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Kenyon College


Collection Development Policy: Anthropology


Julia Warga's picture
Julia Warga
Library Building A-04
Research and Reference Desk Hours:
TBA and
By appointment

Anthropology Collection Development Policy


Collection development in Anthropology should support:

  1. The educational needs of students in Anthropology courses, from introductory and elective courses through the Senior Exercise, as well as independent study (formal and informal).
  2. The pedagogical needs of the Anthropology faculty, as a base for discussions of the literature.
  3. The research and scholarship needs of the Anthropology faculty in the context of an undergraduate institution. Specifically, collect appropiate materials for keeping up-to-date with the current work in their fields; materials to write grants to support academic work; and materials that will assist in the research and publication process. These research needs are addressed as resources allow. 
  4. Serve the needs of the College community as a resource for people with general interests in Anthropology-related topics.

NOTE: Anthropology is an unusually broad discipline that embraces biological, historical, and cross-cultural studies. Physical anthropologists examine the interwoven biological and cultural processes through which our species was created in the past and continues to change in the present. Cultural anthropologists focus on those factors, ranging from values through politics to ecology, by which the behavior of modem people can be described and explained. Archaeologists, in turn, extend this study into the remote past, investigating culture change processes that span centuries and millennia. What unites this disparate field is a commitment to holistic studies of culture. Such holism is founded in the premise that human behavior is largely a product of culture which, in turn, can only be fully understood as the conjunction of social, physical, ideological, political, and economic processes operating on and through individuals over variable lengths of time.


The diversity of subject matter within the field of Anthropology poses challenges for developing a coherent collection policy. Cultural anthropological, physical anthropological, and archaeological volumes and journals must all be represented. Selection must maintain a balance among subject's subfields, geographic regions, and essential topics. Varied topic areas must also be addressed in the collections including: alcohol use, ethnicity, food, gender roles, globalization, linguistics, mass media, medicine, race, religion, sexuality, and all manner of theory.

Anthropology also resides at the core of several interdisciplinary programs and majors, including African Diaspora Studies, Asian Studies, Classics, Environmental Studies, International Studies, Neuroscience, and Spanish Studies. As such, our courses, and the library collections that support them, must be structured to sustain student work in fields related to, but outside, anthropology.


The primary types of material needed to fill out the anthropology collections include: monographs; journals; government documents; serials; and all abstracts and databases relevant to Anthropology.


All formats are relevant.  Collection will  include books, journals (print and electronic), microforms, and other electronic formats (as needed). Films are essential to most courses. Maps of various world areas are necessary.


Most of the material, regardless of its format, should be in English to facilitate use by the majority of students. A collection of some relevant sources in Spanish may be necessary if only because Spanish studies majors taking anthropology courses to complete their course of study may need to draw on references in that language for term papers and other research projects. Some information on Latin America is only available in Spanish language publications.


Materials collected will cover Africa, the Americas, Asia, and Europe (prehistory). The only region excluded from the list is Oceania, including Australia.


No chronological limits since courses deal with time periods stretching from before the appearance of hominids to the present.


The Catherwood prints of prehispanic Maya monuments, curated in Special collections, are rare and valuable resources for student and faculty research. Similarly, the 19th century maps of Ohio stored in the archives give the distribution of prehistoric earthworks that have long since succumbed to plow and bulldozer. These are important collections for the Anthropology department.

Faculty monography publications, as part of the Kenyon Author's Collection, and all Honor's Theses written by seniors at Kenyon are included in the collection.


CONSORT and OhioLINK are crucial to student research efforts as they are to course preparation and investigations conducted by the faculty.


This policy was created during May, 1999 by Department Chair Edward Schortman with considerable help from the department's library liaison Priscilla McIntosh.

Revised Spring 2010, by Julia Glynn Warga, Social Science Librarian.


Relevant LC classes include CC (Archaeology), DS (Asia), DT (Africa), E (History of the Americas), F (History of the Americas), GF (Human Ecology, Anthropogeography), GN (Anthropology), GR (Folklore), GT (Manners and Customs), P (Linguistics), and others to be named at a later date.

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