Feminist Studies Collection Development Policy


The purpose of the feminist studies collection development policy is to provide guidelines for the acquisition of library materials in the field of feminist studies. The collection is housed in the various sections of Davidson library and the Arts Library. Materials in the Feminist Studies sub-section of the Ethnic and Gender Studies Library within Davidson Library is considered a browsing collection only, and does not represent the library’s much more significant monograph and serials holdings in the field.


The primary intent of the collection is to support the undergraduate and graduate level curricular offerings of the Department of Feminist Studies. Originally founded in 1988 as the Women’s Studies Program, the Program grew to include a doctoral emphasis program, the establishment of the only women’s studies endowed chair (the Hull Chair in Women and Social Justice) in the UC system, a LGBTQ studies minor, a dissertation fellowship program, and a graduate program. A Doctorate of Philosophy is offered in three concentrations: race and nation; genders and sexualities; and productive and reproductive labors. In addition, admission is open to teachers and those seeking careers in public sector non-governmental organizations interested in a M.A. program. Users of the collection are considered to be Feminist Studies students, faculty, affiliated faculty, and other members of the campus community seeking information or doing research related to women, feminism, and gender.

The feminist studies librarian works collaboratively with other librarian subject specialists to acquire materials from across the disciplines to meet the teaching and research needs of faculty and students researching women, feminism and gender. Resources are selected by multiple librarians and may be found in various library locations: Main Library; Government Information Center; Ethnic and Gender Studies Library, which houses the Andelson (GLBT), Asian American, Black Studies; Feminist Studies, and Native American Studies collections; Sciences-Engineering Collection, East Asian Library, Special Collections; and the Arts Library, which houses art and music collections.

A separate librarian oversees the development and management of GLBT materials in the library. The Gay Lesbian, Bisexual Transgender Collection Development Policy can be viewed at http://www.library.ucsb.edu/services/policies/collections/glbtpolicy.html.


Subject Coverage

Given the interdisciplinary nature of feminist studies, scholarship on women, feminism and gender from across the disciplines is collected, with special attention paid to feminist economics; feminist movements; feminist methodology; feminist social justice issues; feminist theory; film and media studies; genders and sexualities; global and transnational feminisms; history of feminism; reproductive rights, medicine and health; and women of color studies. Other areas of feminist scholarship and analysis given serious attention include history of art and architecture; communication studies; cultural studies; East Asian studies; environmental studies; politics, law and government; languages and literatures; Latin American and Iberian studies; medieval studies; Middle Eastern studies; philosophy and religion/spirituality; sociology; and women’s history.

Types of Materials

Monographs and serials form the largest part of the collection. Subscriptions to new journals are acquired after careful review by the feminist studies librarian, and when necessary, after consultation with the feminist studies faculty. Print reference materials - specialized encyclopedias, handbooks, directories, and indexes and abstracts - are purchased selectively. Electronic reference materials and journals are given greater priority, and are acquired as appropriate. Unpublished theses and dissertations, from other institutions, are acquired on a highly selective basis, or upon request. Government publications are acquired by the Government Documents Librarian. As a selective depository, we collect most documents published by the U.S. Government, including those of Congress, governmental agencies, and the court systems. Publications from Congress and the agencies are housed in the Government Information Center. Government publications from California, foreign governments, international governmental organizations, Santa Barbara City and County, and the western states are also collected. Microform sets and audio-visual materials are also sought for the collection. Large microform sets may be purchased collectively through the University of California British and U.S. History/Women’s Studies Consortia or the Center for Research Libraries. For more information, see the section on Consortia & Cooperative Agreements.


Primarily English language publications are acquired. Some French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and German materials are acquired through the respective librarians.

Chronological Limits

No chronological limits

Geographical Limits

Geographical coverage is worldwide, but emphasis is placed on the Americas, Africa and Asia


University of California U.S. and British History/Women's Studies Consortia

The UC British and U.S. History/Women's Studies Consortia is composed of librarians from the UC campuses who are responsible for developing and managing collections in British and U.S. history and women’s studies. The primary purposes of the group is to share information; coordinate system-wide projects; recommend resources for system-wide purchase or licensing to build shared content; provide input regarding preservation of shared content; review and evaluate resources; and provide input on issues related to collection development and management. Specific goals and activities of the Consortia can be viewed at http://gort.ucsd.edu/ek/ushist/consort/purpose/.

California Feminist Presses Project

The California Feminist Presses Project is a project of the University of California British and U.S. History/Women’s Studies Consortia. The project is designed to preserve the output as well as the history of feminist presses in California. Archival and circulating copies of California feminist presses are acquired collectively via the Consortia. Each library has agreed to buy circulating copies of the titles of specified presses. The Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley, UC Santa Cruz Special Collections, UC Irvine Special Collections, and UC Santa Barbara Special Collections purchase and house the archival copies of the titles of specified presses. As part of this agreement UC Santa Barbara collects the circulating copies of Post Apollo Press titles, and the archival copies of Odd Girls Press (ceased), Wild Cat Press, and Trilogy Books. For a complete list of presses and the holding libraries, see List of Presses at: http://gort.ucsd.edu/ek/ushist/consort/feminist/.

Women's Studies Last Copy Journals Agreement

The women's studies last copy journals agreement is a project of the UC British and U.S. History/Women's Studies Consortia. The goals of this cooperative agreement are to 1) to ensure that major journals and magazines in the filed are available to students and scholars 2) to ensure access within the UC system to minor and small press journals and magazines, 3) to coordinate the commitment to and maintenance of a “last copy” (either archival or circulating) for endangered journals in the UC system.

The project was established in 1993, during a period of severe financial restraints in order to maintain the quality of library collections. Contemporary, space, format (e-journals), and budget (system-wide licensing agreements) issues required the modification of the agreement in 2007. The current journals under agreement are held by four or fewer campuses, with one library making the commitment to retain a print subscription to a given title if others cancel. The exception to requiring an individual campus commitment would be the availability of a shared print archive for UC Libraries that does not embargo recent issues.

For a list of the journals under agreement, and the holding libraries, consult the following Web page: http://gort.ucsd.edu/ek/ushist/consort/journals.

Center for Research Libraries

The UCSB Library is a voting member of the Center for Research Libraries (CRL). The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is a consortium of North American universities, colleges and independent research libraries. The consortium acquires and preserves newspapers, journals, documents, archives and other traditional and digital resources for research and teaching. These resources are then made available to member institutions cooperatively, through interlibrary loan and electronic delivery.

It is established practice among UC bibliographers to base significant collection development decisions on the fact that as CRL members our users have access to needed specialized materials. Bibliographers weigh every decision to add major microform sets against CRL's holdings. The UC Libraries rely almost exclusively on CRL for access to foreign dissertations and foreign government publications. When budgets begin to decline, UC's dependence on the type of cooperative collection development CRL exemplifies increases.


Author: barnes [at] library [dot] ucsb [dot] edu (Sherri L. Barnes).
Policy Last Updated: July 2009