Rare Books

Collection Development Policy Guidelines

  1. General Scope

    1. Audience
      The Rare Book collections are designed to support the curriculum of the College, so they are not bound to particular programs or departments. Many of the Rare Book collections were created by members of the Friends of the Dartmouth College Library and came to the Library through gifts.  Other materials in the collections were transferred from the general stacks.  Only in recent decades have there been funds available for the purchase of rare book materials.  As a result, the collections are an eclectic mix of materials reflecting the tastes of Dartmouth alumni, the history of the curricular strengths of Dartmouth, and current curricular needs.

    2. Boundaries
      There are no subject boundaries to the collections, but traditional areas of focus are:

      --18th though 20th-century British and American literature

      --The History of Science and Medicine
      
--History of the White Mountains

      --History of theater

    3. Partnerships
      Because there are a wealth of rare book resources available through reciprocal borrowing and access agreements with our Borrow Direct partners, we focus our collecting to support curricular needs rather than individual research needs.

  2. Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

    1. Languages
      All languages are considered.
    2. Geographical Areas
      The Rare Book collections are not geographically bound.
    3. Types of Materials Collected
      Rare and unique printed books.
    4. Format of Materials Collected
      The Rare Book collections are exclusively print materials.
    5. Collective Collections
      The Rare Book collections are augmented by two key electronic databases: Evans Early American Imprints and Early English Books Online.

  3. Revision History
    • September 2016, Jay Satterfield
    • Last revised by Jay Satterfield, December 2009. Revised to merge the "Rare Books" and "Williams/Watson Theater Collection" collection development policies.
    • Current selector: Jay Satterfield