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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject




Subjects covered .  The geology collection acquires materials in diverse earth science subject areas such as general geology, paleontology, micropaleontology, sedimentology, stratigraphy, mineralogy, petrology, geomorphology, glacial geology, photo geology, ore and mineral genesis, groundwater study, applied hydrology, environmental earth sciences, engineering geology, geochemistry, regional geology, geostatistics, geomathematics, ore deposits and exploration, paleomagnetism, geothermal studies, tectonics, marine geology, physical oceanography, paleoceanography, paleogeography, paleoecology, and soil science.  Geology collects specific areas of certain fields including mineral crystallography, x-ray diffraction materials, lunar and planetary science and solid earth geophysics.  In the fields of paleontology and evolution, collecting responsibilities are divided with biology.  Geology collects mainly invertebrate paleontology, paleobiology, and materials dealing with evolution as it relates to the geologic record and earth history.  Some materials on creationism are purchased by geology to present opposing views and spark scientific discussion.

Departments and users served .  The geology collection primarily serves the Geology Department.  Because of its cross-disciplinary nature, the geology collection receives use from faculty and students in many departments on the UC campus including Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Anthropology, Engineering (Civil & Environmental, Materials Science), and DAAP (Architecture, Planning, Fine Arts).  Students taking the general education classes in geology (Geology of Cities, Geology of National Parks) also are heavy users of the collection.  The geology collection is also an important community resource.  Local planning and civil engineering firms, local governmental agencies and private citizens also use the collection.

Quantitative information .  The Geology Department currently has 14 full-time faculty.  There are about 30 graduate students and 50 undergraduate students enrolled in the geology program.

Degrees granted .  The Geology Department offers Bachelor of Science, Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees.  The Department also offers a Bachelor of Arts in Geologic Education.

Special programs and accreditation requirements .  Summer field camp is required of all geology undergraduates, although the UC Geology Department does not offer its own camp.  Because students go to a variety of field camps, mainly in the Appalachian or Rocky Mountain regions, materials must be available for their own use in writing reports for these courses and preparing them for their field experiences.  The Department does offer regional field courses (e.g. to Iceland and Alaska) that also require materials for report writing.

Research focus, grants, special funding .  The paleontology program is ranked as one of the ten top programs in the United States, which makes it unique at UC.  A small amount of special funding is available for purchasing geologic field trip guidebooks, state survey materials, and regional geology via the John L. and Nellie B. Rich Fund.  Monies to support the purchase of cartographic materials are available from the Willis G. Meyer Endowment.


Location of collection .  The geology collection is mainly located in the Geology/Physics Library in 240 Braunstein.  Some older journal runs, as well as, county soil surveys and U.S. Geological Survey Water Resources Investigations Reports from outside of the Ohio Valley region are housed in the Southwest Ohio Regional Depository.

Other collections supporting program .

Internal .  Because of the cross-disciplinary nature of geology a large number of other collections support the program.  These collections include physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, geography, anthropology, civil and environmental engineering, and materials science.

External .  Geology patrons make extensive use of the collections of OhioLINK libraries and of Interlibrary Loans in their research.  Locally they use the EPA Library and the Lloyd Library.

Collection history .  The Geology Department was founded in 1907 and is one of the oldest in the United States.  It has had a strong national reputation in paleontology, geomorphology and sedimentology/stratigraphy historically, and more recently in geochemistry.  The geology collection was begun as a departmental collection early in the history of the department.  The collection was combined with University Library materials and housed with the geography collection in 103 Old Tech in 1951 to form the Geology/Geography Library.  Because of space constraints and environmental problems, geography materials were moved to the Central (Langsam) Library collection in 1968 and 1978.  Physical geography materials remained with the geology collection in the Geology Library in Old Tech.  Significant parts of the geology collection were placed in remote storage beginning in 1973.  Most of the materials in storage were returned to the main collection when the geology collections were merged with the physics collection in a new combined Geology/Physics Library that opened in 1990.  The geology map collection was integrated into the Willis G. Meyer Map Collection at that time.  (See separate statement.)

General level of collecting .  In general, the level of collecting intensity is mostly focused on instructional support and support of the current faculty and graduate student research interests.  Some areas of strength in the collection result from gift materials purchased by faculty during their travel and research.  Supplemental materials that focus on Latin America and the Caribbean area are purchased to support the OhioLINK research collection.


Call numbers .  Because of the cross-disciplinary nature of geology, materials purchased with geology funds fall into a wide range of LC classifications.  Most materials fall into the GB, GC, QB, QC, QE, QL, S, TA, TC, and TN classifications.  Other class numbers occasionally represented are BS, G, GA, GE, HD, Q, QD, TD, TP, and TR.

Current and retrospective collecting .  Most materials purchased are current imprints.  Older and out-of-print materials are occasionally purchased to replace missing items or to acquire a classic in the field.  Paleontology presents a unique case in that older and out-of-print materials are often sought to fill gaps in this historical collection.  Because of the historical nature of most areas of geology, recent back issues of a new journal title would be acquired.

Time period collected .  The geology collection covers the period from the early part of the discipline's history in the U.S. in the 1820's.

Levels and treatment .  Most purchases are directed toward upper undergraduate, graduate and research levels.  Materials are generally selected for their relevance to the current research interests and teaching requirements of the Geology Department.  Some more general regional and topical materials are acquired to support the general education courses taught by the department.

Languages .  Most monographs purchases are English language titles.  Some foreign language works that have not been translated into the English language are purchased to allow for comparative regional studies and to provide access to the international body of geologic literature.  Most serials titles purchased are in the English language.  Titles received from Europe, Latin America and East Asia tend to have a combination of articles in the national language and in English.  Monograph titles in Spanish and Portuguese are considered to develop the OhioLINK research collection for Latin America and the Caribbean area.

Geographical areas .  Because of the need for comparative regional studies and the need to study unique formations worldwide, some materials for the geology collection are purchased from and are about subjects almost anywhere on the globe.  Regional purchases are generally geared to the current research interests of the faculty and graduate students.  Latin American and Caribbean area materials are purchased or solicited as gifts for the OhioLINK research collection.

Special aspects .  The Geology Department's map collection was integrated with other map collections on campus in the new Geology/Physics Library that opened in 1990 to form the Willis G. Meyer Map Collection.  (See separate statement.)  The S.V. Hrabar-Exxon Guidebook Collection was set up with funds provided jointly by a UC alumna and Exxon.  This collection totaling nearly 1,500 volumes is set up as a separate entity and currently does not have records in the UCLID catalog.

Types of resources .  Monographs, periodicals, continuations, monographic series, maps and government documents are all of importance to the geology collection.  Documents from state geological surveys and from the U.S. Geological Survey and other federal agencies make up more than a quarter of the collection.  Unfortunately, at this time, records for the Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky monographs are not in the UCLID catalog.

Resource formats .  Library materials for geology are mainly books, journals and maps in paper format.  More than one third of geology journals are now available full text via the web versions of UCLID and OhioLINK.  Most of the microforms are government documents.  Many federal reports are available via the Internet or in mixed media including a CD-ROM.

Endowed areas supported by restricted funds .  Materials for the Willis G. Meyer Map Collection may be purchased using monies from an endowed fund set up by Dr. Meyer.  The John L. and Nellie B. Rich Fund is used to purchase geologic field trip guidebooks, state surveys materials and regional publications.


Approval plans .  Geology participates in the Yankee Book Peddler (YBP) Approval Plan.

Firm orders .  Approval slips are the major source of ordering materials purchased from geology funds.  This allows UC to take advantage of YBP and BNA discounts.  Most firm orders are for foreign, small or societal publishers or for rush materials or CD-ROM materials.

Standing orders .  Standing orders are an important source of obtaining materials in geology since a large portion of the geoscience literature is issued in series.  Societal publications, state survey publications, foreign government documents, publications issued by U.S. and Canadian geology departments, and volumes in commercial publishers series are all obtained on standing order.

Document suppliers .  The geology collection relies heavily on direct patron access through OhioLINK and the Library's Interlibrary Loan Department for access to items that are not in the University of Cincinnati collection, are in circulation, or are missing from the UC collection.

Special vendors .  Geology does not generally require special vendors other than those used by the Acquisitions Department.

Unique sources .  Societal publications, conference proceedings, and university publications are all important sources of materials.  The Federal Library Depository Program provides a major source of geological literature.  Depository materials are also received from thirteen state surveys:  Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota and Washington.  Geology faculty are a major source of many unique publications.  They frequently bring materials back from foreign trips or purchase difficult-to-obtain field trip guidebooks and conference abstracts while they are attending a conference and present these materials to the library as gifts.

Holly Prochaska
December 2005

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