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Department of Anthropology

Lorre Smith, Bibliographer

I. General Purpose

The University Libraries' collections in anthropology support an undergraduate degree program, a graduate program to the Ph.D. level, and faculty research. The collections also support coursework and faculty for undergraduate and graduate work in Latin American and Caribbean studies, women's studies, linguistics, Asian studies, Africana studies, human biology, and public health.

Materials are collected in all four subfields of anthropology: ethnology, biological anthropology, archaeology, and anthropological linguistics. The department also has topical interests in human demography, human ecology, cultural influences on medical care and public health, historical archaeology, ethnohistory, and quantitative methods. Materials on American Indian languages are generally selected by the Anthropology Bibliographer; materials on other languages are generally selected by the Linguistics Bibliographer.

II. Subject and Language Modifiers

Languages: English is the primary language of the collection, although Spanish language materials on Mesoamerica are acquired in depth. Materials of outstanding importance are collected in major Western European languages.

Geographical Areas: The major foci of departmental research are on northeastern North American and Mesoamerica. Materials on other areas of the world are acquired on a selective basis if they are of theoretical or methodological interest, with Oceania and Australia having the least priority.

Chronological Periods: No chronological period is excluded, although materials on paleoanthropology and fossil man are acquired more selectively than are other materials.

III. Description of Materials Collected

Types of Materials Collected: Monographs and serials form the bulk of the anthropology collection; monographs are relatively more important to anthropology than they are to many other social science disciplines. Monographic series published by university departments and museums are particularly important for anthropological research. Information in electronic formats is acquired upon demand and as funding permits. Ethnographic and other videotapes are acquired upon demand.

Dissertations are acquired upon demand when they deal with subjects of major departmental research interest.

Newsletters may be acquired, but they are bound and retained on a very selective basis.

Government documents, particularly those published by national and state museums (e.g. the Smithsonian Institution, the National Museum of Man in Canada, etc.), are of great importance to anthropology. Most U.S. government documents of interest to anthropology are acquired by the Government Documents Bibliographer.

The major abstracting and indexing services, bibliographies, dictionaries, etc., of interest to anthropology are housed in the reference area in accordance with the Reference collection policy statement. Of particular importance to anthropology are the catalogs of libraries which hold significant anthropological collections, such as that of the Tozzer Library at Harvard University.

Types of Materials Excluded: The only types of materials specifically excluded are basic textbooks and article preprints. Collections of previously published articles are acquired only on a very selective basis.

IV. Subject and Collection Levels [Collection Level Descriptions]

Ethnology and ArchaeologyInstructional Support Level, Advanced
Theory and methodology Research Level
Ethnographies and site reports Instructional Support Level, Advanced
Mesoamerica Research Level
Northeastern North America Research Level
Rest of North America Instructional Support Level, Advanced
Other Areas Basic Information Level, Advanced
Biological AnthropologyBasic Information Level, Advanced
Materials on the fossil record
and non-human primates
Basic Information Level, Advanced
Materials on the human skeleton,
living human populations, genetics,
evolution, growth and development,
body composition and adaptation
Instructional Support Level, Advanced
Anthropological LinguisticsInstructional Support Level, Advanced

V. Other Significant Collections and Resource Sharing

As noted above, linguistics materials other than those which clearly deal with anthropological linguistics and Native American languages are selected by the Linguistics Bibliographer. Other collection overlaps are with history (specifically historical archaeology and ethnohistory), art (primitive art and decorative art/material culture aspects of historical archaeology), biology (human biology), and the area studies programs (particularly Latin American and Caribbean Studies). In addition, the University Libraries' collection is complemented by the strong collections in Northeastern anthropology and archaeology at the New York State Library, the medical collection at Albany Medical College, and the public health and epidemiology collections at the Wadsworth Library of the New York State Department of Health.

January 2008

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