Collection Development Policy Guidelines

  1. General Scope

    1. Audience
      The study of the natural sciences at Dartmouth began at the associated Chandler School in 1857. Science courses were first offered as part of the College curriculum in 1879. The Chandler School was fully incorporated into Dartmouth as the Chandler Department in 1892.  The Chandler Department then divided into the departments of Zoology, Botany, and Geology, and the Chandler name faded over time.  In 1960, a combined major in biology replaced botany and zoology majors and the Botany and Zoology departments merged into the Department of Biological Sciences.  See A History of the Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College for more.

      Prior to the establishment of the Dana Biomedical Library in 1963, the collection of medicine and biology was housed in Baker Library. On October 11, 1963, the Dana Biomedical Library, funded by Charles A. Dana, President, and Eleanor Naylor Dana, Trustee, of the Dana Foundation, was dedicated.

      The initial collection for Dana numbered approximately 65,000 volumes and was comprised principally of transfers from the Baker Library. Nearly 900 subscriptions were also transferred. Presently, the Biomedical Libraries' combined collections in the Dana Biomedical Library and the Matthews-Fuller Health Sciences Library contain approximately 187,000 print volumes; 2,000 serials are currently subscribed to or licensed, with access to additional titles through publisher packages and consortial agreements. The Biomedical Libraries website presents more about available facilities, services, and resources.

      In 2006-2007 staff from Rauner Special Collections Library evaluated Dana Special Collections and transferred significant materials to Rauner Library so that they could receive appropriate care and curation. The remaining materials were assessed for continuing relevance to Dartmouth’s teaching and research and were transferred to the regular collection or withdrawn, as appropriate.

      Dana Biomedical Library moved from its location at 64 College Street to the third floor of 37 Dewey Field Road on April 15, 2013. The new location was a much smaller space and the Dana collections were moved to the Dartmouth Library Depository at 56 Etna Road in Lebanon, NH. The off-site storage of the books means that books in the Dana collection must be paged. A twice-daily courier service (weekdays) delivers books to the campus library of the patron’s choice. Dana Library at 37 Dewey Field Road does maintain course reserves, permanent reserves and a small rotating display collection on site. Although the space at 37 Dewey Field Road was conceived of as an interim location, there are no current plans for another space.

      The biology collection primarily supports teaching and research needs of the Department of Biological Sciences’ faculty and undergraduate majors and minors and graduate students in the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program and the Ecology Evolution Ecosystems and Society Program in the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. The biology collection also contributes to the teaching and research work of the Geisel School of Medicine, the Environmental Studies Program, the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences and the Thayer School of Engineering.  Biology is consistently one of the more popular undergraduate majors.  In addition, many undergraduates take at least one biology class to meet College science requirements and first-year seminars often center on topics in the life sciences.

      Collecting efforts are aimed at maintaining a well-rounded biology collection to provide materials for undergraduates students in all areas of biological sciences. In addition collections will provide special strength in areas of present research interest in the biological sciences at Dartmouth.

    2. Boundaries
      The Biology collection is largely comprised of the QH, QK, QL, QP, and QR Library of Congress classes.

      The Dana Biomedical Library’s biology collection covers the scope of research and curricular needs in the Department of Biological Sciences, the Geisel School of Medicine and the Molecular and Cellular Biology Program and the Ecology Evolution Ecosystems and Society Program in the School of Graduate and Advanced Studies with an emphasis on biochemistry, ecology, evolution, genetics, and molecular and cellular biology.

      Rauner Special Collections Library took stewardship of rare and significant material from the Dana Special Collections in the mid-2000’s and continues to maintain that collection.

    3. Partnerships
      There are currently no partnerships that are particular to the biology collection. This is an area for future exploration.

  2. Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

    1. Languages
      Material is acquired in English, with rare exceptions.

    2. Geographical Areas
      Much of the material in biology describes subjects which are independent of geography. Descriptions of most of the world's geographic/ecological areas are included in the collection, with more depth being provided in descriptions of the New England region, or other areas where Dartmouth has programs (e.g., tropical biology in Costa Rica and marine biology in the Caribbean).

    3. Types of Materials Collected
      The emphasis is on subscriptions to journals and other serial literature, with over 95% of the resources acquisitions budget going to standing orders, subscriptions, and licenses. Monographs are none-the-less an important part of the collection.

      Dissertations from outside of Dartmouth are rarely collected.

      Rare books, manuscripts, and other historical items are not actively collected.

    4. Format of Materials Collected
      The Biomedical Libraries have a widely dispersed clientele and digital full-text books and journals are essential to providing service to users at the two campuses and across the region. Most 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.

    5. Collective Collections
      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.

      The digital and print resources from the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory are accessible to Dartmouth College researchers.

  3. Revision History
    • September 2016, updated by Pamela Bagley
    • January 1994 (Connie Rinaldo)
    • May 2001 (Peggy Sleeth)
    • October 2006 (Peggy Sleeth)
    • Current Selector:  Pamela Bagley