Collection Development Philosophy

January 8, 2019

In support of its mission, the University of Oregon Libraries collects and makes available an ample record of human knowledge, culture, and expression across a wide range of formats. The library endeavors to provide materials and content that meet the needs of the University’s academic programs and the evolving research emphases of the University’s faculty, students, and researchers, while preserving an abundant scholarly legacy for future generations of inquirers. An overarching commitment to diversity, intellectual freedom, social justice, and other core values, informs the library’s collection development work. 

The library intends to acquire materials at a breadth, depth, and quality appropriate to the manifold information needs of the University’s faculty, students, and researchers. As much as possible, we base our acquisition decisions on expressed, demonstrated, or presumed needs to support research and instruction, in compliance with discipline-specific collection development policies. Because the amount of intellectual and cultural material of potential interest is understandably vast and impossible to acquire in its entirety, the library supplements its available resources through regional resource-sharing partnerships, collaborative collection development initiatives, and participation in national consortia dedicated to preserving, disseminating, and sharing research materials and content.

In an environment inextricably connected to digital information technologies, the library is committed to providing its community with access to the wealth of resources in electronic form, as well as preserving these resources for future users whenever possible. The library leverages its partnerships to make valued digital collections accessible to the academic community, and applies endowed funds and grant funds to help augment targeted areas of the collection.  In addition, the library supports and advocates for open-access publishing in order to extend the range of resources it can offer and to improve the sustainability of scholarly communication.

With a mission to acquire, preserve, and make available a clearly defined, diverse set of primary sources for research and teaching, the library is also the repository for the University's archives, rare books, historic photographs, and one of the largest historical manuscripts collections in the Pacific Northwest.  As a key unit within the state’s flagship institution, the library maintains and makes available curated collections about the written, visual, and audio history and culture of Oregon, the Pacific Northwest, and selected aspects of American and world history.