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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: American Studies

American Studies Collection Development Policy

General Purpose

Teaching and research goals of the American Studies Program at Kenyon include the teaching of an interdisciplinary introductory course based on artifactual analysis and a senior capstone seminar which encourages primary source research and shares this original research through public presentations.

Collections should support the student work in both areas. For the introductory course, this should include the expansion of audio visual materials in twentieth century American cultural studies in a wide range of media. More specifically, the course seeks to collect materials relating to the Depression, WPA, and 1930s film production; Chicago social and political history; new scholarship on World War II, its effects on American culture and the American labor movement; all materials addressing the Japanese internment camps. Acquisitions for use by students in the capstone seminars include the collection of full runs of African American newspapers such as the Pittsburgh Courier, the (Ohio) Call and Post, and the New York Amsterdam News.

General Subject Boundaries

Because American Studies is an inquiry into the wide range of American culture, broadly understood, and because it is inherently interdisciplinary, the program seeks materials in all areas of American culture--visual, popular, vernacular, material, and literary. We are especially interested in collections that defy ordinary disciplinary inquiry such as the growing collection of African American films made between 1920 and 1960, the high period of American Segregation, or companions to the acclaimed Gerritsen collection.

Types of Materials Collected

In addition to the areas and media noted above the American Studies program supports the collection of popular music (blues, jazz) releases of films in DVC format for teaching, and the accessibility of color printing and xeroxing for material available from the Web especially from the outstanding American Memory Collection of the Library of Congress.

Format of Materials Collected

All formats as applicable.


English and possibly Spanish for Hispanic related materials.

Geographical Areas

The United States for the most part with some emphasis on Canada.

Chronological Guidlines

See General Purpose above with regard to the Introductory Course.

Special Collections and Manuscripts

We would like to build graphic collections such as the compilation of city maps, registers, even old phone books which will allow our students to focus their work on cities, even neighborhoods. The Kenyon Special Collections may have some materials that could be used depending on topics, but there are currently no major collections identified. The Kenyon Government Documents collection can provide a wealth of materials especially on the WWII period the WPA and labor.

Other Resources Available

CONSORT and OhioLINK are important resources that significantly expand our library.

Creation Date and Revision History

This policy was created May 1999 by Peter Rutkoff and Melissa Dabakis, Co-Directors of American Studies.

LC Class

Varied, including: D, E, F, GV, KF, N, ND, PN, PS

© 2015. LBIS, Kenyon College
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