Triangle Research Libraries Network Cooperative Collections

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General Collections | Area Studies | Cooperatively Licensed Electronic Resources

The goals of the TRLN Cooperative Collection Development Program are to enhance the collections of member libraries and provide better service to users by sharing access to specialized and expensive resources that do not need to be duplicated on individual campuses. By building interlocked collections that maximize the number of unique research titles, the four libraries have increased the breadth and depth of their collections in ways that would otherwise be physically and fiscally impossible, given the increasing number of titles published around the world each year and the rising costs of books, serials, and electronic resources. The TRLN Cooperative Collection Development Program excludes materials for teaching. These titles are purchased separately by each member library to support the academic programs on the local campuses, because duplication of basic texts, sets and serials is necessary if the TRLN institutions are to fulfill their instructional and clinical missions effectively.

Cooperative Collection Development began in the 1930s. The visionary Presidents and Librarians of Duke University and the University at North Carolina used funds from the General Education Board to overcome the economic limitations imposed by the Depression and, through cooperation, begin to build the world-class institutions of higher learning and libraries they have now become. Area studies cooperation began in the 1940s with the Latin American Studies programs. Other cooperative area studies programs came into being in the following decades. During the same time, faculty and librarians also began to cooperate on the acquisition of serials, government documents, newspapers, microform collections, and expensive titles. These cooperative programs increased when North Carolina State University joined the Triangle University Libraries Cooperation Committee in the 1970s, and North Carolina Central University became a member of TRLN in 1995.

Initially, grants led to cooperation. Now, the long history of cooperation and the strength of the combined collections are key factors in attracting grants to the four campuses. The libraries received Title II-C grants in 1978-79 and 1980-81 for general and area studies; and in 1992-94 for Southern Americana. Currently, there are three cooperative Department of Education Title VI programs in TRLN: Latin America, Slavic and Eastern Europe, and South Asia. Each of these grants brings significant library funding and enhanced visibility to the libraries’ efforts to cooperate in their support of area studies.

The cooperative collection development programs include the general and special collections and area studies. There are also programs for cooperatively licensing electronic resources, which are managed by the TRLN Electronic Resources Committee. Broad oversight of cooperative collection development is provided by the TRLN Collections Council. The following brief descriptions highlight major areas of emphasis:

I. General Collections:

Unique Academic Programs | Serials | Government Documents | Newspapers | Microforms | Expensive items | Southern Americana

A. Unique Academic Programs: Duke, NCCU, NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill support many academic programs in the humanities, social sciences and sciences that are unique to a single campus. These programs are supported by unique collections at their individual libraries. Users from all the TRLN institutions rely on these library holdings for materials in these subjects.

B. Serials: The libraries attempt to coordinate their subscriptions to highly specialized serials and standing orders in all subjects, particularly foreign language titles and expensive subscriptions.

C. Government Documents: Responsibility for foreign documents follows area studies divisions. There are also agreements for state and international documents. Duke is a depository library for European Union publications; UNC-Chapel Hill is the depository for UN, GATT, and WTO. Both Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill collect the publications of other international organizations extensively. In terms of federal documents, UNC-Chapel Hill is the regional depository for the state of North Carolina, and NCSU is the Patent and Trademark library for the state. There have been cooperative purchases of commercial products facilitating the use of the federal documents collections.

D. Newspapers: Duke and UNC-Chapel Hill cooperate on acquiring foreign and domestic newspapers in paper and microfilm. Foreign newspapers tend to reflect the area studies cooperative agreements. The libraries also cooperate title-by-title on the acquisition of newspapers from Western Europe and North America.

E. Microforms: Because these materials are so expensive, they are almost never duplicated among the TRLN libraries. Libraries have sometimes acquired microforms jointly, as they did with the Landmarks of Science. More usually, one library has purchased materials and made them available to the others, as with the environmental impact reports on the South at NCSU, the Pollard and Redgrave and Wing short title microform collections covering the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries at Duke, and the Eighteenth Century collection at UNC-Chapel Hill.

F. Expensive items: The libraries cooperate on acquiring expensive items by splitting them along subject lines (as with the Italian unification movement), or by agreeing that only one institution will purchase a particular collection.

G. Southern Americana: The four TRLN libraries are widely acknowledged to have the most comprehensive combined collections of materials on the American South to be found anywhere in the country. To build on this national strength, members of the TRLN Collections Council encourage selectors to maintain a vision of a comprehensive TRLN Southern Americana collection.

Special Collections
All four TRLN libraries acquire unique manuscript and archival collections documenting the American South. These collections are complementary for some subjects (literary figures at Duke and UNC, for example), unique to one of the libraries in others (records of advertising agencies at Duke; architectural records at NCSU), or overlapping, because of past collecting priorities and current institutional interest (African American experience, women's history, textile industry, etc.). There are some areas of acknowledged specialization for print material: Duke emphasizes literature, religion, and social and cultural history; UNC covers North Carolina exhaustively in its N.C. Collection; NCSU collects in agriculture, architecture, and textiles; NCCU holds works of African American authors of children's literature. Collecting proceeds on an opportunity basis in other areas, though selectors should consider checking with their TRLN colleagues before acquiring expensive items or extensive collections.

General Collections
The four libraries have certain recognized areas of concentration, usually related to academic strengths. Principal among these areas are the following: for Duke, religious studies and dance; for UNC, language and linguistics, folklore, regional music, journalism, city and regional planning, geography, geology, and pharmaceutical sciences; for NCSU, agriculture, entomology, textiles, veterinary medicine, and travel and tourism; and for NCCU, education. In other subjects, collecting takes place at the research level at two or more of the libraries.

II. Area Studies:

Africa | British Isles and Commonwealth Countries | East Asia | Europe | Latin America | Middle East | Russia and Eastern Europe | South Asia

Collection building has been divided along geographic and, in some cases, subject lines. Note that not all area studies have cooperative collection building agreements. Each institution acquires core materials for the entire region, as well as specialized research materials for specific countries or areas within a country.

A. Africa: Duke takes responsibility for the Anglophone and Francophone areas of Africa; UNC-Chapel Hill, for imprints from Lusophone Africa and Sub-Saharan imprints. (Statement under review)

B. British Isles and Commonwealth countries: Duke has traditionally strong holdings for the British Isles and former Commonwealth countries. While Duke continues to collect resources from former Commonwealth countries, there is a much greater emphasis on Canada than on Australia. UNC-Chapel Hill also has strong holdings on the British Isles but relies on Duke for specialized Canadiana and Australiana.

C. East Asia: Duke acquires Japanese imprints and specialized Western language materials on Japanese studies. UNC-Chapel Hill takes primary responsibility for titles printed in China, particularly those related to history, literature, and religion, and specialized titles on Chinese studies in Western languages. Duke emphasizes Chinese imprints dealing with contemporary popular culture, the social sciences, and art history. Duke has also begun to acquire Korean imprints.

D. Europe: There are divisions of responsibility for a few subject disciplines, such as the history of the French Revolution. There are also assigned responsibilities for French regional history, with Duke taking northern France; UNC-Chapel Hill, southern France. Duke relies on UNC-Chapel Hill for specialized linguistic and didactic materials.

E. Latin America: Duke is responsible for collecting research-level materials from Mexico, Central America, the British West Indies, Brazil, and the Andean region; UNC-Chapel Hill focuses on the Spanish and French-speaking Caribbean, Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Paraguay.

F. Middle East: Duke, UNC-Chapel Hill, and NCSU collaborate to build a unified research collection for Middle East and Islamic collections, including materials in regional languages (Arabic, Persian, and Turkish). The elimination of unnecessary duplication constitutes an important secondary goal of this agreement, although duplication in core curricular areas should not and cannot be avoided. These collecting responsibilities are based on the following considerations: concentrating collections by language rather than subject area facilitates both collecting and circulation; the concentration of faculty interested in Persian language materials at UNC; and the smaller size and more undergraduate-focused Middle East-related programs at NCSU demand fewer research materials in Middle East languages. Hebrew and Israeli materials are not covered by a cooperative agreement as of March 2010.

Western Languages
Duke collects North African (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt) imprints and materials from the Levant (Lebanon, Syria). The responsibility for Arabic and francophone imprints goes to Duke. Responsibility for Sub-Saharan imprints remains with UNC.

No division of responsibility for US and international imprints is recommended for the whole Middle East. Selectors at UNC, Duke, and NCSU should consult with each other before acquiring expensive items ($100+), including monographs, sets, microform sets, DVDs, etc. Exception: Reference materials.

Regional Languages
Duke collects broadly from all Arabic speaking countries, including Arabic materials from Israel. UNC and NCSU, based on faculty suggestions and recommendations, cover curricular needs only.

UNC acquires materials centered around faculty and graduate student research, including, but not limited to, texts of 11th to 14th century classical Persian Islamic literature and works by contemporary key Iranian reformers. The responsibility for building and maintaining a Persian collection at UNC that can adequately serve scholars at all three institutions is assigned to a librarian with requisite language and area expertise. Duke limits acquisitions to core reference titles, but continues to buy Iranian films. NCSU buys minimally, restricted to core reference materials, curricular needs, or by request only.

Duke acquires to build a research level collection in selected subject areas, currently focusing on literature, film, history (Ottoman Empire), ethnic minorities, and Islam. UNC and NCSU acquire based on curricular needs and by requests only.

Special Collections/Formats
UNC collects documentary films from the Middle East. Selectors are urged not to duplicate microform sets, electronic databases, or films with public performance rights unless they are core to the collection or core to curricular needs.

G. Russia and Eastern Europe: Duke collects materials in the Polish language. UNC-Chapel Hill is responsible for titles published in the Czech and Slovak Republics, Bulgaria, Hungary, and the territories of the former Yugoslavia. In terms of Russian materials, UNC-Chapel Hill emphasizes medieval, eighteenth and nineteenth century history, literature, and twentieth century Russian publications. Collection responsibilities for twentieth century Russian materials overlap in most areas, except for economics, a field in which Duke is building the research collection. In 2013, the two institutions implemented a single-copy cooperative collection development program for Russian literature and literary criticism.

H. South Asia: Duke has the research collections on South Asia. For English-language materials, UNC-Chapel Hill supports teaching and basic research; NCSU, undergraduate instruction; and NCCU, basic information. In terms of vernacular languages, Duke, NCSU and UNC-Chapel Hill are building cooperative monographic collections in Bengali, Farsi/Persian, Hindi, Urdu, and Tamil. They are also cooperating on the acquisition of serials, non-print materials, and microforms.
III. Cooperatively Licensed Electronic Resources:
The TRLN Electronic Resources Committee (ERC) includes representation from Duke, NCCU, NCSU, and UNC-Chapel Hill. The committee coordinates the lease or purchase of licensed electronic journals and database products, adhering to the principles of controlling costs, increasing and sharing access, and maintaining control over collection management.

--Revised April 2015--

Triangle Research Libraries Network  CB#3940 Wilson Library, Suite 712 Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890
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Page maintained by Patti Pittman
last updated April 14, 2015