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Collection Development @ SJSU Library

Collection Development Policy - Design

Last Updated: 2018

Programs Supported

Selection for this subject discipline is designed to support the undergraduate program in the Department of Design.  The Department offers 5 areas of focus: Design Studies; Animation/Illustration; Graphic Design; Industrial Design; and Interior Design. The Department strives to maintain and develop comprehensive curricula that provide current, innovative, undergraduate training in the practice and theory of design in a broad spectrum of fields and specializations.

Undergraduate Degrees

BA - Art, Concentration in Design Studies

The BA in Design Studies introduces students to a basic study of design principles, history, and theory. It offers four concentrations:

Animation/Illustration: Provides instruction in basic A/I foundation skills, supplemented by studies in the areas of Design; English; Photography; Physics; Radio, TV, Film; and Theater Arts. Students will receive basic preparation for entry- level jobs in the entertainment industry; optionally, they can later apply to a graduate program in Animation, Illustration or other similar fields of study.

Graphic Design: Provides a basic understanding of the aesthetic as well as the technical skills needed for graphic design. Students who want to pursue a BFA in Graphic Design, which would encompass exposure to a wider range of design disciplines, will need to pass a mid-program portfolio review.

Industrial Design: Provides introduction to and basic knowledge of 3D Design and Technology. With courses focused on 3D computer aided design, materials and manufacturing, prototyping, and team-based theory, students will have a basic preparation for jobs in computer aided design support and model-making, or be prepared to apply to a graduate program in Industrial Design or other areas. Students who wish to pursue the BS Industrial Design must pass the first year portfolio review.

Interior Design: Provides a basic understanding of the aesthetic as well as the technical skills needed for interior design. Students who want to pursue a BFA in Interior Design, which would encompass exposure to a wider range of design disciplines, will need to pass a mid-program portfolio review.

BFA - Art, Concentration in Animation/Illustration

The award-winning Animation/Illustration program prepares students for careers in feature film animation, games, television and any other media that uses animation and storytelling as a core communication tool. The core curriculum combines both traditional and innovative educational strategies. Rigorous drawing classes and intensive study of color theory, design, perspective, and conventional and digital painting are required, as well as the study of the principles of both traditional and 3-D animation, physics of motion, modeling, storyboarding, character design, and visual development.

BFA - Graphic Design

The BFA Graphic Design program prepares students for intellectually and aesthetically challenging careers in Graphic Design. Preparation involves both theoretical and practical study with emphasis on typography, form and image, information architecture, experience design and interactive design. 

BFA - Interior Design
Prepares students for professional careers in both the private and public sectors in areas such as corporate, hospitality, institutional, office and retail planning and design. Preparation involves both theoretical and practical study of interior architecture with emphasis on critical thinking, communication skills, design process, merging technologies, human factors, aesthetic sensibilities, laws, codes and regulations, and professional ethics.

BS - Industrial Design
The BS Industrial Design program prepares students for a career in industrial design through a curriculum in design studio, theory and skill classes supported by courses and content in technology, business, science, the arts and humanities. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking, creative design process management, aesthetic theory, communication skills and awareness of business as well as humanistic dimensions of product development.

Professional Design Programs are offered in Animation/Illustration, Graphic, Industrial, and Interior Design. The curricula of the four programs combine the aesthetic sensitivity and technical knowledge necessary to function creatively in design, business and industry. Internships in design offices are integral to all four programs.

Minors & Interdisciplinary Programs
Minors are offered in: Graphic Design and Interior Design.

To a lesser degree, the art collection supports in part a number of interdisciplinary programs that offer a BA or an undergraduate minor. These include American, Asian, African, Middle East and Jewish Studies; Afro-American, Asian-American and Mexican-American Studies; Women's Studies; Communication in the Information Age; and the Humanities Department—Humanities, Liberal Studies, and especially the Creative Arts Program.

Existing Resources 

The University Library serves as the main resource for this subject. Access to resources is provided through the Library’s Catalog and databases. Materials we which do not own or provide access to may be accessed through CSU+ or Interlibrary Loan (ILL). The Department of Art and Art History also maintains a Visual Resources Library, which includes slides, electronic images, and some films. Films purchased by the Library are housed in the Instructional Resources Center. Some of the audiovisual materials in the East Asian Regional Materials and Resource Center (EARMARC) pertain to art and design as well. University students, faculty and staff also have access to the collection of the San José Public Library, which is housed in the King Library and the branches of the San Jose Public Library (SJPL). The SJPL collection includes graphic novels, comic books/manga, and films.

Multiple online resources for Design are available through the library website. Research databases serving Design include Oxford Art Online, Grove Art Online, Oxford Reference, Art & Architecture Source, ARTBibliographies Modern, Art Index Retrospective, Arts & Humanities Full Text, Humanities International Complete, Bibliography of the History of Art: BHA, DAAI: Design and Applied Arts Index, International Bibliography of Art, JSTOR Journals and Books, and Project Muse.


Considerable overlap exists between Design and certain areas of Art and Art History, Anthropology, Computer Science, Division of Technology, Engineering, and Television/Radio/Film/Theatre. The increasing use of industrial and electronic materials and processes by artists and designers requires students to seek out more technical resources, and therefore requires their collection under art on occasion. Responsibility for acquisition of items in other areas of overlap is decided in consultation with librarians responsible for collection development in the humanities noted above, and also several other areas where overlap occurs (such as other Ethnic and Area Studies, and Women's Studies).

The collections of the University Library and the San José Public Library are largely complementary. As of 2018, SJSU owns over 56,000 print titles in fine arts and photography. SJPL purchases multiple copies of books on art techniques, applied arts, and current craft trends, whereas SJSU purchases only single copies (with rare exceptions) of techniques and a limited selection of craft books. The combined King Library collection should be particularly useful for art education majors and undergraduates in studio art courses. SJPL has a significant collection of materials on residential interior design, while the SJSU collection concentrates on commercial interior design. SJPL buys popular biographies of artists. SJSU also buys some biographies of this type but tends to concentrate more on works of criticism and interpretation, and exhibition catalogues. 

Materials Collected

Special Materials – Exhibition catalogs and some artist's books are collected. Limited-edition posters and/or original prints and photographs are collected rarely.

Languages – Works written in or translated into English are preferred, although significant materials in the major Western European languages are also collected.  Works in any language may be collected if justified by the quality and importance of the illustrations.

Geographical Areas – Materials on the art of all geographical areas are collected.

Chronological Periods – All periods of art & design history are collected. Studio-oriented materials heavily emphasize contemporary art.

Current / Retrospective Materials – Emphasis is on current materials. Retrospective collection is done primarily in art and design history to ensure that standard histories, critical works and reference tools are held. Works dealing with materials and techniques heavily emphasize the last twenty years.

Collection Strengths

The collection provides basic coverage in undergraduate-level general materials in Western European art, art history and design—with some exceptions for individual titles not acquired during various past budget crises. The SJSU collection of exhibition catalogs, especially of contemporary art, is quite strong for materials published from about mid-1987 (when we began our approval program for exhibition catalogs).

SJSU subscribes to the following major art and design indexes/databases: Art Index Retrospective, Art & Architecture Source, Arts & Humanities Full Text, ARTBibliographies Modern, Bibliography of the History of Art: BHA, DAAI: Design and Applied Arts Index, and Materials ConneXion. 

In addition, the University subscribes to ARTstor, a premiere collection high resolution images, and Oxford Art Online, which includes the full text of the Grove Art Dictionary. 

Other university subscriptions that support the Department of Art and Art History include interdisciplinary databases such as Academic Search Premiere, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, JSTOR, Project Muse, and Proquest Dissertations and Theses

Evaluation of Collection

Digital and print resources will continue to be evaluated using usage statistics and user feedback to ensure sufficient research support is provided. New materials are discovered through professional listservs (ARLIS-NA), reviews in journals, and recommendations from faculty and students. The collection needs to be augmented with materials that support the emergent emphasis on digital and multimedia. The ultimate goal is to build and maintain a balanced collection of materials in all appropriate formats to support the curriculum of the department.  Special attention will be paid to the areas of the subject currently being emphasized by the teaching faculty.