Collection Development Policy Statement Medieval Sutudies

Library Collections and Resources: Medieval Studies
Selector: John Rawlings
Date 9/16/01 rev. 1

I. Programmatic Information

The Program in Medieval Studies is administered through Humanities Special Programs. Although there is no formal undergraduate degree program, students may propose individually designed majors in Medieval Studies. In addition, the Medieval Studies Program serves as a loose affiliation of faculty and students whose research deals with the Middle Ages.

II. Coordination & Cooperative Information

Rev 12/29/1998 RLCP Cooperation, Draft
Rev 11/15/2006, Infra-Stanford cooperation

II. Coordination & Cooperative Information (11/15/06 and revision)

A cooperative initiative has begun under the auspices of the Research Library Cooperative Program. In the seventies and eighties there was coordination of expensive microforms through the UC/Stanford Shared Purchase Program. The collections SUL purchased through that program are listed at (B.L. Cotton on this list has been recently acquired).

At Stanford:

I will continue to purchase the primary source standing orders for Medieval (mainly Droz: Textes litteraires francais; Travaux d'humanisme et renaissance; Biblioth`eque de l'Ecole des hautes etudes, IVe section, Sciences historiques et philologiques; Hautes etudes medievales et modernes; Histoire des idees et critique litteraire; Biblioth`eque de l'Ecole des chartes; Memoires et documents de l'Ecole des chartes; Cahiers Saussure)."

III. Subject & Language Modifiers

Geographical: Medieval Christendom, all its outposts, and those civilizations with which it had constant contact, primarily Islam and Byzantium, and those peoples (Franks, Northmen, Arabs, Turks) who through time attacked, settled or otherwise influenced the formative process of Europe.

Chronological : The Medieval Studies selector is responsible for many aspects of European civilization from ca. 500-1600 A.D.

Language : Source material in all relevant languages. Scholarly secondary literature primarily in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish.

IV. Description of Material Collected

Types of material collected : Primary sources are of the highest priority whether annals, chronicles, histories, charters, letters, economic records, literary texts, commentaries and glosses on all kinds of texts, etc. Published archival material as well as inventories and catalogs are actively sought. Manuscripts are routinely acquired on microfilm. Reference instrumenta are vigorously acquired. Non-print material is purchased upon request. The purchase or licensing of electronic databases and collections grows along with their availability.

Publication date : Current imprints emphasized. There is a limited retrospective collection development effort.

Synopsis of the Library’s Manuscript Collection Policy

Stanford’s collections are varied and valuable, especially useful for the teaching mission of the university but a great source for scholarly work as well: highlights include books of hours and devotional works for the late Middle Ages; Medieval fragments; and manuscripts in vernacular languages. Several of these manuscripts are used in class sessions each quarter; some manuscripts are the focus of scholarly study and some are used for research papers written by graduates and undergraduates. More than one course requires that student papers be written on relevant materials held in our Department of Special Collections, including manuscripts. Paleography has been taught in the past using our extensive collection of medieval fragments and will be taught in the current academic year.

Collecting Priorities

Within the areas of Ancient, Medieval, and Early Modern manuscripts, Stanford’s priority is to build on its strengths and deepen its collections, tying acquisitions to faculty interest, research needs, and teaching. Specifically, the libraries seek to:

Goals for Manuscript Acquisition Program

For a listing of pre-1600 manuscripts currently owned by Stanford’s Department of Special Collections, please consult