Skip to main content
clickable transparency Dartmouth College Library
Home > Collections Program > Collection Development Policies >


Collection Area


General Purpose

The nursing collection supports the patient care, nursing research, and continuing education activities at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and, to some extent, educational activities for DHMC nurses pursuing higher degrees.

Organized within the Biomedical Libraries, the nursing collection is almost entirely housed at the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library.  Funds for this collection are allocated from an annual fee-for-service contract between the Dartmouth-Hitchcock's Department of Nursing and the Biomedical Libraries.


Prior to 1980, Mary Hitchcock Memorial Hospital had a separate nursing library that supported the three-year school of nursing based at the hospital.  When the school closed, the Biomedical Libraries and the hospital's nursing leadership entered an agreement under which the nursing books and journals were moved to the Dana Biomedical Library, a nursing librarian was hired, and a budget within the Library was created to help develop and maintain information.  When the new DHMC facility was opened in 1991, nursing resources were re-located to the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library.  The agreement currently provides for a collection of nursing information resources and staff to support library access and document delivery services; the nursing librarian support ended in 2004.

Dartmouth College Program

There are no degrees offered in nursing at Dartmouth College, nor from any of the components of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center.  The nursing collection is important to the continuing education of current nurse employees of DHMC.

Several area colleges and universities offer clinical rotations at DHMC for their nursing students.  Students in these programs are extended library privileges during their rotation, but are not considered primary clientele.

General Subject Boundaries

The general subject area is nursing.  Specific areas include: administration, ambulatory care, anesthesia and post-anesthesia care, cardiovascular nursing, community health, critical care, emergency and trauma, ethics, geriatrics, gastroenterology, history of nursing, informatics, maternity nursing and midwifery, medical-surgical nursing, neonatology, nephrology, neurology, oncology, pediatrics, pharmacology, practical nursing, psychiatry, research, respiratory care, surgery, techniques and procedures, theory, urology, and wound care.

The emphasis is on currency of materials in support of clinical care rather than historical or research level materials; therefore de-selection occurs regularly.  Typically, the current edition, and at most one earlier edition, of textbooks are kept, while journals are generally kept back to the volume one, or when the library began that particular subscription.  Audiovisuals are withdrawn when the subject material is dated. 

The medical sciences collection is essential to providing resources to nurses, as nurses use much of the medical literature for their practice.  Furthermore, other libraries in the Dartmouth College Library system maintain resources of interest to nursing. They are primarily the Feldberg Business & Engineering Library for health care administration and the Baker-Berry Library for psychology, education, ethics, sociology, and the United States Government Depository.


Only English language materials are collected.

Geographic Areas

The material in nursing describes subjects which are generally independent of geography. Where geography is a factor, materials relating to nursing in Vermont and New Hampshire are of interest.

Types Of Material Collected

Textbooks and serials reflecting the subject boundaries are collected.

Board examination reviews and other test preparation guides are occasionally purchased for the collection.

Nursing dissertations and technical and grant reports are excluded unless they pertain to the Vermont and New Hampshire region and/or are donated to the library.

Format Of Materials Collected

Many current journals are now received in digital format only.  Frequently updated reference resources, such as encyclopedias and directories, are preferred in digital format.  Print is still the predominant format for monographs.  Audiovisuals and computer assisted instruction software are acquired selectively.

Special Collections and Manuscripts

Special collections and manuscripts are not actively collected.

Other Resources Available

The collection is extended through consortial licenses for journals and through resource sharing such as Borrow Direct, DOCLINE, and OCLC. The Dartmouth Biomedical Libraries are a Resource Library in the National Network of Libraries of Medicine/New England Region.

Area schools offering nursing degrees have libraries to support their students and faculty, including Colby-Sawyer College, the University of New Hampshire, Norwich University, the University of Vermont, and Castleton State College.

The White River Junction Veterans Administration Center has a library to support its staff.

Creation Date

April 1981 (Shirley Grainger-Inselburg)

Revision History

January 1994 (Fred Pond)

July 2000 (Fred Pond)

October 2006 (Peggy Sleeth)

LC Class

RT(all), RC(selected), RD(selected)

Related Policies

Business Administration, Education, Medicine, Psychology, Sociology


Heather Blunt

Current Bibliographer

Heather Blunt

Last Updated: 8/5/16