Skip to main content


Policy Last Updated: February 5, 2020

Subject: Anthropology


The Collection Development policy is a used as a guide to shape relevant collections and to ensure consistency in collection development. The decision to purchase library materials is primarily the responsibility of the collections librarian in consultation with faculty in the Department.

This policy has been developed by Greg Sennema, Librarian for Anthropology, in cooperation with and endorsed by Tanya Richardson, the Department’s Library Liaison.


  • The collection supports teaching, study and research on a broad level for the Anthropology program at the undergraduate level, as well as to support faculty research.


  • Language: Primarily materials are acquired in English only. Material written in a foreign language will be purchased in the original language only if translations are not available. These purchases will be made only on the recommendation of the faculty Library Liaison.
  • Place of Publication: No area is excluded but priority is given to materials published in English-speaking countries, notable Canada, the United States and Great Britain.
  • Dates of Publication: Emphasis is placed on recently published work.
  • Chronological Period: Both contemporary and historical works are acquired.
  • Geographical Areas: Priority is given to Africa, Europe and Latin America.
  • Publishers: Works from academic and scholarly publishers are emphasized.

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Materials with academic-level readership are selected.
  • Electronic formats for reference sources, journals and indexing sources are preferred.
  • Microform is collected very selectively, for reason of cost, availability, expressed use or long-term access.
  • Single copies of books in print formats are generally selected. Ebooks are selected on a title by title basis, especially if the title is of interest to users at multiple Laurier campuses. Duplication of print across Laurier campuses is generally avoided. Duplication across the TUG libraries of expensive items or sets of items is avoided.
  • Theses, dissertations, symposia, conference proceedings, and other such materials are collected with a high degree of selectivity.
  • Excluded types include textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions,works by vanity presses, juvenile works, reprints and facsimiles and partial contents (e.g. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books).

Subjects collected and collecting priorities

Collecting priorities are categorized into 3 levels:

A - highest emphasis
The collection includes major published materials required to support the core teaching and research at the highest degree level offered by the Department.
B - secondary emphasis
The collection includes a selection of materials to complement the discipline as a whole, although it may not be a primary focus for courses.
C - selective emphasis
Materials, including reference materials and basic journals and indexes are collected to introduce and define an area.
Subjects collected Classification Collecting priority
Anthropological theory GN33 A
Methods: field methods GN33, GN42-46 A
Physical Anthropology GN49-298  
Human evolution   D
Human variation   D
Race   D
Social and cultural Anthropology GN301-674  
Race / ethnicity / identity   B
Belief systems / identity   B
Culture and cultural processes   A
Economic organization   B
Ethnography GN537-890  
Africa   B
Asia   B
Australasia   D
Europe   B
North America (see also: Social Work collection policy) E98-100 B
South America   B
Central America and Caribbean   C
Language / linguistics   C
Globalization / Capitalism / Colonialism (see also: Global Studies collection policy) JV1-5397 B
Tourism / Migration (see also: Geography and Environmental Studies collection policy) GN370, JV6001-9480 C
Social Organization and Power (see also: Sociology collection policy)   C
Art / Performance   A
Gender and sexuality (see also: Sociology collection policy) HQ A
Human rights and social justice (see also: Sociology collection policy) JC571 B
Visual Anthropology / Anthropology of media (see also: Communication Studies collection policy) GN347, P94.6-.65 P96.A56-.A562 C
Medical Anthropology / healing Z5118.M4, GN296, GN221, GN475.7, GR880 C

Related programs and support

Consortial purchases with the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo, and Laurier University Libraries), with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on a national level through the Canadian Knowledge Research Network, are pursued.