General Scope

Geography materials are intended to meet the research and teaching needs of Geography faculty and students. Geography, as it was thought of years ago, primarily dealt with exploration and travel. Works like these are still collected, but they (are no longer an integral part) do not form a large part, or even necessarily any part, of the diverse interests of contemporary geographers. Geographers continue to be interested in place and locality, but contemporary geographical study relates to and uses all areas of the social sciences and sciences. This acquisitions program seeks to provide resources for these needs. At the same time both the more general needs of the College community which do include resources such as travel guides, gazetteers, and the like, as well as the need for materials supplementing work in other disciplines must be met.

The libraries still collect Exploration and some Travel resources, but they now account for a very small part of the Geography collection.

As the interdisciplinary nature of Geography continues to evolve, the library not only collects those resources which explicitly call themselves "geographic," but from all the other disciplines as well. Geographers study Sociology, Oceanography, Demography, Geomorphology, Migration, Cartography, Urban Studies, Government as well as other disciplines. The Geography Bibliographers work with other subject specialists to ensure users have resources with which to teach and do research.

  1. Audience
    Dartmouth College has the only Geography Department among the Ivy League schools. Students can earn a Bachelor's Degree but the department does not have a graduate program at this time.

    Some of the faculty work as adjuncts in other departments which do have graduate degree programs. The College also offers the Masters of Liberal Arts degree, which allows students to tailor their coursework to any discipline. Students would be able to write their theses with any member of the Geography Department faculty.

    The Department of Geography offers a major in the discipline, a minor in Urban Studies and a modified major which the interdisciplinary nature of geography easily allows. The undergraduate program has a choice of 3 streams which students can follow. They are Physical and Human Dimensions of Global Change, Critical Urban and Identity Studies and International Development. These streams and the Urban Studies minor heavily influence what library resources we purchase. It also has an honors program in which, at the present time, 33% of the students do thesis work. Assistance is given to students who plan to go on to graduate work. The faculty is actively involved in research which brings in a significant amount of grant money. Work in the department offers courses in both human and physical geography including urban, political, population, and economic geography. There is great interest among the human geographers in the domestic economy from the point of view of immigration and internal migration. Much work is environmentally related: for example, in regard to energy resources and water resources management.

    Regional studies includes courses on Africa, Asia, Latin America, Europe, Russia and the former Soviet Union. The Geography Department offers a Foreign Study program in the Czech Republic in Prague.

    In the last 5 to 6 years, Geography and Women's, Gender & Sexuality Studies have shared a faculty member.

    Courses of a technical nature include those in cartography, remote sensing, and geographical information systems (GIS). The Rauh Laboratory provides facilities for student and faculty work in these areas. Advanced courses deal with such varying topics as industrial location analysis, labor migration, tree-ring analysis, and fluvial geomorphology.

  2. Boundaries
    The Library of Congress classification G represents the category of most material specifically assigned to geography. The "G" classification schedule includes many books representative of the way geography was thought of years ago contains many volumes of description, travel, and exploration. The "G" classification contains many volumes of description, travel and exploration which are representative of the way geography was thought of and taught. If reclassed into the Library of Congress system, many would now fall into the D, E, and F classifications. Journals both popular and professional can be found in the present G classification. The group G-575 to G - 890 is assigned to the Stefansson Collection in Special Collections for pre-1925 Arctic and pre-1940 Antarctic materials. Sheet maps, globes, and (some) atlases are located in the Evans Map Room. The majority of atlases are now shelved in the regular collection. (See the policy statement for the Maps and Atlases Collection.) Library of Congress GA (mathematical geography and cartography) is in Baker-Berry while GB (physical geography) is partially Baker-Berry and partially Kresge (i.e., GB 400 (geomorphology) to the end of the GB range is assigned to Kresge). GC (oceanography, hydrology) is also assigned to Kresge. GF (human geography or ecology and anthropogeography) is a Baker-Berry's category. A major subclass outside of G classification is JC for Political Geography. Another major subclass is HT for Urban Geography and Planning. Both are also in Baker-Berry Library.

    The size of the Geography category is not large compared to some other disciplines. This reflects the fact that so much of a geographer's research is interdisciplinary, using materials that are economic, historical, agricultural, scientific, and environmental in nature, and draws on resources not only in Baker-Berry but also in Kresge, Dana, and the Feldberg Library. The research interests of the faculty indicate this: biogeography, dendrochronology, ecology, geomorphology, regional development, industrial location, population geography/demography, migration and immigration, spatial studies, political geography, historical and cultural geography, and the history and philosophy of geography, remote sensing, urban geography, and area studies (Europe, Latin America, Central America and the former Soviet Union). However, it is still the Geography bibliographers responsibility to select resources within these affiliated disciplines whenever necessary. They may not be strictly "geographical," but they are still integral to the study of Geography.

    Reference works, bibliographies, and indexes are collected generously, many locating in the Reference Room in either a G or Z number, while others are in the stacks. Similar pertinent aids might be used on site, in the other libraries or via online searches from any computer. See also policy statements for related areas such as anthropology, architecture (urban architecture, particularly NA9000-9425 ), biology (biogeography is covered in QH, for example), economics, earth sciences, climatology, environmental studies, and sociology (especially HT which includes regional planning and the social and economic aspects of city planning and urban renewal).

  3. Partnerships
    Geography maintains the same relationship to Borrow Direct as other disciplines at Dartmouth. As Dartmouth has the only Geography Department, the usual connections between similar departments is not possible. However, there may be other partnerships available as time goes on.

Specific Delimitations to collecting in this subject area

  1. Languages
    Materials are collected primarily in English, though suitable materials in the other languages would be acquired, if appropriate.

  2. Geographical Areas (if applicable)
    In addition to the United States and Canada generally, the library also collects materials pertaining to Europe, Latin America, the former Soviet Republics, South and Southeast Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In particular, the library collects extensively for New Hampshire, Vermont, New England and all of the areas covered under the Foreign Studies programs. The areas of need may change as adjunct faculty and post doctoral personnel change. These individuals provide the majority of area studies instruction.

  3. Types of Materials Collected
    The Library will continue to purchase published works. However, it is the format that may change depending on the type of work.

    Data sources are collected but handled within the Evans Map Room or online. Those electronic data resources are usually available through the online catalog.

    As stated above, the Library acquires reference works, indexes and bibliographies for Geography. However, every effort will be made to purchase electronic versions of these types of reference works. Library users don't use print reference works. They prefer electronic access. Librarians will need to be diligent in making those electronic resources more visible to users.

  4. Format of Materials Collected
    As stated above, the Library acquires reference works, indexes and bibliographies for Geography. However, every effort will be made to purchase electronic versions of these types of reference works. Library users don't use print reference works. They prefer electronic access. Librarians will need to be diligent in making those electronic resources more visible to users.

  5. Collective Collections
    There has not been any activity for collective collections for Geography yet.

Revision History

Geography Collection Development Policy originally created by Virginia Close in 1993, revised by Lucinda M. Hall and Jane Quigley in 2006; revised by Lucinda M. Hall and Jane Quigley in 2016.