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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject

Romance Languages and Literatures




Subjects covered .  Spanish language and literature, French language and literature, French and Spanish civilization and culture. 

Departments and users served .  The collection purchased for the Romance Languages and Literatures Department receives some use from the community and from students of other educational institutions, both high schools and colleges. There is also some use of the collection by students and faculty of other departments.  However, collection development is directed toward students working on a degree in Romance Languages and to the research interests of the faculty. 

Quantitative information .  The Romance Languages and Literatures Department web page ( has current information about faculty and students in the department, as well as faculty research interests. 

Degrees granted .  Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts, Magistere (in conjunction with the Sorbonne), Doctor of Philosophy.  Both the Bachelor and Masters degrees offer concentrations in Spanish or French civilization and culture.  As a result, books on the cultures of these countries are included in the collection as well as materials on language and literature.

Special programs and accreditation requirements .  Magistere program for those who have studied one year at the Sorbonne; Romance Civilizations (French or Spanish).

Research focus, grants, special funding .   The Romance Languages faculty does research in a wide variety of subjects.  The department sponsors an annual conference on Romance literatures and languages and the publication of Cincinnati Romance Review .   Connie Scarborough, of the Spanish faculty, is the editor of Cantigueiros : Bulletin of the Cantigueiros de Santa Maria


Location of collection .  The Romance Languages collection is primarily housed in Langsam Library, but rare or special items are located in the Archives and Rare Books Department in Blegen Library. 

Other collections supporting program .  Various other collections are used by the Romance Languages and Literatures Department, most usually those of the other humanities and of history.  The collection in Archives and Rare Books is also used.  Romance philology and linguistics are supported mainly through the collections of the Classics Library.  The collections of other OhioLINK libraries are available for use by University of Cincinnati staff and students. 

Collection history .  This collection has benefited greatly from the Taft Fund for many years.  University funds for collections were meager until the 1980s and remained modest for many years after that.  Gift or purchase of faculty collections have enriched our resources. 

General level of collection .  New criticism and scholarly editions of texts published in England and America are routinely collected.  New titles published in France, Spain or Latin America are purchased selectively, but across a broad spectrum of time periods and authors.  Some basic, English language critical surveys are purchased for lower-division use. 


Call numbers .  The majority of books collected for the Romance Languages Department are classified as P, PC, PQ and (occasionally) PN.  Bibliographic works are in the Zs.

Current and retrospective collecting .  Most materials purchased are current imprints.  Because of the historical nature of the study of literature and related fields, non-current imprints are also collected, including out-of-print materials.  Older materials are occasionally purchased to replace missing items or to fill gaps in an author's work.  Back issues of journals may be acquired when a new journal title is ordered.

Time period collected .  The collection covers medieval through 20th century.  In the last decade, 20th century French and Spanish literary authors, who had been neglected, have received more attention. 

Collection levels .  Most areas in French and Spanish languages and literatures are collected to support instruction in undergraduate and graduate courses.  Areas in which faculty members have particular interests are collected at higher levels.  Italian and Portuguese languages are collected at a minimal level.  Italian and Portuguese literatures are not taught in the department, and so supporting material is not purchased.  However, there are some historical strengths (e.g. Dante) in the collection.  Other Romance languages are not collected. 

There are a number of areas in which our collections exceed normal expectations.  Most such areas are the result of faculty interest and (often) significant gifts of personal collections.  In some cases, these collection strengths are mainly historical; the current collecting levels cannot maintain these strengths. 

Languages .   Most materials for Romance Languages are collected in the vernacular or in English.  Requests for materials in other Western European languages are also purchased.  In general, English translations of literary texts written in one of the Romance languages are purchased by the English literature selector. 

Geographical areas .   The emphasis of the collection is on the languages and literatures of Spain and Latin America and of France and other Francophone countries.  Consistent attention to the francophone literatures of Africa and the Caribbean is a recent phenomenon. 

Types of resources .  Materials on language and literature are most often books, journals, or microforms.  Recently, some materials on VHS videotape and CD-ROM have been added. 

Resource format .  Monographs, series, society publications, and journals are of importance to the Romance Languages Department, with emphasis on monographs and journals.  MLA International Bibliography is certainly basic for research in literature, language folklore and other cultural studies.  In addition, the availability of the RLG databases, Handbook of Latin American Studies and Hispanic American Periodicals Index supports a wide range of literary and cultural studies.

Endowed areas .  In addition to University funding, the Romance Languages Department draws on library funds from the Charles Phelps Taft Memorial Fund, Taft A & S, and the Hillebrand Fund.


Approval plans .  Romance Languages uses the Yankee Book Peddler approval plans for British and American university press books and most trade publishers.  We currently receive notification slips for new publications from Puvill Libros(Spanish, Mexican and Latin American), IBERBOOK (Spanish) and Aux Amateurs de Livres (French).  An approval plan for French literature and criticism with Aux Amateurs de Livres was started in August 2000. 

Firm orders .  The majority of books received for Romance Languages are acquired through firm orders. 

Standing orders .  Standing orders are used to acquire journals, sets, and selected monograph series.

Special vendors .  Used and antiquarian dealers provide out-of-print materials.  Vendors specializing in European and in Latin American imprints are used to acquire a number of the titles for Romance Languages. 

Toby Heidtmann
October 13, 2000

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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