History of Science Collection

I. Collection Description


To support instruction and research in the history of various scientific disciplines. This statement is primarily written from the point of view of the history of science fund.

History of Collection:

The history of science collection, especially in geology and mathematics, has been developed extensively for years by departmental librarians and the special collections librarian in conjunction with scholars such as George White in geology. General research and departmental library funds have been used to support these efforts. Thus, reference must be made to the policy statements of the disciplines and to that of the Rare Book and Special Collections Library. With regard to the fund titled "History of Science," in 1967 this small fund was established in support of the interdisciplinary history and philosophy of science program. The purpose of this small fund was primarily to monitor the costs of certain collection building activities such as purchase of materials for reserves, maintenance of the collection of texts by scientific writers, etc. The responsibility for the use of this fund in supplementing the efforts of the science librarians was assigned to the History and Philosophy Librarian. For various reasons, this fund still exists, and it continues to be supplemental to the primary assignments of the science librarians. The nature of the current use of the fund is described in Section II. D., Treatment of Subject.

Estimate of Holdings:

Reference should be made to the policy statements referred to above.

State, Regional and National Importance:

Speaking generally, every title purchased in scientific fields is a title in the history of science. Because of the magnitude of the science holdings of the University Library, they are of considerable significance nationally. The Geology and Mathematics collections are, however, the most extensive and distinguished among the scientific fields. (Please see the Rare Book and Special Collections Library policy statement and those of other departmental libraries.)

Unit Responsible for Collecting:

Each of the science libraries, the Rare Book and Special Collections Library, and most of the area studies bibliographers purchase in this field. The History and Philosophy Librarian is responsible for acquiring general works in the history of science and for supplementation of the collection efforts of others.

Location of Materials:

Materials in this field are found in the science libraries, the Undergraduate Library, the Rare Book and Special Collections Library, the History and Philosophy Library, the Bookstacks and in other locations on a random basis.

Citations of Works Describing the Collection:

See the policy statements of the various disciplines and the Rare Book and Manuscript Library.

II. General Collection Guidelines


Standard statement.

Chronological Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Geographical Guidelines:

No restrictions.

Treatment of Subject:

Reference must be made to appropriate policy statements. The practice of the History and Philosophy Librarian is to acquire works in Western languages which treat the history of a scientific discipline or of scientific thought and practice generally and to acquire the works, newly edited, of the scientists and scientific thinkers of the past, if they have not been acquired by the departmental librarian or bibliographer most nearly concerned. Reference works also are purchased if they are of general interest and usefulness, to supplement the efforts of the Reference Library and the science libraries.

Types of Materials:

Standard statement.

Date of Publication:

Standard statement.

Place of Publication:

There are no restrictions, although Western publications are emphasized.

III. Collection Responsibility by Subject Subdivisions with Qualifications, Levels of Collecting Intensity, and Assignments

Below is a table that lists specific subject subdivisions within the collection. Each row in the table lists a specific subject subdivision, followed by three columns noting: Collection Strength, Primary Assignments and Secondary Assignments. The Existing Collecting Strength column notes how well the existing collection covers that topic on a 1 to 5 scale with 5 being very strong. The Primary Assignments column lists departmental libraries that have the greatest collection intensity of subject materials, respectively. In the case of 2 or more libraries listed, the collection intensity is comparable. The Secondary Assignments column list departmental libraries where additional materials may be found.

History of Science Collection
Agriculture 3 Agriculture History Of Science
Astronomy 3 Physics History Of Science
Biology 3 Biological Sciences History Of Science
Computer science 2 Engineering
Chemistry 3 Chemistry History Of Science
Discovery and exploration literature 4 Geography History / History Of Science / Geology
Engineering 3 Engineering History Of Science
General history of science 2 History Of Science
Geology 4 Geology History Of Science
Home economics 3 Home Economics History Of Science
Mathematics 4 Mathematics History Of Science
Medicine 2 History Of Science Biological Sciences
Physics 3 Physics History Of Science
Veterinary Medicine 3 Veterinary Medicine History Of Science


Version Date: November 2006