other social factors is provided by the U.S. government documents depository collection.

Description of the collection

1. Readership Level: For the academic side of the program, emphasis is on collecting college-level scholarly resources at the basic to advanced-undergraduate level. For the athletic and exercise portions of the program, the readership level may extend from pre-college to professional since appropriate items may be geared to the professional coach or athlete as well as to the recreational enthusiast.

2. Languages collected: English only; research from foreign sources is collected very selectively and only in translation

3. Geographical areas covered: primarily the United States, although coverage on/from other countries where practice or sports rules don't differ are appropriate; titles on the folk and/or ethnic dance of other countries are added selectively and as the PERA athletic activities program requires.

4. Chronological periods covered (content): While the collecting emphasis is on current imprints, older imprints dating from the years when Wellesley offered a degree in hygiene and physical education have been retained since they reflect the pedagogy of their time and the curriculum of the College and lend support for the study of women's history.

5. Chronological periods collected (publication dates): Only the most current resources are collected, reflecting the need for up-to-date medical information and current practice in coaching of the various sports included in the program. Retrospective items offered as gifts will be added very selectively when they contribute to maintaining the legacy physical education collection or contribute to women's studies.

Subject boundaries and shelving locations

Materials are housed primarily in the Science Library and the Clapp Library, depending on their subject content.

- Items classified in Library of Congress classes for medicine (R), psychology (B) and the sciences (Q) are shelved in the Science Library.

- Titles classified in LC Class GV, dealing with physical education, sports, recreation, dance and games are shelved in the Clapp Library.

- Titles included in the U.S. Government depository collection are shelved in the Clapp Library's Documents Collection.

- The Music Library houses works related to dance but only those in which music is the primary subject of the text. Titles on music which was composed for dance (e.g., music for ballet or folk dance) are also shelved there.

Special subject emphases: sports psychology, athletic performance and competition (coaching), sports medicine (preventing and managing sports injuries). The collection has some historical materials, especially periodicals, reflecting the fact that the College previously conferred a degree in physical education. Some depth in books and videos on dance reflect its presence in the curriculum in the early-mid twentieth century as well as the needs of the Theatre Studies department and widespread community interest.

Reference material for physical education and athletics (shelved in the Science Library) is selected by the Science Librarians for Research and Instruction; reference material relating to sports (shelved at Clapp Library) is selected by the Research & Instruction librarians for social sciences and humanities. Selection criteria follow the general subject parameters of the physical education collections policy. The scope includes, but is not limited to, the following types of material: anatomical atlases, dictionaries/thesauri/ nomenclature aids, encyclopedias, style and/or literature guides, and occasional electronic search aids and directories which support curricular aspects of the discipline. Subjects include women and sport, curricular college sports for undergraduate level, sports medicine, sport psychology, integrative medicine, and consumer health (very selective).

Current collecting priorities: 

- instructional media (DVD) tools dealing with the various muscle, skeletal and joint groups;

- guides to coaching and managing the performance expectations of competitive athletes; motivation and sports psychology, especially of women.

Subjects collected only selectively: 

- The program does not have an historic component; thus, material on the history, economics, politics or sociology of sports are not collected except where they are acquired to support the curricula of those departments. The collections librarian for physical education will refer those titles to the appropriate collections librarians (see below).

- Popular treatments of nutrition and health are generally acquired very selectively for the reference collection of the Science Library.

- Subjects not collected: Materials on board and parlor games are excluded, except where they serve a reference need. Popular biographies of sports personalities are not collected unless they are requested for the Recreational Reading Collection.

Types of materials

There are no restrictions on types of materials added. Subscriptions to a small number of journals requested by the physical education faculty or coaches are maintained, These deal primarily with applied physiology and sports medicine/psychology and include a very select set of titles that are devoted to sports and fitness activities that are a constant part of the PERA program (e.g. Dance Magazine, Strength and Conditioning Journal) Multi-media works that simulate the functioning of muscle, nerve and bone groups as well as those that provide visual tips on in improving sport technique are popular.

Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

The collections librarian for American studies selects materials about the history of leisure activities and the social history of sports in the United States. Frequently these contribute to an understanding of the integration of various social and ethnic groups into American culture.

The collections librarian for anthropology selects scholarly materials that deal with dance and sports as components of the cultural expression of a nation, region or group.

The collections librarian for economics selects materials that deal with the sports as an economic or consumer sector.

The collections librarian for English selects material on sports writing as a genre very selectively.

The collections librarian for history selects material that focuses on sports as an exemplar of the social and cultural history of a country, region, group, or era.

The collections librarian for music selects titles on music for dance (e.g. ballet or folk dance), on music that was originally written for dance (e.g., The Firebird), and videos on ballet or dance where the music is important.

The collections librarian for Physical Education selects materials on yoga and the martial arts when the primary focus is on fitness or athletic competition while the selector for religion collects material that deal with the spiritual components of these arts.

The collections librarian for physics selects materials concerning the physics of sports.

The collections librarian for biological sciences selects materials relating to human physiology and human and animal activity.

The collections librarian for psychology selects scholarly materials on social psychology, adolescent development and women's psychology that may also lend support for coaching through an understanding of individual motivation and performance as well as team sports and competition.

The selector for the Recreational Reading Collection may select popular treatments of sports, exercise and other leisure activities (including rules, guides and how-to titles) as well as popular biographies and autobiographies of sports personalities. The Recreational Reading Collection includes a small number of subscriptions to popular sport and leisure activities magazines.

The collections librarian for sociology selects scholarly materials that deal with participation in sports and athletics from the viewpoint of social development, interaction, group dynamics and popular culture.

The collections librarian for women's & gender studies selects interdisciplinary materials dealing with women and sports, athletics and health. The focus is on the distinctive meaning and role of gender in these pursuits.