American Literature

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 I. Purpose and Program Description

A. Library's Collection Development Objectives

The primary purpose of the collection is to support teaching and research at the Core Curriculum Baccalaureate and Master levels.

B. Curricular Program Description

Undergraduate degrees offered affecting this area include the Bachelor of Arts in English and the Bachelor of Science in Education for those majoring in the teaching field of English. The curriculum strives to provide students with a firm foundation preparatory to graduate studies in English and related fields.

A graduate degree (Master of Liberal Arts) is also offered. The MLA degree utilizes an interdisciplinary approach involving students in the areas of art, communication, English, history, music, philosophy and sociology. Students are provided with a broad background to the culture and society of the western world and from there select a specific topic which will result in a thesis.

C. New and Expanding Areas of Interest

Travel writings, especially those by American travelers or works describing the U.S.. Feminist literature and literary theory remain as expanding areas of interest. Also of expanding interest are southern women writers, fairy tales, and the Holocaust.

D. Areas of Specialization

Because of the youth of the library combined with a lack of funding during the early years of its existence to purchase retrospective collections the collection contains spotty areas and lacks real strengths. The areas of the collection with the greatest strength include American literature during the period from 1900 to 1960. Some gaps do occur, however. Most notable are the gaps in holdings of the Beat generation authors such as Ginsberg and Kerouac. Works by nineteenth century authors is respectable, though major collections are lacking. Holdings are growing in strength relative to American women author and feminist fiction.

E. Overlap with Other Academic Disciplines and Library Collections

Communication, Education, History, International Studies, Journalism, Philosophy, Sociology, Speech, and Theater. Literature outside of Great Britain (United Kingdom) and the United States now falls under the jurisdiction of the International Studies department (excepting those literatures written in English) and primarily focuses upon the literatures of France, Germany, and Spain. An overlap also occurs with the Special Collections department which actively seeks works by southern women authors, southern poetry, and civil war fiction.


 II. General Selection Guidelines

A. Languages: English is the primary language collected. Works in otherlanguages may be acquired selectively and usually in English translation.

B. Chronological Coverage: No limitations.

C. Geographical Coverage: Primarily United States, though authors born in this country and living abroad will be considered.

D. Types of Materials: Includes encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, dictionaries, yearbooks, periodicals, bibliographies, biographies, monographs, and journals. Theses from the MLA program are added.

E. Imprint date: Current in-print publications receive priority; however, selective retrospective publications are purchased in available formats as funding permits.

F. Physical Format: Hardbound

G. Treatment of Subject: All literary genres are collected. Juvenile literature is collected as well for the Education curriculum. Publications of major authors and those authors emphasized in the curriculum are given priority. Supplementary materials of biographical, bibliographical, critical, historical or textual nature are collected in so far as is possible given budget constraints.

H. Place of Publication: Primarily the United States. Imprints from other countries will be considered; however, primary emphasis will be placed on English language publications.

I. Acquisitions Plans Affecting English/English Literature

1.) Standing Orders:

Contemporary Authors
Contemporary Authors New Revision Series
Contemporary Literary Criticism
Dictionary of Literary Biography
Dictionary of Literary Biography Yearbook
Drama Criticism
Editor & Publisher International Yearbook
Literary Criticism From 1400-1800
Nineteenth Century Literary Criticism
Novel & Short Story Writer's Market
Poetry Criticism
Shakespearean Criticism
Something About the Author
Twentieth Century Literary Criticism
Who's Who in Writers Editors & Poets, U.S. & Canada
Writer's Market
Writer's Dictionary

2.) Approval Plans: BNA: Books and forms.

J. Major Assessment / Selection Tools: Altick, Richard D.
Selective Bibliography for the Study of English and
American Literature; Books for College Libraries; MLA;
Sheehy, Eugene P. Guide to Reference Books; Katz, Bill
Magazines for College Libraries; Choice; Booklist.

K. Weeding/Replacement: Currency is not a primary consideration; therefore weeding will be kept to a minimum. Items will be considered for weeding should their physical condition become such that they are no longer capable of being used. Where possible, obtaining replacement copies will be considered. Discussions between the departmental and the library liaison will determine whether microformat is acceptable as a replacement.

L. Classifications That Define the Scope of the Collection:

PN 1-44 Literature: Periodicals, Yearbooks, Societies;
PN 45-75 Literature: Theory, Philosophy, etc.
PN 80-99 Literary Criticism
PN 101-249 Authorship
PN 441-1009 Literary History
PN 1010-1590 Poetry, Performing Arts
PN 3311-3503 Prose, Prose Fiction, Short Story
PN 6010-6078 Literature: General Collections
PN 6020-6095 Collections of Quotations
PN 6099-6120 Collections of Poetry & Drama
PN 6121-6146 Collections of Orations, letters essays
PN 6147-6231 Wit, Humor, Satire
PS 1-478 American Literature: General, Criticism, History
PS 501-690 American Literature: Collections
PS 700-893 American Literature: Colonial Period
PS 991-3390 American Literature: 19th Century
PS 3500-3549 American Literature: 1900-1960
PS 3550-3576 American Literature: 1961-

Library Liaison: Best                     Subject:American Literature



Collection Level

LC Class
Existing Strength
Desired Strength
Philology, Linguistics
English Philology and Language
PN 1-44

Literature: Periodicals, Yearbooks, Societies

PN 45-75

Literature: Theory, Philosophy, etc.

PN 80-99
Literary Criticism
PN 101-249
PN 441-1009
Literary History
PN 1010-1590
Poetry, Performing Arts
PN 3311-3503
Prose, Prose Fiction, Short Story
PN 6010-6078
Literature: General Collections
PN 6080-6095
Collections of Quotations
PN 6099-6120
Collections of Poetry & Drama
PN 6121-6146

Collections of Orations, Letters, Essays

PN 6147-6231
Wit, Humor, Satire
PS 1-478

American Lit.: General, Criticism, History

PS 501-690
American Lit.: Collections
PS 700-893
American Lit.: Colonial Period
PS 991-3390
American Lit.: 19th Century
PS 3500-3549
American Literature: 1900-1960
PS 3550-3576
American Literature: 1961-

Rev. 1/19/2011 (jk)

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