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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Physics


Aimee Jenkins's picture
Aimee Jenkins
Reference Desk Hours:
Tuesdays 10am-12pm

Physics Collection Development Policy


For the Department of Physics, the purposes of the library collection materials are to support both the pedagogical and research goals of the department and the college. Specifically, the collections serve the following purposes.

  1. Serve the needs of the students in Physics courses by serving as a resource for: papers and assignments; student-faculty student-student discussions of the Physics literature; and as the foundation for independent research in Physics.
  2. Serve the pedagogical needs of the Physics faculty for researching materials to be used in lectures and labs, and as the bases for student-faculty and faculty-faculty discussions of the literature.
  3. Serve the research needs of the Physics faculty in their scholarship within the context of an undergraduate institution. Specifically, we need appropriate materials for keeping up-to-date with the current work in our respective fields; materials to help us write grants that support our work; and materials that we can use for writing papers and books that will be used to distribute our work. These research needs are addressed as resources allow.
  4. Serve the needs of the college and the community by serving as a resource for people interested in Physics topics. Some areas of special mention include history of Physics and apparatus and biographies of physicists.


Departmental faculty have broad research and teaching including geology, astronomy, electronics, engineering--mechanical, civil, electrical, computer, quantum mechanics, musical acoustics, electricity, magnetism, vibration, strengths and materials, statistics, historical and biographical materials as well as materials on the borders of physics (i.e. photography is on the border of physics and art). We will also collect some books about the theory and history of computer programming and "how-to" books on programming languages.

We must keep, maintain, and improve our collections across a wide range of Physics topics, including subject fields that may not now exist.


Books and serials (including on-line journals) on Physics topics.


The collection currently contains predominantly print journals and books. Secondary formats include: microfiche, CD-ROM, videos, photographs and plates. The physics department currently has allocations in monograph, serial and series funds.

We feel strongly that our future scholarly journal acquisitions should be mostly on-line, to improve access and reduce costs if possible. Secondary journals should be acquired in print, to promote browsing by students. It may also be appropriate to collect some e-books.


Predominantly English, although current holdings in other languages, especially German and French from the 19th century and the earlier parts of the 20th century should be maintained.


Predominantly North American and European publishers, including some Italian publishers.


Current holdings include classical journals with ranges beginning in the early 1900s.

When we have several editions of a book, it may be possible to keep only the most recent edition in the library, older editions may be sent to off-site storage, pending approval by the department. It is, however, necessary to keep all of the editions, because some volumes contain unique and valuable information.

Only the most recent edition of dictionaries, encyclopedias and almanacs need to remain in the Reference Collection. Older editions may be moved to the circulating or off-site collections, based on recommendations by the department.

In some fields, it is appropriate to remove materials from the reference and circulating collections, pending review by department members, after a specific period of years.


Although we have no other Physics special collections now, if materials are acquired in the future, we should maintain and improve the access to the materials by students, faculty, and the public. One physics apparatus in maintained in the College archive, for security.


Participation by the Kenyon libraries in CONSORT and OhioLINK gives us access to materials not directly in Kenyon’s collections. We encourage these and further efforts at increasing access to different information resources for our students, faculty, staff, and community members.


This draft was written by Jasmine Vaughan and Jim Baillie, Librarian and Technology Consultants, following conversations with Thomas B. Greenslade, Jr., Professor of Physics, Kenyon College in April and May 2000. Revised, Spring 2002.


Q Science (general)
QB Astronomy
QC Physics
T Technology
TA Engineering (general)
TJ Mechanical engineering and machinery
TK Electrical engineering. Electronics. Nuclear engineering.

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