General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.  

The purpose of the Native American Studies Collection is to develop a research level collection related to the historical and contemporary conditions of Native American and Indigenous peoples. The collection also supports instruction and research programs of UCSB, and provides resources to undergraduates, doctoral students, and faculty members.

Major areas of interest are archaeology, Native American religions and customs, historical and socio-cultural development, contemporary issues, literature, and popular culture.

The Native American Studies collection materials are primarily located in the Native American Studies section within the Ethnic and Gender Studies Collections in the UCSB Library.

Academic Department/Program Description

The department of Religious Studies offers a minor in American Indian and Indigenous Studies with emphasis on the native peoples of North and South America. Faculty and students in the Humanities and Social Sciences, including Anthropology, Chican@ Studies, English, History, and Linguistics engage in research and teach courses related to subject areas.

Subject Parameters

Major areas of interest cover Native American religions and customs, historical and socio-cultural development, contemporary issues and problems, and creative writing.


The following topics are collected.

  • Anthropology
  • Art
  • Education
  • History
  • Linguistics
  • Literature
  • Religion
  • Sociology

Geographical Coverage

Materials related to the peoples of North and South America are collected, with some coverage of the Pacific Islands.


English is the primary language collected. However, materials in other languages are purchased selectively.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

While there are no chronological limits to the collection, materials selected cover the period of the beginnings of the civilizations of Native Americans and Indigenous Peoples up to the present.

Publication Dates

Materials published in the 20th and 21st Centuries are collected.

Types of Materials Collected

The following types of materials are acquired: serials, monographs, audiovisual materials, government publications, and dissertations. Reference materials, research monographs, academic journals, and works from Native presses have a high priority in acquisition. North American university press titles are received on approval. Both scholarly and mainstream works from academic and trade publishers are acquired.

In collaboration with the California Ethnic and Multicultural Archives (CEMA), primary sources and archival materials are acquired. CEMA is a division of the Library's Special Research Collections department with a focus on collecting materials that support the research and curricular mission of departments such as Asian American Studies, Black Studies, Chican@ Studies, and Native American Studies.

Reprints are generally not acquired unless augmented, revised, or containing some other new intellectual material. Textbooks are purchased selectively.


Electronic format is preferred for anthologies, edited volumes, reference sources, and serials (e.g. journals, magazines, etc.)

Subject librarian: gerardo colmenar
Policy Last Updated: May 2015