Skip to Content
Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
Art & Art History Department, School of Fine Arts

Prepared by Michael Young, DATE: October 30, 2003
DRAFT for review by the Art & Art History Department


The purpose of this Collection Development and Access Plan is threefold. First, it is a tool for the Library to become better informed of the information and data needs of academic programs on campus. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs of these programs. Third, it is hoped that this plan will provide the faculty and the library staff a base for dialog concerning future information needs and areas for cooperation. This plan follows the broad guidelines established in Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market: A Framework for the University of Connecticut Libraries, issued by the Chancellor's Library Advisory Committee in March 1999, and the FY 2003 update, Library Collecting for a Digital Age: An FY 2003 Update to Ownership and Access in a Global Information Market.


  1. Characteristics of the Community
  2. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns
  3. Current Patterns of Information Service
  4. Emerging Choices

I. Characteristics of the Community

The Art and Art History Department encompasses two courses of study quite different in nature: studio based design courses and lecture- and seminar-based initiation into the rigors of humanistic art scholarship.

  • Degrees and concentrations offered:
    Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art: Communication Design Concentration (Once known as “commercial art”), Illustration Concentration, Painting Concentration, Photography Concentration, Printmaking Concentration, Sculpture Concentration

Bachelor of Arts in Art History Master of Fine Arts in Studio Art Master of Arts in Art History planned to begin in Fall, 2005

  • Number of faculty
    28 full-time faculty in the Department of Art and Art history Including the Department Head as well as 4 FTE equivalent adjunct faculty and 10 graduate assistants. Three positions are joint appointments with University Institutes: Women's Studies, Asian American Studies, and African American Studies.
  • Majors and graduate students by degree sought
    Art Majors (B.F.A): 238 Art History Majors (B.F.A.): 47 Fine Arts Graduate Students (M.F.A.): 9
  • Faculty research interests include:
    Medieval Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Nineteenth Century Art, Latin American and Caribbean Art, Indian Art, and Contemporary Art. Additionally, history of the discipline and of art criticism in general is a principal focus of recent scholarship (it is in fact a major component of the Master of Arts in Art History program to be launch at the University of Connecticut in Fall, 2005).

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

Allocated funds for monographs and journals: $48,000
Expenditures for relevant networked services: $11,000

Networked Services: Electronic indexing, abstracting, and full-text services purchased by the Library’s Networked Services budget (not reflected in the above figures) which primarily (or in some cases significantly) support research in Art and Art History include: Avery Index to Architectural Periodicals, Arts and Humanities Index, Project Muse, Lexis/Nexis Academic, JSTOR, Wilson OmniFile: Full Text Mega Edition (in particular Art Retrospective and Art Abstracts), (For a more complete list consult the Art and Art History Resources by Subject page at: /research/bysubject/arts.htm

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature

    Art and Art History students and faculty rely heavily upon abundantly illustrated print journals and monographs. These are among the disciplines least affected by the migration of scholarly literature from print to electronic formats. Their scholarly monographs and journals are, with few exceptions, available only in print, and even where electronic resources are available, poor image quality makes them of limited usefulness. The persisting preponderance of print formats in Art and Art History is also due to the superior image quality in print and the lack of an economic incentive for digitizing the older scholarly literature, which has retained its value over time, and has recently become a subject of research in its own right.

    Monographs are often oversize in format, profusely illustrated, printed in small editions, and expensive. Students in both studio and Art History classes rely upon high quality illustrations of works of art, most of which are still to be found only in print formats.

    However, on-line subscription-based image databases are under development particularly as a convenient source of images for websites, Power Point presentations, and lectures, for study by art and art history students.

  2. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      Purchases of monographs and journal subscriptions are in large part determined by the research interests of the faculty and course offerings. Faculty research interests include: Medieval Art, Renaissance and Baroque Art, Nineteenth Century Art, Latin American and Caribbean Art, Indian Art, and Contemporary Art. To provide studio students with a satisfactory lexicon of study images, an effort is made to collect the most important books even in areas outside of faculty research interests and course offerings.

    2. Acquisition Strategies
      1. Monographs

        The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the notify slips services of Yankee Book Peddler, based on a profile that is broad in coverage for Art and Art History. Publishers who do not to discount to Yankee or produce less than five titles a year are not covered. In addition, catalogs from publishers and reviews from various sources are consulted for other materials that might be added to the collections. Specific suggestions from library users, including students and faculty, are always given full consideration.

        Textbooks, popular reading, guide books, examinations, laboratory manuals; software and hardware manuals are generally not collected. Dissertations must be specifically requested for purchased.

      2. Yankee Approval Plan Publishers: see profile at
      3. Other sources regularly reviewed for monographic selection: notify slips from Puvill, Harrassowitz and Casalini. In addition, the Library has established a small art approval plan for materials from Latin America and the Caribbean.
      4. Journals

        New journal subscriptions in Art and Art History are generally ordered pursuant to a student or faculty request. The Library requires special justification, or evidence of demand from our document delivery statistics, to consider titles from for-profit publishers known for rapidly increasing the subscription costs of their titles. Also, addition of new titles will likely require trade-offs (i.e., cancellations) of currently held titles. (See section Access Development, Acquisition Strategies: Electronic Journals for discussion of electronic journals).

      5. Other Media

        Both studio and art history faculty have expressed interest in building a stronger collection of films for use as documentaries or as works of art in their own right. All reasonably priced faculty requests are ordered, as are expensive titles when proper justification (heavy anticipated use, appeal to constituencies outside the department) is provided. When Both DVD and VHS are available, the former is favored for purchase, as it is believed to be the more durable medium.

  3. Access Development

    In order to assist Art and Art History researchers to locate the research materials they need, the Library will use a combination of local collections, licensed electronic products, subject and program-based web links, current awareness services, and document delivery and interlibrary loan.

    1. Relevant Indexes, Abstracts, Library Catalogs and Bibliographic Utilities

      The current compliment of general electronic indexing, abstracting, full-text services, and current awareness services as well as those specific to Art and Art History (see section Current Library Expenditures, Networked Services) provided by the Library will require augmentation to meet the above stated objective, once the Master of Arts in Art History Program is inaugurated in Fall, 2005. At that time, online subscriptions to the Bibliography of the History of Art and RILA should be purchased.

    2. Other Internet-based resources

      The Art and Art History Library Liaison maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for Art and Art History, including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources located at: /research/bysubject/arts.htm

      The liaison welcomes comments on improvements to the page and/or additional sites, which should be listed.

    3. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan

      DD/ILL is an integral part of all our collection development and access plans. DD/ILL data is actively considered in relation to both journal purchase decisions and collection budget planning.

IV. Emerging Choices

Image Databases

The most significant library purchases for Art and Art History in the near future will be subscriptions to on-line image databases, of which the likeliest candidate is ARTstor, which is now being tested in a pilot version at select institutions. More information about its time of release will be available in January, 2004. This is a resource that has potentially wide appeal throughout the university, as it will be a source of images for Web sites, Powerpoint presentations and lectures.

Master of Arts in Art History

With the inauguration of the Master of Arts in Art History in Fall, 2005, there will be a need to consider some new journal subscriptions to support teaching and research in this area (twenty-six journal subscriptions have recently been cancelled), and to intensify collecting in the areas of art criticism and critical theory.

DVDs and Videos

Because of a generalized interest in contemporary art and filmmaking among studio faculty and students, and a preponderance of Art History faculty specializing and teaching contemporary art, a marked increase in the purchase of DVDs and videos is anticipated in the immediate future. This will require planning and foresight to avoid adverse effects on monograph purchases.

The future of collecting to support Art and Art History in a changing information economy
Both continuing inflation in the unit cost of print and electronic publications, and expanding demand for new products and services are anticipated. The Libraries do not expect the University to solve this problem by increasing the Libraries' share of limited University resources. The Libraries hope for a continuation of the current level of support, but cannot regard it as guaranteed. Increasingly though, measures of user behavior: circulation by classification and patron affiliation; database use; and ILL/document delivery activity will play a role in budget decision-making.

The significant evolution in collection development and access patterns requires enhanced communication between library staff and the faculty and students they serve. Ongoing dialogue will help ensure that the best choices are being made and that users are knowledgeable about emerging kinds of library resources in terms of access and intelligent use and the risks involved in some of these choices. The Library Liaison Program will continue to be the primary vehicle for this kind of contact.