Art and Architecture Collection Development Policy

I. Purpose

This collection development policy supports programs of instruction and research in art, including art history, studio art, archaeology, architectural history, and the history of photography. The collections support scholarship from the undergraduate through the faculty research level.

II. Academic Department/Program Description & Curriculum

Academic need for library material is concentrated in the Department of the History of Art and Architecture, the Department of Art, the University Art Museum (including the Architecture & Design Collection), the College of Creative Studies, and the Media Arts and Technology Program, but the art librarians also collaborate with other collection managers to serve the art-related interests of numerous other academic departments. The collection serves as a general reference collection in the field of art for the University and the local community at large, including the Black Gold Library District, Santa Barbara Public Library, Brooks Institute of Photography, the Santa Barbara Museum of Art, and others.

III. Subjects

Subject scope changes over time based on the curriculum and faculty research interests. Historically, the collection has emphasized areas such as Etruscan art, history of the illuminated book, etc. At present, the collection is expanding to include more material on architectural history and media art. Areas no longer actively studied in the departments (e.g. Greek vases, decorative arts, etc.) are being transferred to storage as space needs dictate.

At present, the Head of the Arts Library is responsible for overall collection development and management, with the art librarian guiding collection in the areas of Northern Renaissance art (art of the Low Countries, 15-16th centuries), Asian art (Japan and China), and contemporary art, architecture, and photography.

For more detailed information, refer to the appendix at the bottom of the page.

IV. Scope

Geographical coverage: Generally, geographical limitations have slight consideration in art, the principal considerations being chronological periods and subject fields.

Languages: Due to the need for illustrations, no language limitations are imposed. Generally, English language publications or translations are preferred, followed closely by German and Romance languages. Prefer language of region being studied (Italian for Italy, etc.).

Chronological limits/Period coverage: No limit.

Publication dates: Generally, art adheres to overall library policy that emphasizes maintaining current acquisitions. It is just as important, however, that the collection contain historical works or reprints as it is that it include current publications.

Types of materials collected/Formats: Emphasize publishers of scholarly material, university presses, art publishers, and museums and galleries. North American university press titles and works by selected art trade publishers are received on approval. Material published by any publisher may be acquired depending on content and quality and/or the relationship to illustrations or iconographic material.

Heavily collected:
  • Exhibition catalogs
  • Monographs: Parameters include books, sets, art inventories, topographies, archaeological site reports, pamphlets, and miscellaneous materials. Collect all basic art histories and significant editions of historical sets. Include selected materials for course reserves (including duplicate copies as necessary), reference material in art and related fields, variant editions as content warrants, and multiple copies of heavily used items.
  • Reference materials: Includes art reference works, as well as selected general reference works in fields supplemental to the study of art. Includes periodical indexes and abstracts, biographical resources, dictionaries, encyclopedias, including those in electronic format. Subject bibliographies and library catalogs, more heavily collected historically, are more selectively collected at present due to the increase in availability via the Internet. Standard general reference works are very selectively collected, limited only to major dictionaries, etc., needed for local convenience; otherwise, patrons are referred to the main library reference collection.
  • Serials: Includes scholarly and selected professional journals on art as well as general art periodicals for current coverage in areas of interest. An emphasis is placed on maintaining a broad representation of current journals.
Selectively collected:
  • Artists' books: Expensive artists’ books and livres d'artistes are acquired by Davidson Library for the Hobart O. Skofield Printers Collection housed in the Dept. of Special Collections.
  • Catalogues raisonnes of major artists
  • Facsimiles: artists’ sketchbooks; Chinese scrolls; medieval illuminated manuscripts
Very selectively/Rarely collected:
  • CD-ROMs
  • Conference and symposium proceedings and transactions
  • Dissertations
  • Ephemera
  • Festschriften
  • Government publications
  • Microforms: Monographs not otherwise available and back runs of periodicals and serials, art exhibition catalogs and sales catalogs. Special efforts have been made to acquire large corpora of illustrations in microform, with preference given to microform collections over mounted photographs, although this need has decreased as electronic collections of images are becoming increasingly available.
  • Newspapers
  • Photographs and reproductions
  • Technical reports: This category usually applies only in areas of preservation, conservation, and restoration of art objects.
  • Videos: DVD (preferred) or VHS
Accepted as gifts only (not purchased):
  • Art auction and sales catalogs: Presently UCSB is stipulated as the university-wide archive for this material. In the past, shared purchase funds were provided to supplement this collection activity. Due to budgetary constraints, subscriptions to this material were cancelled in 1996. The library continues to add auction catalogs through gifts.
Exclusions (subjects and formats acquired upon faculty request for specific publications only):
  • Art education
  • “How-to”/technique books
  • Juvenile literature
  • Textbooks

V. Systemwide & Other Resources

The UC Art Bibliographers Group has worked closely together in the areas of cooperative resource sharing and development. Faculty research interests and special collections on each campus have been identified. Avoid major interests of other campuses when these interests are not shared by UCSB. The UC art librarians also share information on serials cancellation candidates at their respective campuses.

The UCSB art collection is dependent on the electronic resources provided via the California Digital Library.

For areas beyond the scope of the UCSB collection, interlibrary loan is encouraged.

William Treese - 1985; Lyn Korenic - last update 1998; Susan Moon/Ellen Corrigan – revised 9/15/2004


The values in this collection development table are based on those developed by the Research Libraries Group according to the following scheme:

0   Out of Scope: the library does not collect in this area.
1   Minimal Level: a subject area in which few selections are made beyond very basic works.
2   Basic Information Level: a collection of up-to-date general materials that serve to introduce and define a subject and to indicate the varieties of information available elsewhere. It may include dictionaries, encyclopedias, selected editions of important works, historical surveys, bibliographies, handbooks, a few major periodicals, in the minimum number that will serve the purpose. A basic information collection is not sufficiently intensive to support any courses or independent study in the subject involved.
3   Instructional Support Level: a collection that is adequate to support undergraduate and MOST graduate instruction or sustained independent study; that is adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for a limited or generalized purposes, of less than research intensity. It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of more important writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.
4   Research Level: a collection that includes the major published source materials required for dissertations and independent research, including materials containing research reporting new findings, scientific experimental results, and other information useful to researchers. It is intended to include all important reference works and a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as a very extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services in the field. Older material is retained for historical research.
5   Comprehensive Level: a collection in which a library endeavors, so far as is reasonably possible, to include all significant works of recorded knowledge (publications, manuscripts, other forms), in all applicable languages, for a necessarily defined and limited field. This level of collecting intensity is one that maintains a "special collection": the aim, if not the achievement, is exhaustiveness. Older material is retained for historical research.

In addition, the following language codes may be added to the values:

E   English language material predominates; little or no foreign language material in the collection.
F   Selected foreign language material, primarily Western European, in addition to the English language material.
W   Wide selection of foreign language material in addition to the English language material.
Y   Material is primarily in one foreign language.
African Art (esp. contemporary) 4F
American Art (esp. painting) 4E
British Colonial Architecture in India 4F
Chicano Art 4E/Spanish
Chinese Art (esp. painting and calligraphy) 4E/CJK
Colonial Latin American Art and Architecture 4E/Spanish
Early Modern Architecture 1400-1800 4F
Eighteenth-Century Art (esp. British) 4F
Islamic Art and Architecture 4F
Italian Renaissance Art 4F
Japanese Art (esp. Edo-period paintings and prints) 4E/CJK
Medieval Art and Architecture 4F
Nineteenth/Twentieth-Century Architectural History (esp. British and German) 4F (prefer E/German)
Northern Baroque Art (Dutch, 17th century; esp. portraiture) 4F
Northern Renaissance Art (Flemish, German, French?, late 14th-16th century) 4F
Pre-Columbian/Mesoamerican Art and Architecture 4E/Spanish
Roman Art and Architecture 4F
Romanesque Architecture and Sculpture 4F
Theory/Historiography (e.g. feminist) 4F
Twentieth-Century Art (esp. Surrealism) 4F

Artists’ Books/Book Arts 3E
California Modern Architecture 3E
Contemporary Art 3F (prefer E)
City Planning/Urban Design 3F
Digital Media 3E
Eastern European Contemporary Art 3F
History of the Illuminated Book 3F
Museum Studies/History of Collections 3E
Nineteenth-Century Art (esp. French) 3F
Painting 3E
Performance and Video Art 3E
Photography 3E
Prints/Printmaking 3E
Southern Baroque Art (Italian, Spanish?) 3F
Sculpture 3E

Asian Art (outside China & Japan) 2E
Automobile Design (and industrial design in general) 2E
Byzantine Art and Architecture 2E
Drawing, Graphic Arts 2E
Early Christian Art and Architecture 2E
Egyptian/Near East Art and Architecture 2E
Greek and Etruscan Art and Architecture 2E
Landscape Architecture 2E
Native North American Art 2E

Conservation 1E
Decorative Arts 1E

Authors: moon [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Susan Moon) and corrigan [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Ellen Corrigan).
Policy Last Updated: October 2004