The libraries still collect Exploration and some Travel resources, but they now account for a very small part of the Geography collection.
As the interdisciplinary nature of Geography continues to evolve, the library not only collects those resources which explicitly call themselves "geographic," but from all the other disciplines as well. Geographers study Sociology, Oceanography, Demography, Geomorphology, Migration, Cartography, Urban Studies, Government as well as other disciplines. The Geography Bibliographers work with other subject specialists to ensure users have resources with which to teach and do research.
Some of the faculty work as adjuncts in other departments which do have graduate degree programs. The College also offers the Masters of Liberal Arts degree, which allows students to tailor their coursework to any discipline. Students would be able to write their theses with any member of the Geography Department faculty.
The Department of Geography offers a major in the discipline, a minor in Urban Studies and a modified major which the interdisciplinary nature of geography easily allows. The undergraduate program has a choice of 3 streams which students can follow. They are Physical and Human Dimensions of Global Change, Critical Urban and Identity Studies and International Development. These streams and the Urban Studies minor heavily influence what library resources we purchase. It also has an honors program in which, at the present time, 33% of the students do thesis work. Assistance is given to students who plan to go on to graduate work. The faculty is actively involved in research which brings in a significant amount of grant money. Work in the department offers courses in both human and physical geography including urban, political, population, and economic geography. There is great interest among the human geographers in the domestic economy from the point of view of immigration and internal migration. Much work is environmentally related: for example, in regard to energy resources and water resources management.
Regional studies includes courses on Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union. The Geography Department offers a Foreign Study program in the Czech Republic in Prague.
In the last 5 to 6 years, Geography and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies have shared a faculty member.
Courses of a technical nature include those in cartography, remote sensing, and geographical information systems (GIS). The Rauh Laboratory provides facilities for student and faculty work in these areas. Advanced courses deal with such varying topics as industrial location analysis, labor migration, tree-ring analysis, and fluvial geomorphology.
The size of the Geography category is not large compared to some other disciplines. This reflects the fact that so much of a geographer's research is interdisciplinary, using materials that are economic, historical, agricultural, scientific, and environmental in nature, and draws on resources not only in Baker-Berry but also in Kresge, Dana, and the Feldberg Library. The research interests of the faculty indicate this: biogeography, dendrochronology, ecology, geomorphology, regional development, industrial location, population geography/demography, migration and immigration, spatial studies, political geography, historical and cultural geography, and the history and philosophy of geography, remote sensing, urban geography, and area studies (Europe, Latin America, Central America and the former Soviet Union). However, it is still the Geography bibliographers responsibility to select resources within these affiliated disciplines whenever necessary. They may not be strictly "geographical," but they are still integral to the study of Geography.
Reference works, bibliographies, and indexes are collected generously, many locating in the Reference Room in either a G or Z number, while others are in the stacks. Similar pertinent aids might be used on site, in the other libraries or via online searches from any computer. See also policy statements for related areas such as anthropology, architecture (urban architecture, particularly NA9000-9425 ), biology (biogeography is covered in QH, for example), economics, earth sciences, climatology, environmental studies, and sociology (especially HT which includes regional planning and the social and economic aspects of city planning and urban renewal).
Data sources are collected but handled within the Evans Map Room or online. Those electronic data resources are usually available through the online catalog.
As stated above, the Library acquires reference works, indexes and bibliographies for Geography. However, every effort will be made to purchase electronic versions of these types of reference works. Library users don't use print reference works. They prefer electronic access. Librarians will need to be diligent in making those electronic resources more visible to users.
Last Updated: 4/19/17