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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject




Subjects Covered: The history collection supports the teaching and research conducted in the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences. The collection includes primary and secondary materials relating to world history, United States history, Latin American history, British history, European history, and Asian history. African history and Australian history are also included, but to a lesser extent.

Time Periods Covered: Medieval to present day.  Pre-history is collected by Anthropology and Classics.  Classics also collects materials relating to the Classical period in Western civilization, Byzantine history, and the history of modern Greece.

Departments and Users Served: The history collection serves students and faculty in the Department of History, College of Arts and Sciences.  Through direct patron borrowing the colllection also serves history students and faculty in the University’s branch campuses as well as students and faculty within the OhioLINK system. Other users are served through the local SWON consortium and through Interlibrary Loan.

The history collection also supports the historical aspects of other disciplinary areas in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.

Quantitative Information:

The Faculty:

The combined publications of the history faculty number over 100 monographs and countless articles, essays, and reviews in addition to which several

Degrees Granted:

Undergraduate Programs:

Graduate Programs:

Interdisciplinary Programs:

Grants and Special Funding: The history collection receives its funding from the library’s general monographic and serial allocations. In addition, history is a discipline supported by the Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund, which enables the collection to build its base of primary source materials and to add depth to the history collection overall. The Miriam B. Urban Memorial Fund for Modern European History supports collecting in the history of Europe and its colonies from the late 18th century to the present. The Francis L. Loewenheim Memorial Fund supports collection development in United States and European diplomatic and political history. The Strader Fund supports United States history. From time to time the history collection has also received individual gifts from alumni and other individuals.

General Description of the Collection:

Location: The history collection is located chiefly in the Langsam Library although space considerations dictate that more of the older, little circulated imprints are being moved into SWORD, the library’s off site cooperative storage facility. Rare historical materials and manuscripts are located in the Blegen Library’s Archives and Rare Books Department.

Other Collections Supporting the Program:

Internal: The history collection draws upon the Classics Library for material relating to the classical period in European history as well as for complimentary materials dealing with the Latin West and Byzantium during the medieval period. The Classics Library also collects the general history of modern Greece, although important works about modern Greece that relate to the integrity of the modern European history collection are duplicated in Langsam. History faculty and students pursuing special topics may also draw on other collections within the University, including the College of Law, the Medical Heritage Collection, the College Conservatory of Music, and the Design, Art, Architecture, and Planning libraries. Material pertaining to the history of science and technology is scattered among the various related college and departmental libraries. History students and faculty also draw upon United States public documents located in the Government Documents collection.

External: The history collection is supplemented by the fine collections of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, the Cincinnati History Library and Archives, and the Klau Library and the American Jewish Archives at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion. The history collection also draws upon the collections at the Center for Research Libraries and, through OhioLINK, the combined collections of the colleges and universities in Ohio. Interlibrary Loan also supplements the history collections.

Collection History: The University of Cincinnati’s Academic Department was fully organized in 1875, at which time history was taught as part of the classical course leading to a Bachelor of Arts. In 1879 history was included as a separate course of study for the newly created degree of Bachelor of Letters. When the Academic Department was moved into the recently constructed McMicken Hall, dedicated in 1895, history occupied one of the designated seminar rooms, each of which was equipped with “such apparatus as were required by the students in these departments to carry on their work” (McGrane, The University of Cincinnati, p.150).

It was not until 1898 that Asa Van Wormer gifted the University with $50,000 shares of stock for the construction of a separate library building. In that same year William A. Procter donated his Robert Clarke Library to the University, a collection of some 6,574 volumes of history, travel and exploration, ethnographic, and related materials that formed the nucleus of the University’s first library holdings.

The following year the Board of Directors of the University and the Historical and Philosophical Society of Ohio entered into an agreement whereby the Society’s library collection of some 20,000 volumes and 40,000 pamphlets relating to the early history of Ohio and the Miami Valley were to be transferred to the Van Wormer Library upon its completion. The collection, open to the University’s faculty and students for research, was deposited in 1902 and remained as a separate collection within the University’s library until 1964 when the collection was withdrawn to the Society’s new home in the Cincinnati Art Museum. During the years in which the collection was housed at the University, the library did not collect material relating to Ohio or to Cincinnati. Consequently, the collection’s withdrawal created a lacuna that has not been remedied, it being imprudent to attempt to duplicate the Society’s holdings through retrospective buying. Rather, the University’s history collection has concentrated on collecting materials relating to Cincinnati’s urban history to compliment the Historical Society’s holdings.

In 1930 Mrs. Charles Phelps Taft donated 2 million dollars to the University to establish a memorial to her husband, the interest from which was to be used to advance the study and teaching of the humanities in the College of Liberal Arts and the University’s Graduate School, including enrichment of the library. Because of this endowment the history collection has been able to acquire significant sets of research materials even during years when the regular acquisition budget was seriously under funded.

With the exception of a few stringent years of University wide cutbacks, the history collection has grown steadily in the closing decades of the 20th century. A stable monographic and serial budget adequately adjusted for inflation, coupled with access to Taft Memorial funds and the receipt of several endowments and gifts to the history collection combine to enable the University to build in selected areas of historical inquiry a collection commensurate with a Research 1 institution.

General Level of Collecting: Areas of the history collection that support active research and teaching at the University are currently collected at basic through research level. Areas of the history collection in which there is no current teaching or research at the University are collected at the minimal or basic level. However, every attempt is made to secure important historical monographs for the collection no matter what subsection of historical inquiry they represent. Likewise, with few exceptions, areas of previous faculty research interest are maintained at least at a basic level so that the collection’s basic integrity is continued.

Collecting in the auxiliary historical sciences is highly selective. No attempt is made to maintain genealogy, heraldry, or numismatic collections.

Some areas of historical inquiry are collected only for their relationship to special topics. Such is the case with the history of modern Greece which is generally collected by the Classics Library and only selectively collected for the history collection as it relates to the larger history of modern Europe.

Specific Aspects of Collection:

Call Numbers: History is the orderly study of the written record of the past with particular attention to human affairs or actions and their consequences. Historical treatment may be found in all sections of the Library of Congress classification code. As practiced at the University of Cincinnati, these call numbers represent the areas of historical inquiry most generally collected:

AZ---------------History of scholarship and Learning
BR---------------Church history
CD---------------Guides to depositories, inventories of archival materials
D------------------European history, Asian history, Middle Eastern history, African history, Australian history
E------------------United States history
F------------------Local history of the United States, Canada, Latin America
G149-570--------Voyages and travels, exploration and discovery
G1000.3-3122---Historical Atlases
HC----------------Economic history
HD4801-8945---History of labor and laboring classes
HN----------------Social history, social problems
HQ----------------History of women, marriage and the family
HS-----------------History of societies
HT-----------------Communities, classes, races
HV-----------------Historical aspects of protection, assistance, relief, temperance
HX-----------------Socialism, communism, anarchism, utopias
J--------------------Official documents
JF2011-2112-----History of political parties
JV------------------Colonies and colonization, emigration and immigration
JX1901-1995-----International organizations
K-------------------Historical aspects of law
LA5-2396---------History of education
UG-----------------Air forces
V-------------------Naval life, manners and customs; navies

Current and retrospective collecting: Current and retrospective collecting are both important elements in building the history collection. Historical documents and primary source materials are especially sought after. Replacement copies for lost, missing, or damaged materials are frequent purchases. Completeness of serial runs is desired.

Time Period collected: The history collection covers all periods of recorded time, but almost all of the ancient history collection resides in the Classics Library.

Levels and treatments: The history collection serves the needs of the University community and includes materials of general interest although the greater part of the collection represents works suitable for upper division students, graduate students, and faculty research. Textbooks and classroom anthologies are infrequently collected if at all.

Languages: English is the primary language of the collection. Works are also collected in the major European languages, most frequently French and German. Little if anything is collected in Asian languages, although the occasional gift is accepted.

Geographical areas: The history collection covers all geographical areas, but emphasis is placed on North America, Central America, South America, Great Britain, Europe, the Middle East, Asia, and to a lesser extent Australia and Africa.

Special aspects: The history collection strives to acquire primary source material.

Types of resources: The history collection includes monographs, series, society publications, journals, newspapers, atlases, indexes, abstracts, bibliographies, handbooks, encyclopedias, historical dictionaries, government publications, web sites, manuscripts, archival materials, and documentary sources.

Resource formats: The history collection includes print, microform, photographic, video, audio, and digital formats.

Endowed areas supported by restricted funds: The Miriam B. Urban Memorial Fund supports modern European history. The Francis L. Loewenheim Memorial Fund supports United States and European diplomatic and political history. The Strader Fund supports United States history.  The Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund supports all areas of history; This fund is controlled by a faculty committee to which application must be made for research materials in excess of one thousand dollars.

Acquisition Process:

Approval plans: The history collection participates in the approval plan supplied by Yankee Book Peddler.

Firm orders: The history collection firm orders monographic materials selected from a variety of sources including Yankee notification slips, direct mail brochures, publisher catalogs, book reviews in major historical and general interest publications, and H-Net reviews.

Standing orders: The history collection maintains standing orders for journal publications, monographic series, and internet resources. Set orders are also maintained for historical sets.

Document suppliers: The history 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: The history collection relies on the Acquisition Department to determine if a special vendor is needed to acquire requested materials. South Asian materials are often acquired from South Asia Books.

Unique sources: Unique history sources consist of archival and manuscript materials housed in the Archives and Rare Books Department. Reprinted and digital collections of primary source material, while important, are not unique.

Sally Moffitt

July 2014

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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