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Women's studies collection policy



Women's Studies is fundamentally interdisciplinary, cutting across all geographic, time and disciplinary boundaries. All bibliographers are involved in selecting appropriate material for the collection. The Women's Studies bibliographer facilitates communication between interested faculty and students and the appropriate bibliographers. S/he also selects for Women's Studies from funds assigned annually for materials which are not specific to a discipline.

Collection Development in the 1990's and Current Collection Development

Assignment of Women's Studies as a collection area began with a commitment to oversight of the collection in the early 1990's. At the end of the decade, particularly as more money became available, a portion of the Interdisciplinary Fund was assigned to the Women's Studies bibliographer to manage. The bibliographer is responsible for general, theoretical or internationally comparative works, as well as interdisciplinary and interregional materials.

Academic Programmes and Liaison

The McGill Centre for Research and Teaching on Women was established in 1979. The Chair of the Women's Studies Advisory Committee is the primary liaison. Women's Studies is offered as a minor, major, honours or joint honours concentrations in the Faculty of Arts. The Centre maintains current course listings as well as a directory of women professors and feminist researchers.

McGill Resources

The Humanities and Social Sciences Library is the major location for the University's Women's Studies collection. In addition the following McGill libraries hold materials of interest for the study of women:

The Reference Department has a basic collection of reference works on women as well as a rich array of bibliographies required for research.

The Department of Rare Books and Special Collections reflects women in many of its specialized collections: travel, cookery, and printing for example.

The Government Information Service is a rich resource for publications on women in the European Union and the International Labour Organization and is a depository for publications for Quebec and Canada.. The government documents collection is especially important for research on social policy issues and related legislation as well as for statistical and economic information, demography and population issues.

Blackader-Lauterman Library of Architecture and Art is particularly strong on women in art and women in domestic architecture.

Marvin Duchow Music Library has a core collection on women as musicians and in music..

Regional Resources

Consortia and Document Delivery

Membership in large research consortia provides access to vast bibliographic databases and to efficient document delivery systems based on the holdings of North America's most eminent research collections.

The Center for Research Libraries in Chicago, a consortium to which McGill belongs, is a rich resource. Of particular note are the great microfilm and reprint series of periodicals, government publications, newspapers, press summaries and clipping files, as well as archival resources. The Center is also a source for dissertations submitted to universities outside Canada and the United States. Holdings may be viewed on their Web site.

Journal articles and books not owned by McGill libraries are available free of charge to McGill students and faculty via the Document Delivery Service in the McLennan Library Building. 

General Collection Guidelines

Languages: English predominates while works published in French are purchased as funds allow.

Chronological Coverage: All periods are covered: there is no specific concentration on any epoch.

Geographical Coverage: All areas, with North America as priority.

Date of Publication: Emphasis is on current publications. Whenever possible, retrospective titles are purchased to upgrade specific areas of the collection. Replacements for important books that have deteriorated or disappeared are regularly sought.

Collection Levels

Definitions of collection levels are derived from are derived from the American Library Association's Guide for Written Collection Policy Statements, 2nd. ed., 1996.

B Women in Philosopy 3a 3b
BF Women in Psychology 3a 3b
BL-BX Women in religion 3a 3b
C Biography and Genealogy of Women 2 3a
D Women in History and War (Except the Americas) 3a 3b
E Ethnic and Minority Women in North America 2 3a
G Women and Geography 3a  
GN-GT Anthropology, Customs, and Folklore of Women 3a  
GV Women in Sport 3a  
HA-HG Women and Employment, Labor, Economics, and Finance 3b  
HN-HG Women and Sociology, Family, Sexuality; History of Women; Feminism 3b 4
HX Communism/Socialism and Women 3a  
J Women in Government; Women's Political Rights 3b 4
K Women and Law; mainly collected by Law Library 3a  
P Women and Language, Literature, and Mass Media 3b  
PA Women in Greek and Latin Literature 2b 3a
PL Women in Asian Literature 3a 3b
PQ Women in Romance literatures 3a  
PR Women in English literature 4  
PS Women in American and Canadian Literature 4  
PT Women in Germanic literature 3b  
T-TQ Women and Technology 2 3a
U Women and the Military 2 3a
V Women in the Navy 2 3a
Z Women in Publishing; Library Science; Bibliography 3b 4

Coordination and Cooperation

McLennan Reference Department: Recommendations for the purchase of reference works are forwarded to the Reference Department.

Government Documents: Government documents and statistical materials are collected in cooperation with the Government Information Service Librarian.

Literature: Works by women authors are purchased by the appropriate literature bibliographer.

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