Collection Development - Psychology

Collections Contact: Sarah Barbrow (x3021)

The collection development policy for Psychology guides the development and management of the Psychology collection. This policy is for the use of the selector for this collection and for the wider College community. The policy will be updated as needed. Faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The biology collection supports the undergraduate biology curriculum offered at Wellesley College. The collection supports student research in specific areas of interest. The Collection serves as both a reference and basic research resource for students and faculty. Particular emphases of the Department have been in research and methods, child development, personality, social psychology, and cognition. The Library has a rich, historic Psychology journal collection as well as a strong collection of classical scholarly monographs in the field. The Collection is traditionally strong in general psychology texts, cognition, developmental psychology, and psychopathology. Current collecting interests in Psychology reflect curricular offerings which emphasize social and group psychology, child psychology, research methodologies, and women and gender issues.

LC # areas - Subject Headings/Areas 
BF1- 37, 40-149, 636-692 - Psychology (General) 
BF38-39, 176-198 - Methodology & Research 
BF173-175,199-204,761-789 - Theories & Systems 
BF150-172,207-210 - Neuro-psychology 
BF231-635 - Sensation, Cognition, Emotion 
BF697-711,795-839 - Personality 
BF712-724,1101-1139 - Developmental Psychology (including Child Study) 
BF725-755 - Group Psychology 
BF840-1999 - Parapsychology, Occult Science 
HM251-291 - Social Psychology 
RC435-580 - Psychiatry, Psychopathology

    Description of the collection

    Types of Materials: Materials are purchased in all formats, with emphasis on the journal literature. Electronic access is the preferred format for journal literature.  Conference proceedings, laboratory manuals and protocols are selectively acquired when their topics support curricular offerings.  Single copies of textbooks are purchased selectively when their content provides a foundation of knowledge in a new or advanced area of science or when a text is so important to a field that its use and acceptance go beyond supporting introductory curriculum.  Materials created for individual use such as lab notebooks, workbooks and problem/answer sets are not purchased for the collection.

    Readership Level: Material is bought at all levels, with emphasis on upper undergraduate, early graduate levels for the general collection.  Entry level materials are acquired selectively to support courses fulfilling distribution requirements, as are popular materials to encourage reading about the sciences across the disciplines.  The Library does not collect popular self-help books.

    Languages Collected: The primary language of the collection is English. Some works of foreign theorists are available in the original language, although this is not current collecting practice.

    Geographical Areas Covered (intellectual content or publication source): Most materials are published in and purchased from the United States, Canada, and sometimes Europe. Intellectual content primarily focuses on, but is not limited to, studies conducted in the United States. Current collecting interests include studies on the treatment and understanding of mental illness among minority ethnic groups in the United States. Occasionally materials on attitudes towards mental illness, or clinical practices, in other countries may be purchased.

    Chronological Periods Covered (intellectual content): Intellectual content of the collection is strongest in later twentieth and twenty-first century works.

    Chronological Period Covered (publication dates): Current materials are the focus of almost all purchasing, but a retrospective collection is maintained particularly as it supports current course offerings and student research.

    Shelving Locations: Books and journals are housed at the Science Library with the exception of most pre-1985 journal literature, which are housed at an off-site facility and are retrievable by request.  Some psychology related materials may be housed in the Clapp Library.  Online access to collections is provided through the Library website.

    Reference: Reference material for Psychology is housed primarily at the Science Library and is purchased by the Reference Librarian for Research and Instruction. Selection follows the general subject parameters of the Psychology collections policy. The scope includes, but is not limited to, thesauri, a variety of encyclopedias, dictionaries, handbooks, style manuals, statistical and diagnostic manuals, and a variety of electronic reference sources.  Electronic access is the preferred format for reference works.

    Related subjects and interdisciplinary relationships

    Psychology materials, though purchased to support the Department's curriculum, are used by a variety of disciplines. Following are a few useful distinctions which may assist in the delineation of collecting responsibilities shared by a variety of collection managers.

    Women's & Gender Studies: The Psychology selector may purchase materials and studies concerned with the psychological effects of socialization on women; and the development of personality and identity of women.

    Sociology: The Psychology selector may collaborate with the Sociology selector in the area of the social psychology.

    Sciences (Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Math): The Psychology selector selectively acquires books in psychiatry, psychopathology, and neurology as they support the needs of the curriculum.

    Education: The Psychology selector and the Education selector may both acquire materials in the area of child development, and child study as required by the curriculum.

    English: The Psychology selector may occasionally acquire iconic or acclaimed works of literature which have a bearing on the understanding of psychological states or types of experience.