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General and Special Collections Duplication Policy

NB: “Duplicate copy” means an exact duplicate, i.e. same edition, etc. “Special collections” refers to the following departments and units: Special Collections and University Archives (SCUA), Special Collections in Performing Arts (SCPA) and the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM).

1. General Collections Purchases

Subject librarians will purchase library materials using their collection development policy statements as guidelines. These statements closely reflect the teaching and research needs of the departments for which they are written.

There is overlap in subject areas between the general collections and special collections (see sections 3 & 4 below for subject areas collected by the libraries’ special collection units.) Because of this, there will be a certain amount of duplication of materials. In the event that a “title” is already held in special collections, the subject librarian will take into account the following issues before he/she makes the decision to purchase a duplicate copy:

  • Is the title likely to be in a subject area heavily taught and/or researched on campus?
  • Is the title likely to be needed to be read cover-to-cover, rather than merely consulted and therefore needs to be available for circulation?
  • Is the title readily available through the UBorrow system?

2. General Collections Donation

As a rule, subject specialists do not accept donated titles that are exact duplicates of what is in the general collection, however there may be exceptions. These exceptions are articulated in the various general collection subject collection development policy statements.

3. Special Collections Purchases

Special collections will purchase library materials in the following subject areas (see individual unit/department collecting policies for a more detailed breakdown of the subjects collected):

  • American Labor Movement (exact details of the print collection yet to be determined.)
  • Historic Preservation
  • History of the Book
  • Mass Media and Culture (includes Journalism)
  • State of Maryland History and Culture
  • University of Maryland History
  • Print materials directly related to current archival and manuscript and rare book holdings, which may or may not fall into the above subject areas (Examples: works about Katherine Anne Porter, German Expressionism, etc.)
  • Post-war Japan
  • Performance practice, instruction, and scholarship (SCPA)
  • Materials related to the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM)

Some of these subject areas will overlap with the general collections held in McKeldin, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, and other libraries across campus.

If funding is available and the item is a priority, special collections collecting areas almost always purchase a work if it relates to their subject specialties listed above and fits their collecting policy, even if a duplicate copy is available elsewhere on campus or electronically.

On exceptional occasions special collections may purchase two copies of a work if a faculty member makes a request or if the special collections copy needs replacement due to preservation concerns, is lost, or is an especially valuable/important/rare work.

Normally, special collections will not discard copies of any work, unless there are more than two duplicate copies. However, periodic appraisal and weeding of collections may be done to identify items which no longer fit the criteria for inclusion in the collections.

4. Special Collections Donations

Special collections will receive donations of library materials in the following general subject areas (see individual unit collecting policies for a more detailed breakdown of the subjects collected):

  • American Labor Movement (exact details of the print collection yet to be determined.)
  • Historic Preservation
  • History of the Book
  • Mass Media and Culture (includes Journalism)
  • State of Maryland History and Culture
  • University of Maryland History
  • Print materials directly related to current archival and manuscript and rare book holdings, which may or may not fall into the above subject areas (Examples: works about Katherine Anne Porter, German Expressionism, etc.)
  • Post-war Japan
  • Performance practice, instruction, and scholarship (SCPA)
  • Materials related to the International Piano Archives at Maryland (IPAM)
  • Judaica

Some of these subject areas will overlap with the general collections held in McKeldin, the Michelle Smith Performing Arts Library, and other libraries across campus.

Special collections collecting areas will determine if a donated work already exists in their holdings and fits the scope of the collecting area and the collecting policies.

  • If a donated work fits the scope of the collecting area but does not exist in the collecting area’s holdings, the copy will be accessioned and cataloged by the collecting area even if there is another copy available in the general collection or electronically.
  • If a donated work already exists in a collecting area’s holdings, the copy in the best condition will be retained and the poorer copy may be either duplicated or de-accessioned based on the judgment of individual curators (for example, in the rare books collection multiple copies may be retained).
  • If a donated work does not fit the scope of the collecting area, every effort will be made to determine if the work fits into the scope of other collecting areas or other libraries on campus.

Normally, special collections will not discard copies of any work, unless there are more than two duplicate copies. However, periodic appraisal and weeding of collections may be done to identify items which no longer fit the criteria for inclusion in the collections.

Policy created 2015; Reviewed and approved by CDC 9/21/15