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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Guidelines - Anthropology

Last Updated: 2018

Programs Supported

Selection for this discipline is designed to support undergraduate teaching and research in Anthropology through the Masters level. As of Spring 2018, the Department of Anthropology offers the following degree programs:

  • B.A. in Anthropology
  • B.A. in Behavioral Science
  • B.A. in Organizational Studies
  • M.A. in Applied Anthropology
  • Minor in Anthropology
  • Minor in Native American Studies
  • Minor in Values, Technology and Society

Existing Resources

The University Library serves as the University’s main resource for this subject. Faculty and students conducting research depend upon the many different resources of the University Library, offered primarily in print and digital formats. For the Anthropology researcher, monographs, peer-reviewed journals, and primary source materials are especially important. A variety of primary sources are available in the main collections of the SJSU Library, Special Collections, and in the Sourisseau Academy, also housed at SJSU.


Considerable overlap exists among many Humanities and Social Sciences disciplines. As a result, the Anthropology Department makes use of materials in the fields of African-American Studies, Asian Studies, Environmental Studies, Forensic Anthropology, History, Justice Studies, Mexican American Studies, Native American Studies, Sociology, Physical Anthropology, Political Science, Religious Studies, Women’s Studies, World Religions, and others, depending on the curriculum taught and the research undertaken by the students. Thus, responsibility for acquisition of titles in areas of overlap is decided in consultation with librarians responsible for collection development in the fields listed above. Acquisition of specific materials outside of the usually collected fields is considered on a case-by-case basis by the librarian responsible for the library’s Anthropology collections. There is a minimum of overlap with the circulating collections of SJPL. 

Materials Collected

Materials are purchased in the format that most effectively delivers the information needed by the discipline.

Collection Strengths

The successive work of subject expert librarians trained in cultural and physical anthropology, archeology, history, and forensics, has resulted in exceptionally strong collections covering classic/traditional, more recent, and emerging fields of the profession.

To date, Anthropology and closely related fields rely to a large degree on traditional/classic works; as such, the value of the volumes held in the physical collections cannot be overstated, and especially so because many of the materials have been long out of print, unobtainable, and not held by many other institutions (if at all).

The collections are further strengthened by a wide selection of electronic journal databases. A selection of the most relevant databases can be accessed here.

Additionally, the library offers streaming media with institutional licensing. The large selection of movies, documentaries, and related classroom media, can be accessed here for streaming video, and here for streaming audio.

To obtain materials not held by the SJSU King Library, students, faculty, and staff can use the following free-of-charge services: CSU+. Interlibrary Loan (ILL), and Link+. Please note that Link+ requires a San Jose Public Library (SJPL) card.

Evaluation of Collection

The overarching goal is to build and maintain a balanced collection of monographs, academic journals, electronic resources, instructional media, and related resources to support the department’s curriculum.

When acquiring new materials, special emphasis is placed on the cornerstones of the department’s programs and curricula. The liaison librarian selects materials primarily in consultation with teaching faculty, but also by consulting appropriate, professional resources.