Skip to main content


Policy Last Updated: July 1, 2007


The Collection Development policy is 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 Michael Skelton, the Collections Librarian, in cooperation with and endorsed by Mary Louise Byrne, the Department Faculty Library Liaison and the Department Chair.


  • To support teaching, study and research up to the graduate level, as well as to support faculty research
  • Areas of special interest must include: cultural/historical/regional geography, physical geography, resource management, urban/economic geography and spatial data handling. Within each specific area individual faculty members may make recommendations for items to be included in the collection.


  • Language: primarily English language materials are collected. Important publications primarily in French, German, Spanish and Russian will also be considered either in their original language or in translation if available.
  • Place of Publication: emphasis is placed on Canadian or American publishers first, then British and European
  • Dates of Publication: emphasis is placed on recently published works. Works, both serial and monograph, already in the collection and have a publication date older than ten years may be selected for transfer to the Annex for long term storage.
  • Chronological Period: both contemporary and historical works are acquired Geographical Areas: no area is excluded, but priority is given to works with a North American focus, with a secondary emphasis on Africa, British Isles, China, Europe, Japan, Russian Federation and South America. Other areas of the world will be considered as the need arises.
  • Publishers: works from scholarly and academic publishers are emphasized

 Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Materials with academic-level readership are selected. Titles such as “Annual Review” and “Recent Advances” should be continued along with “occasional” publications. Donations from private collections may be considered if they fill a gap in the collection.
  • Web-based formats for reference sources, journals and indexing sources are preferred. Print and microform are considered for reason of cost, availability, expected use or long term access.
  • Single copies of books in print formats are generally selected. Web-based formats 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.
  • Excluded types include textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, juvenile works, pamphlets, works by vanity presses, obsolete formats, reprints and partial contents (eg. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books). Titles already held by the Universities of Waterloo and Guelph may be excluded.
  • The following items, as they apply to Geography & Environmental Sciences, will only be considered for inclusion in the collection upon the request of the Geography & Environmental Science faculty:
    • Proceedings of conferences, symposia, international congresses, etc.
    • Selected Canadian and American theses
    • Reports of non-governmental organizations such as research centres, university departments, etc
    • Numeric and/or spatial data
    • Electronic formats

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
Geography (General)    
General G1 - G99  
Toponymy G100.5 - G100.8  
Great cities of the world G140 B
Historical geography G141 A/B
Aerial geography G142  
Travel (voyages and travels) (general) G149 - G154.7 A/B
Travel and the state; tourism G154.9 - G180 A/B
History of discoveries, explorations & travel G200 - G336 A
Special voyages and travels G369 - G503 B
Adventures, shipwrecks, buried treasure, etc... G521 - G539  
Seafaring life, ocean travel, etc... G540 - G550 B
Arctic and Antarctic regions G575 - G890 A
Topics (general) G905 - G910 A
Northern & southern hemispheres G912 - G922  
Atlases of the moon, planets, etc... G1000.3 - G1000.5  
World atlases G1001 - G1046  
Northern & southern hemispheres G1050 - G1052  
Tropics G1053  
Polar regions G1054 - G1055  
Maritime atlases (general) G1059 - G1061  
Atlases by region or country G1100 - G3102  
Atlases of imaginary, literary or mythological G3122  
Globes G3160 - G3182  
Celestial maps G3190 - G3192  
Moon G3195 - G3199  
World G3200 - G3202  
Northern & southern hemispheres G3210 - G3222  
Tropics G3240 - G3241 B
Temperate zones G3250 - G3251 A
Polar regions G3260 - G3272 A
Maps by region or country G3290 - G9804 B/C
Unlocalized maps G9900 - G9980 C
Mathematical geography    
General GA1 - GA123 B
Surveys (general) GA51 - GA87 B
General GA101 - GA108.7  
Aerial cartography GA109  
Cadastral mapping GA109.5  
Statistical mapping GA109.8  
Projection GA110 - GA115  
Map drawing, modeling, printing, reading, etc... GA125 - GA155 A
Collection of maps, globes, etc.; map libraries GA192 - GA197.3  
Globe making; globes GA260 - GA288  
World maps, general atlases, etc. GA300 - GA325  
Maps (by region or country) GA341 - GA1776  
Physical geography    
General GA1 - GB110  
By region or country GB111 - GB398.7  
Geomorphology; landforms; terrain    
General GB400 - GB445  
Climatic geomorphology GB447  
Slopes GB448  
Coasts GB450 - GB460 B
Reefs GB461 - GB468  
Islands GB471 - GB478 B
Mountains; orography GB500 - GB555 B
Other natural landforms: flood plains, caves, etc... GB561 - GB649  
Hydrology; Water    
General GB651 - GB671  
Hydrology by region or country GB701 - GB671  
Hydrological forecasting GB845  
Hydrologic cycle GB848 B/C
Water transplant phenomena GB850 B
Natural water chemistry GB855 - GB857.3 C
Ground & surface waters (general) GB980 - GB1197.84 B
Springs and geysers GB1198  
Aquifers GB1199 - GB1199.4 B
Geothermal resources    
Rivers, stream measurements GB1201 - GB1398 B
Floods GB1399 - GB1399.9 B
Waterfalls GB1401 - GB1598  
Lakes, limnology GB1601 - GB1798 B
Ice, glaciers, ice sheets GB2401 - GB2598 B
Snow, snow surveys GB2601 - GB2798  
Hydrometeorology GB2801 - GB2998  
Natural disasters GB5000 - GB5030 B
General GC1 - GC59  
Oceanographic research & expeditions GC63 - GC64  
Underwater exploration GC65 - GC78  
Submarine topography GC83 - GC87.6  
Sea level GC89 B
Estuarine topography GC96 - GC97.8  
Straits GC98 - GC99  
Seawater GC100 - GC103  
Chemical oceanography GC109 - GC149  
Physical oceanography GC150 - GC182  
Ocean-atmosphere interaction GC190 - GC190.5 B
Dynamics of the ocean GC200 - GC376 B
Marine sediments GC377 - GC399  
Oceanography (by region) GC401 - GC881  
Marine resources, applied oceanography GC1000 - GC1023 B
Marine pollution, sea water pollution GC1080 - GC1581 A
Environmental sciences    
General (including data processing and remote sensing) GE1 - GE60 A/B
Environmental education (study & teaching) GE70 - GE125 B
Environmental (conditions, quality, indicators, degradation) GE140 A/B
Environmental risk assessment GE145 C
Global environmental change GE149 - GE160 A/B
Environmental policy GE170 - GE190 A/B
Environmentalism, green movement GE195 - GE199 A
Environmental management GE300 - GE350 A
Human ecology, anthropogeography    
General GF1 - GF50.5 B
Environmental influences on man GF51 - GF71 C
Man's influence on the environment GF75 A
Ethical, moral and religious aspects GF80 A/B
Hazardous aspects of the envrionment GF85 A/B
Survival skills GF86 C
Landscape assessment GF90 - GF91 B
Spatial studies GF95 B
Chronogeography, time-geography GF98 B
Settlements (general) GF101 B
Cities, urban geography GF125 A/B
Rural settlements, rural geography GF127 A/B
Settlements by region or country GF500 - GF895 A/C

Related programs and support 

Consortial purchases with the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo, Laurier university libraries), with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on a national level, are pursued.

The Laurier archival collection has a number of collections of personal papers from local academic dealing with the environment and the Great Lakes. These documents may be of value to Geography & Environmental Science students.