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


Collection Development Policy Guidelines

  1. General Scope

    1. Audience
      The collection supports broad undergraduate instructional needs and the research needs of the faculty in all major areas of philosophy and the history of philosophy. While the main constituency for the collection is the Department of Philosophy and the Dartmouth Ethics Institute, the collection supports many other departments and programs across the disciplines.
    2. Boundaries
      The collection is comprised of materials that fall within the following Library of Congress classifications: B (general philosophy), BC (logic), BD (speculative philosophy), BJ (ethics), and BH (aesthetics). Holdings from pre-1964 are almost exclusively in the Dewey 100-199 classifications. The collection's emphasis is on modern Western philosophy, including the analytic and continental traditions. There are strong holdings in Ancient, Medieval, and Eastern philosophy. Legal philosophy, the philosophy of science, and bioethics are also areas of continuing interest. Rauner Special Collections has a small collection of books by and about George Santayana. Otherwise, there are no special collections specifically related to philosophy.
    3. Partnerships
      The Library's participation in Borrow Direct allows the Library to rely on member libraries for print copies of monographs that are owned solely in electronic format, such as those in Oxford Scholarship Online and Project Muse. This partnership also provides access to deeper layers of the secondary literature than would be practical to collect at Dartmouth. The Library's partnership with PORTICO ensures permanent access to digital content for which the library has acquired the necessary rights. CRL membership and other consortial relationships ensure access to print copies of journal backfiles that are now only held electronically at Dartmouth.

  2. Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

    1. Languages
      The primary language of the collection is English. However, the library does collect the works of major philosophers who write in other western European languages. Significant secondary works in western European languages are collected to support faculty research. Works in Arabic, Hebrew, and Asian languages are collected by the Middle Eastern and Asian studies bibliographers to support those programs.
    2. Types of Materials Collected
      Publication in philosophy is almost entirely in books and serials. As a matter of policy, serials are collected only in online format. Biographies and histories related to the study of philosophy are also collected. Now that online bibliographic and full text databases in philosophy are readily available, print bibliographies are no longer collected. Online corpora of major philosophers are collected as a supplement to the standard print editions, a prime example of this being the InteLex Past Masters series.
    3. Format of Materials Collected
      As a general rule, print monographs are not collected when we own the electronic edition. Exceptions to this rule include monographs authored by Dartmouth faculty or highly influential authored books in the discipline, especially those in areas of strong faculty interest. Serials are collected exclusively in electronic format  whenever possible. Print backfiles of specific titles are deaccessioned when online access is deemed sufficient and long term access to the print is available through existing consortial partnerships. Materials in microfilm, microfiche, and CD-ROM are no longer collected.
    4. Collective Collections
      Discovery of the extended philosophy collection that is available through HathiTrust (pre-1923 monographs & serials) is primarily accomplished by searching Summon. The Borrow Direct catalog is increasingly powerful, while the catalog of the Center for Research Libraries uses the same interface as the Library's catalog.  WorldCat.ORG and its companion catalog, FirstSearch also allow one to place requests directly from the interface.

  3. Revision History
    • June 2016 (William Fontaine)
    • February 1991 (William Fontaine)
    • William Fontaine (current selector)

Last Updated: 9/14/16