Collection Development Policy – Special Collections

Special Collections at Colorado State University’s Archives & Special Collections Department consists of rare and unique materials in subject areas that support the University’s current research and education mission. General Collection Guidelines for accessioning, retention, transfer of materials from other Library collections may involve assessment of multiple factors including age, intrinsic value, and notable connections to CSU. In order to maintain focus, Special Collections preserves materials in the subject areas listed below:

  • Agriculture publications prior to 1950 that relate to Colorado or Western regional agriculture topics such as soils, crops, rangelands, forestry, animal sciences, management, law, government, culture, economics, and general reference resources on agriculture.
  • Equine Medicine publications prior to 1908, including the horse industry, farrier science, lameness, surgery, anatomy, reproduction, diseases, homeopathy, nutrition, biomechanics and arthritis. Supplemental collecting includes herbals, medical botany, pharmacology and materia medica.
  • 19th Century American West Documents focused on rare materials pertaining to exploration and scientific investigations of the Trans-Mississippi West, and Native Americans of the Trans-Mississippi West, specifically of the Rocky Mountain region and select parts of the Western portion of North America. Examples in the collection include: USGS monographs, Pacific Railroad Surveys, contributions to North American Ethnology, the Smithsonian Contributions to Knowledge, and rare maps.
  • Water Resources publications prior to 1950 that relate to Colorado or Western regional water management, law, government, natural resources/ecology, engineering (irrigation), culture and economics. Selected general reference resources on water, biography, and history of water for Colorado and the Western United States. Particular periods of interest include: 1902 Reclamation Act, 1907 Kansas versus Colorado, 1922 Colorado River compact, 1922 Wyoming versus Colorado, 1937 Colorado-Big Thompson Project, and the 1948 Upper Colorado River Compact.
  • Posters from individual artists represented in the Colorado International Invitational Poster Exhibition collection and their works, catalogues of international poster exhibits, competitions or retrospectives on individual poster artists or groups. Social, commercial, global or creative perspective, value or use of posters. Fine art techniques and processes as they relate to poster art, reference resources useful for research and study in history and techniques of posters.
  • Other areas of interest include publications that complement existing collections such as the Germans from Russia Collection, the Feminist Press Collection, the Vietnam War Literature Collection, Monfort Runyan Music Collection, related Archival and Manuscript collections, notable connections to Colorado State University, and original materials that are representative of the history of the book and book arts.
  • Exclusions to collection areas include the following, (unless the item is in a primary collecting area then it will be reviewed for addition): non-print materials (i.e. tapes, kits, slides), duplicate copies, presentation copies, 1st editions or autographed copies not by notable authors, publications authored by CSU faculty that are not published by CSU, and bound or loose serial issues.

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