A STATEMENT ON COLLECTION DEVELOPMENT SUPPORTING RESEARCH AND COURSE-WORK ON IBERIAN AND IBERO-AMERICAN TOPICS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MINNESOTA LIBRARIES
In the context of this statement, Iberian means Spain and Portugal, and Ibero-American means the Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking nations of the Americas. The responsibilities of the librarians in charge of collection development for these areas (as well as the fund that he/she manages) have traditionally extended to Portuguese-speaking Africa, and to Spanish-speaking peoples in the United States, thus we have included them.
The Collections at the University of Minnesota Libraries
The University of Minnesota Libraries has acquired in the course of the years considerable holdings on the Portuguese and Spanish speaking worlds. The James Ford Bell Library has a remarkable collection of original sources on the American conquests and settlements of the Spaniards and the Portuguese, and on the activities of Catholic missionaries in those areas from the 15th to the 18th centuries. The special collections and rare book library, and the Wangensteen Library, own many remarkable titles related to Iberian and Ibero-American topics. At the Government Publications Library and at the Law School Library, extensive collections of Ibero-American materials can be found - the censuses of Brazil, and Organization of American States publications in the former, and constitutions and legal codices from Spain, Portugal, the Spanish American republics and Brazil (as well as publications of human rights organizations) in the latter. The John R. Borchert Map Library holds a comprehensive collection of 1:50,000 topographical maps of Iberia and Ibero-America. The Wilson Library's Periodical collection holds over four hundred (400) titles from or about the Spanish and Portuguese speaking worlds, and this library presently has standing orders for ten (10) newspapers in Iberian languages (including La Prensa of Minneapolis, the mouthpiece for the Spanish-speaking community in the Twin Cities area).
Responsibilities of the Librarian for Iberian and Ibero-American studies
Primary responsibility for collection development on Iberia and Ibero-America is under the Librarian for Iberian and Ibero-American studies, who manages a fund (3440) for the acquisition of documents; monographs, periodicals, and educational electronic and audio-visual materials. The monographs include both those received in approval plans and those acquired through single orders. The disciplines included are literature, linguistics, political science, social anthropology, human geography, sociology, political economy, and history. Publications from twenty five (25) nation states and two (2) "territories" where Spanish or Portuguese are spoken, as well as publications by major presses in the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, and electronic and audio-visual sources, are collected by the Librarian for Iberian and Ibero-American studies with one fund allocated to this area.
Faculty and Students whose Research is Supported
Collection development in Iberian and Ibero-American studies supports the research and course work of faculty and students in the departments of anthropology, economics, geography, history, political science, sociology, Spanish and Portuguese, and Chicano studies, as well as Latin American studies in the Institute of International studies. Among the above, the largest constituencies are in the departments of history, and Spanish and Portuguese, and Latin American studies in the Institute of International studies. The Department of Spanish and Portuguese has ten (10) full-time faculty members (as well as several instructors and adjuncts), fifty-two (52) Ph.D. candidates, forty-nine (49) master degree candidates, and two hundred (200) undergraduate majors. The Department of History has five (5) full-time faculty members, eleven (11) Ph.D. candidates, and twelve (12) majors. The Latin American studies program in the Institute of International studies draws its faculty from various departments. The faculty teaching in this program adds to a roster of 36. As of April 10, 1996, the number of students in this program was 47 majors and 27 minors. This is the concentration in the Institute of International studies with the largest number of candidates (compared against European Area studies with 13 majors and 4 minors; Russian Area studies with 33 majors and 8 minors; South Asian/Middle Eastern studies with 12 majors and 2 minors; and East Asian studies with 34 majors and 38 minors).
Weaknesses in the Collections and Difficulties of Collection in this Area
As stated above, the University of Minnesota Libraries has fine collections of materials from or about the Iberian and Ibero-American nations, but it has a few striking weaknesses. It does not own current congressional papers for any Spanish or Portuguese speaking nation - although it has a rare microfiche collection of the proceedings of the Spanish Cortes from 1810 to 1922 - and it has complete censuses for only a few of the countries in this area. Furthermore, it is possible for a "fine collection", if current materials are not acquired on account of insufficient funding, to become an outdated collection. Collection development for such a vast area has become a daunting undertaking, given the continuous increase in publishing activity and book prices. According to the Bowker Annual for 1995 (p.527), in 1992 Argentina published 5,628 titles, Spain 41,816, Venezuela 3,879, and Chile 1,820. In 1991, Portugal published 6,430, Colombia 1,481, Uruguay 1,143, Peru 1,063, and Cuba 1,017. In 1990 the output for Mexico was 2,608 titles.
Collection development activities of other collection development librarians overlap with those of the Librarian for Iberian and Ibero-American studies. Individuals occupying the following positions have agreed to cover topics on Iberia and Ibero-America related to their subject areas. The Government Publications Librarian will collect publications of the United Nation's Economic Commission for Latin America, and the complete censuses of Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. The Law Library selector will collect constitutions, civil codices and legislation, Organization of American States documents, and human rights publications. The Art Librarian and the Music Librarian will collect materials in their subject areas related to Iberia and Ibero-America. The Anthropology Librarian will collect archeological publications; the Political Science Librarian will collect comparative studies, and all on the relations of the United States with Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking nations; the History of the Americas Librarian will collect materials on the history of those relations and comparative studies. The Geography and Maps Librarian will collect physical geography, maps, atlases, and travel guides. The Librarian for Literatures in English will collect works by Hispanos/Latinos/Chicanos who write in English. The Librarian for Agriculture will collect works in English on tropical agriculture and economic development. The Librarian for Rural Sociology will collect works in English on that subject. The Librarian for Classic Studies will collect works on Roman Hispania. The Business Librarian will collect business oriented titles in English related to Iberia and Ibero-America, such as the Economist's annual country reports. The Reference Collections Librarian will collect general reference works in Spanish and Portuguese.
One way of dealing with increasing costs and publishing output is to renounce to the goal of owning everything and to focus on maintaining present strengths in the collections, and supporting the research needs of faculty and students. The approval plan for books in English, and those for books from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, allow for the maintenance of a comprehensive collecting level of works in literature, history, and the social sciences published in those countries and in the United States. A collection development policy focusing on supporting research and course work on Iberia and Ibero-America at the University of Minnesota would emphasize certain geographical and disciplinary areas where our limited resources could be used to develop a selective comprehensive or research collection.
After canvassing faculty members and looking at listings of courses offered, I concluded that geographical areas of greatest interest to faculty and students interested in Iberia or Ibero-America are Spain, Brazil, Mexico, and the Spanish Caribbean, and to a lesser extent Portugal, Argentina, Chile, and Central America. The first three should be supported at a comprehensive level (and Argentina for historical reasons), while the Spanish Caribbean, Chile, Central America (and Portuguese history and literature between 1497 and 1821) should be supported at a research level. The Andean countries (Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia), Uruguay and Paraguay (as well as the social sciences in 19th and 20th century Spain and Portugal) could be covered at a teaching level of books in English and publications of major commercial and academic presses.
Within the geographic areas mentioned above, the history and literature of Spain from the consolidation of the Visigothic kingdom around 500 A.D. until the Napoleonic invasion of 1808 should be covered at a comprehensive level, while succeeding periods can be covered at a research level. Politics and the other social sciences as they relate to Spain could be covered at a teaching level. Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico should be covered at a comprehensive level in history, literature, and the social sciences from the Columbian encounter to the present (the pre-Columbian culture, mostly covered in archeological literature will be covered in coordination with the Anthropology Librarian). The history and literature of Portugal, the Spanish Caribbean, Chile, and Central America (and history and literature for 19th and 20th century Spain) should be covered at a research level. The history and literature of the rest of Spanish America could be covered at a teaching level. The social sciences for the Spanish Caribbean, Chile and Central America should be covered at a research level, while the social sciences for Portugal could be covered at a teaching level. The social sciences for the Andean countries, Uruguay, and Paraguay could also be covered at a teaching level. Given the increasing awareness in women issues and indigenous cultures after the Columbian encounter, those subjects should be collected at a research level across geographical lines.
There is a Department of Chicano Studies, and the University Libraries ought to support its research and course work. The Librarian for Iberian and Ibero-American studies will collect on this subject at a teaching level (the Librarian for Literatures in English will collect works by Hispanos/Latinos/Chicanos who write literature in English). A member of the faculty in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese does research on Portuguese Africa, and a member of the faculty in the Department of History does research on the history of that area, therefore, the Librarian for Iberian and Ibero-American studies will collect on the history and the literature of Portuguese Africa at a teaching level.
All the above considerations have been based on the existing research needs and course work during the academic year 1995-1996. A collection development policy is not a record engraved in stone, and it can be modified, judiciously, if faculty and student needs change.
Concerning finances, I want to finish this collection development statement with a brief exposition of the present financing of collection development in Iberian and Ibero-American topics, and what I perceive as needed support in order to keep at least some aspects of our collection at comprehensive and research levels.
The funding for Ibero-America studies collection development (fund 3440) is impressive at first sight. But after subtracting monies committed to serials, and to the approval plan for books in English printed in the United States, and for books from Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico, the sum remaining is not much to cover the book output on this area as a subject in Great Britain, France, Italy, and Germany, as well as the books printed in the remaining Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries. We have made reference above to one way of dealing with this situation - to concentrate on the disciplines and geographic areas where actual research is being done - this, however, cannot be carried to the extreme of not buying materials from or about a country, because there are regional research concerns.
There is a minimum funding necessary for collection development at an adequate level. From my experience of ten years in collection in Iberian and Ibero-American issues, a minimum of $30,000 a year is necessary to cover at a research level the original literature and literary criticism published in the major book producing countries in this area: Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, and Peru. At least $60,000 are necessary for a coverage of the major works in history and the social sciences produced in those countries annually.
Rafael E. Tarrago
Librarian for Iberian and
University of Minnesota Libraries
14 August 1996
Attached to this statement you will find:
1) Collection development policy and collecting levels.
2) Names of faculty members interested in Iberian or
Iberian or Ibero-American studies contacted by the
Librarian for this area.
3)Memo of April 10, 1996 on majors and minors in the
Institute of International Studies
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