Collection Development Policy


Principal Selector: Jana Krentz
Principal Location: Watson Library

I. Definition

A. Subject

The Spanish collection supports the teaching of the 71 courses of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese in contemporary and historical Spanish language and literature. The research collections of the Library support the Department's master's degree and Ph.D. programs which are particularly strong in contemporary theater, 20th century peninsular literature, 20th century Latin American literature, and literature of the Golden Age. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese is among the top eleven graduate programs of its kind in the country, according to the National Research Council and is ranked first in graduate student preparedness.

B. User population

Graduate students are heavy, visible users of the collection, as are the faculty of the Spanish and Portuguese Department. The faculty includes twenty-one language and Latin American specialists, eleven of whom are tenured and nineteen with earned doctorates. Many of them are nationally and internationally known. Master's degree students in Latin American Area studies are also required to become proficient in Spanish and Portuguese, and will therefore often use the literature collection as well.

In addition, 300 non Spanish majors from twenty-five Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking countries are enrolled at the University of Kansas each year and are recognized as another significant user group of this collection. Some of these students come to KU as participants in long-standing direct exchange programs with Mexico, Spain, Paraguay and Costa Rica.

C. Collection Characteristics

The Spanish language and literature collection is quite strong in peninsular Spanish literature and contemporary Latin American literature, and also contains a remarkable collection of Spanish and Latin American drama. However, gaps have been incurred in recent years in the twentieth-century Peninsular collection due to the bankruptcy of our Spanish vendor. The collection supports graduate teaching and research at the doctoral level.

Periodicals in this area are collected selectively, usually upon faculty recommendation. So much is available from the many countries from which the University of Kansas Libraries collect that our budget does not allow collection beyond specific proven need.

The Library has enriched its Latin American literature collection by the acquisition of the Juan Carlos Ghiano and Jorge Ruffinelli collections, and a post-1959 Cuban collection.

II. Collection Guidelines

A. Parameters

This collection includes primarily the literature of Spain and Spanish-speaking Latin America, and criticism of that literature worldwide. Collections are predominantly in printed format; Spanish is the primary language.

Spanish literary criticism is acquired in the language of publication. Literary criticism published in German, French, and Italian are collected selectively according to the research level of the piece and financial ability of the Library, and within that, the language abilities of the local user population.

The acquisition of literature from Central America has been curtailed somewhat in the past year in favor of purchasing literature from other regions and countries where literary output has been of a higher quality. The Library's static budget and reduced spending on Spanish Peninsular books during the past few years has made this essential to the health of the collection. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese strongly advocated this change in our collection development policy.

Catalan and Galician materials are collected only incidentally, and materials in Basque are not purchased, because the languages are not taught locally. Dictionaries and works on the Catalan, Galician and Basque languages are collected, however. Introductions to the literature and some anthologies are occasionally collected, and some Spanish translations of major (prize winning) Catalan, Galician and Basque authors are purchased.

Materials in Quechua and Nahuatl are not currently selected. Although the Library does have a collection of literature in Guarani, it is not purchased due to budget restraints and the fact that Guarani is no longer taught locally. Dictionaries, grammars, and works on these languages are occasionally collected.

English translations of literary works are purchased from a separate fund, but these actually are not intended for use by Spanish majors, who are encouraged instead to read works of literature in the original language.

This particular collection does not include literature of Hispanics in the United States or Spanish-speakers from areas of the world other than Spain and Latin America. (U.S. Hispanic materials in Spanish and English are funded from another account.)

B. Types of media

Books and journals in paper format are standard Library resources for Spanish language and literature. Audiovisual materials are not collected, although they no longer fall outside the scope of the Collection Development policy. (The library has no formal relations with the Ermal Garinger Academic Resource Center, KU's language laboratory. The center has an extensive array of audio and video equipment and collections which include recent cultural and political material from Spanish America and Brazil.) To date, the library does not have any significant Spanish manuscript holdings.

C. Collecting Priorities

We acquire the following types of publications comprehensively:

Generally we do not select:

III. Outlook

A. University Programs

In 1995, the KU graduate Spanish program was recognized as one of the best in the country by the four-year study, "Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States" prepared by the National Research Council. In addition, the most recent university-wide Program Review (1992) judged the master's and Ph.D. Spanish programs at KU to be "exceptional" in quality, and "essential" to the university. It rated the undergraduate program as being "very good".

In the last six years, the Department has averaged 6-10 completed Ph.D. dissertations a year in Spanish. The quality of the programs and the number of graduates are expected to continue.

Although the job market has been tight the last few years for new Ph.D.s in Spanish, the number of new graduate students nationally has not fallen. KU's strong program attracts large numbers of new graduate students and each year shows a marked increase in applications. As a result, not only has the program grown, but the quality of new graduate students is exceptional.

IV. Selection Process

A. Method of receipt

Approval plans with book vendors in Spain and Latin American countries supply the Library the vast majority of Spanish language and literature materials received within profile limitations. Separate language and literature approval arrangements are maintained for Spain, Mexico, Central America (2), Bolivia, Ecuador, Colombia, Peru and Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay. Most English-language monographs published in North America and England by university presses and commercial publishers are also received on approval. Works in other European languages are selected upon recommendation of the faculty, receipt of vendor notification slips, or by individual firm-order as they are favorably reviewed.

Some of the vendors with whom the Department for Spain, Portugal and Latin America maintains approval plans for Spanish-language literature are these:

B. Selection Tools

The bibliographer reviews publisher and vendor lists and catalogs, and major Spanish literature periodical publications, including Hispania, Hispanic Review, the Newsletter of the Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials, and periodicals appearing in the Hispanic American Periodicals Index.

C. User Input

The Spanish and Portuguese Department appoints a faculty liaison to the library, which does not preclude contact with other individual faculty of the department. Recommendations from students and faculty are welcome, and these often serve to confirm performance of approval vendors. Interlibrary Service notification is very enlightening with regard to local needs and the current direction of faculty and student research.

V. System Coordination and Resource Sharing

Little coordination with other bibliographers is required in this area other than occasional consultation with the bibliographer for foreign literature in translation. The principal selector for Spanish language and literature also selects literature of U.S. Hispanics from another fund.

The Department of Special Collections includes considerable peninsular Spanish which adds to the depth of the Libraries' resources. The Cervantes collection is an obvious strength.

VI. List of Main LC Classes Represented