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Native American Studies

Collection Development Policy Guidelines

  1. General Scope

    1. Audience
      Dartmouth's interdisciplinary Native American Studies (NAS) Program awards both an undergraduate major and minor, and offers approximately twenty courses per year exploring the historical, cultural, political and social experience and influence of native peoples in North America.  Coursework also addresses the experiences of indigenous peoples worldwide, particularly Maori and Australian Aboriginal communities.  Many NAS faculty hold joint appointments in other academic departments and cross-list their classes in Anthropology, English, Environmental Sciences, Government, and History.

      In 2015 NAS first offered its biennial off-campus program at the Institute of American Indian Arts (Santa Fe, New Mexico).  Dartmouth's Anthropology and Linguistics Department co-sponsor an annual foreign study program in Auckland, New Zealand and mirrors NAS interest in Maori Studies.  Dartmouth's Institute of Arctic Studies not only studies climate science, but also considers the impact on Arctic peoples.

      In addition to research and curricular needs of these program, our collection also includes material on the history of Dartmouth College, founded in 1769 as a successor to Eleazar Wheelock's Moor's Indian Charity School.

    2. Boundaries
      Given the interdisciplinary nature of the program, relevant materials are found throughout the collection, particularly history, anthropology, religion, sociology, government, art, music, film, literature, law, and environmental science.  No dedicated collections fund was in place until 2008, when the NAS monographic fund was established. The NAS serials fund was created in 2012. Prior to that, individual selectors purchased relevant titles in their areas on their subject funds.

      Several LC classes are particularly relevant:
      • E 50-99 (Native American history)
      • regional North and South American histories in the F class.
      • Regional histories of indigenous communities worldwide, particularly Maori and Australian Aboriginal histories in the DU class.
      • North American indigenous law classing in KE, KF, and KI.
      • Indigenous language texts and linguistics classing in PM, and American, English, French, Spanish and Portuguese-language literature by Indigenous authors in the PQ through PS classes.

      Dartmouth's Rauner Special Collections Library houses a large number of relevant collections, particularly Dartmouth's archives of the Moor's Indian Charity School and the founding of the College. Also of note are related materials on Rev. Samson Occom (Mohegan), his involvement and correspondence with Wheelock in the founding of the College, records on several Native American students (e.g., Charles Eastman (Santee), and the development of Dartmouth's NAS program. In addition, Rauner houses the papers of Arctic explorer Vilhjalmur Stefansson, Arctic anthropologist Elmer Harp, Anthropologist Gordon Day (including ethnographic work with the Abenaki community at Odanak, Quebec), and the papers of Michael Dorris, author and first chair of the Native American Studies program.

    3. Partnerships
      Dartmouth currently has no collaborative collection program in place with any of our partners. Consortial pricing through CRL, NERL, and WALDO has facilitated our purchase of many large online collections.

  2. Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

    1. Languages

      Primarily English, with significant collections in Spanish and French for primary colonial documents as well as related research in German and Russian.  We actively pursue of indigenous language materials, with a preference for multi-lingual works providing English or Western European language translation.

    2. Geographical Areas (if applicable)

      First priority are North American communities, with comparative studies of indigenous communities worldwide, particular in Oceania.  There is a College-wide special interest in Arctic communities.

    3. Types of Materials Collected

      Monographs and scholarly journals are collected most intensively, with a strong interest in both documentaries and dramatic films by indigenous filmmakers.  US and Canadian government documents are critical to historical and current legal research, as are tribal documents (where available).  Also desirable are newspapers, maps, statistical compilations, as well as full-text and bibliographic reference resources such as encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, and indexing services.

    4. Format of Materials Collected

      Print and remotely-hosted digital material are the predominant formats.  Where available, electronic journals are desired so long as that format does not limit full use of the content, and there is reliable perpetual access.  We select an increasing number of electronic books, but prefer print when the content is difficult to navigate as a digital file.  Preferred physical formats for audio-visual material include DVD and CD.  We avoid microform and VHS unless no other option is available, although many archival collections (e.g. US Bureau of Indian Affairs records) are available only on microfilm.  At this time, we are unable to purchase digital media for local hosting.

    5. Collective Collections

      We are fortunate to have access to several key doctoral-level collections through our Borrow Direct service, and the wider OCLC network through Interlibrary Loan.  The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is particularly valuable for its collection of historical newspapers. 

  3. Revision History
    • revised August 2016, Amy Witzel
    • Last revised June 2000 (Ridie Ghezzi)
    • Current selector: Amy L. Witzel