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University of Connecticut University Libraries

Collection Development and Access Plan:
Judaic Studies

Prepared by Sandy Gallup, DATE: March 2002
DRAFT for review by the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life


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 the Judaic Studies programs. Second, it will outline how existing local collections, networked electronic services, and document delivery services are being utilized to meet the bibliographic needs. Third, it may 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 interdisciplinary programs in Judaic Studies are administered through the Center for Judaic Studies and Contemporary Jewish Life. Teaching faculty for the program have responsibilities in several departments of the University: Sociology, History, Modern and Classical Languages, and Philosophy. Courses offered by the faculty primarily support the Master's degree in Judaic Studies, but there are growing enrollments in basic Judaic Studies course offerings, such as the Bible course, and a minor in Religion has been approved.

Student population is primarily on the Storrs campus. Historically there has been a student population based on the Hartford campus working in the program. Some graduate courses are taught as part of a consortium arrangement with the University of Hartford and Trinity College. A separate certificate in Judaic Studies, focusing primarily on the literature of the discipline, is offered on the Stamford campus.

The Center for Judaic Studies introduces students to the culture and civilization of the Jewish people. The Masters program offers an opportunity for scholarship through philosophical, historical, literary, theoretical and empirical approaches to the field of Judaic Studies. Emerging areas of interest are in the period of Hellenistic Judaism and the ancient Mediterranean world. The approved minor in Religion will increase interest in materials on comparative religion and on religious studies as a discipline.

Degrees and concentrations offered

B.A. in Judaic Studies
M.A. in Judaic Studies
Undergraduate minor in Religion with concentration in Judaic Studies
Number of faculty and distribution across the system
6 Faculty and 7 Adjunct Faculty
Numbers of undergraduate majors and graduate students by degree sought
Masters students enrolled (2001-2002): 6
Representative enrollments from Fall 2000 are: HEB/JUDS 397/1 - 7 students; JUDS 397/2 - 4 students; HEB/JUDS 397/3 - 3 students; HEB/JUDS 397/4 - 3 students

II. Collections Budget Expenditure Patterns

Allocated funds for monographs and journals:

Judaic Studies: (HIJUDA) $15,591.00
Serials: $2,313.00
Interdisciplinary: $35,000.00

Large amounts of the collection development budget are designated to a variety of other discipline areas that strongly support study and teaching in Judaic Studies such as History, Sociology and Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies.

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 Judaic Studies include: ATLA, Sociological Abstracts, MLA, Academic Universe, Infotrac ,and JSTOR. Other electronic products are networked locally within the library: Encyclopedia Judaica, Soncino Classics Collection, Bar-Ilan Responsa Collection, Complete Torah CDRom Library, Encyclopedia Talmudit. For a more complete list consult the Judaic Studies Resources by Subject page at: /research/bysubject/juda.htm

III. Current Patterns of Information Service

  1. Characteristics of the Literature

    The program in Judaic Studies, as an interdisciplinary field, follows the characteristics of the related subject fields it crosses, most notably History, Sociology, Philosophy, Literature and Classical Languages. Aspects of Judaic Studies, which deal with historical and literary studies, require monographic and primary source materials for its research. Other aspects of the program rely more heavily on journal literature and statistical information. Judaic Studies also has a need for research materials in Hebrew and Yiddish.

  2. Collection Development
    1. Areas of Focus

      The collecting emphasis is on history and literature of the Jews from biblical times to the present. Collection building has been heavily oriented toward print materials. Where they exist, some electronic texts have been purchased to support Judaic Studies in CDROM format. Some core materials needed to support the Master's Program are out of print or difficult to obtain and students need to rely on Document Delivery services to supplement local collections.

      The graduate program in Judaic Studies is a relatively young program at the University that requires an ongoing focus on retrospective purchases to build the collection to an acceptable level. Recognizing that many titles will be out of print and unobtainable, the use of interlibrary loan and document delivery is an important service of support for providing materials to Judaic Studies scholars.

      The ownership and access strategy for Judaic Studies must take a multi-phased approach, seeking current monographs and retrospective materials, preserving the materials in our collections, purchasing electronic versions of text where available, and using online indexing and abstracting for current information. Strategies for Judaic Studies will work in concert with strategies chosen by related subject disciplines.

      The acquisition of foreign language materials (Hebrew and Yiddish) creates special challenges since it often requires identifying and working with diverse foreign vendors

    2. Acquisition Strategies: Monographs

      The University of Connecticut Libraries uses the approval plan services of Yankee Book Peddler, the Library's primary domestic book supplier, to supply the bulk of new monographs. Books are received based on a profile that is limited in coverage for Judaic Studies. Notify slips are provided for items that fall outside the profile but which may be of interest. Some titles are selected and ordered from these slips. Publishers who do not 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.

      Other sources regularly reviewed for monographic selection:

      Catalogs and websites that specialize in Judaic studies or history
      Recommendations are received from faculty and graduate students
      Selective checking of bibliographies and previous publications of special authors.
    3. Acquisitions Strategies: Journals

      New journal subscriptions in Judaic Studies are generally ordered pursuant to a faculty or student 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).

    4. Acquisitions Strategies: Other Media

      Materials is other formats that may be acquired include:

      A variety of classic texts have been purchased in CDRom format. Despite the technological barriers to networking texts on CDRom this is often the only way the Library can provide local access to such out-of-print materials as well as provide for hypertext analysis capabilities. CD-ROMs frequently accompany monographic purchases and are purchased as a matter of course. This format is often the only means to acquire out of print materials and large data sets into the collection. Unless they contain unique data and belong in the Reference Department, most CD-ROMs circulate. Their shelf life is unknown.

      Videos are generally ordered pursuant to requests from faculty. Their shelf life is unknown, but with the advent and increasing accessibility of DVD technology, it may be considered to be increasingly limited.

      Microformat materials are acquired pursuant to requests from faculty or students and then only when the paper resources are prohibitively expensive or do not exist. Additionally, with constant increases in electronic accessibility, these materials may languish while the electronic resources are being used.

  3. Access Development

    In order to assist Judaic Studies 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.

    Given the dispersed population of students engaged in Judaic studies, networking of electronic resources, when this is possible, is an important aspect of collection building to enable sharing of information among Hartford, Stamford and Storrs.

    1. Acquisitions Strategies: 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 Judaic Studies provided by the Library seems sufficient to meet the above stated objective. All are electronically accessible and are accessible via hyperlinks from various webpages on the University of Connecticut Libraries’ servers; all are restricted to the University of Connecticut domain. Proxy server accounts provide access to these and other databases for faculty and students who are using internet service providers other than the University of Connecticut’s Computer Center. These sources taken collectively and used properly are adequate in providing access to the literature of the discipline. These sources are also essential for providing access to materials and literatures that cannot be browsed locally but can be obtained through document delivery / Interlibrary Loan. There are a few journals such as the Biblical Archaeology Review which are not well indexed by larger service, and access is primarily through a supplement to the BAR itself. Some facets of the field of Judaic Studies have very sparse indexing, which makes wider use of DD/ILL services difficult.
    2. Acquisitions Strategies: Electronic Journals, Books, and Data A variety of classic texts have been purchased in CDRom format. Despite the technological barriers to networking texts on CDRom this is often the only way the Library can provide local access to such out-of-print materials as well as provide for hypertext analysis capabilities.

      There are increasing demands for full-text access or at the very least a hooks-to-holdings from indexes, and products have been purchased that connect the traditional indexes to the library’s holdings. SilverPlatter’s SilverLinker, for example, permits users of the MLA International Bibliography to link to the holdings listed through the library’s OPAC and, occasionally, to full-text resources.

      The library expects many of our journal subscriptions will be exclusively electronic in the coming years. However, concern about the permanency or archival access may outweigh the virtues of distributed access. At present the Library prefers to consider relying exclusively on electronic provision from only a small number of not-for-profit suppliers, like JSTOR, which only offers backfiles, or Project Muse, from which we already get several titles that we do not duplicate in paper.

      Additionally, the Library’s electronic journal locator, eCompass, facilitates the identification of specific e-journal titles "owned" by the Library (i.e., accessible via the University internet domain, "".)

    3. Other Internet-based resources

      The Judaic Studies Library Liaison maintains a web page that organizes and promotes a wide range of electronic resources for Judaic Studies, including locally licensed indexing/abstracting services and full-text resources located at: /research/bysubject/juda.htm. The liaison welcomes comments on improvements to the page and/or additional sites which should be listed.

    4. Document Delivery/Interlibrary Loan The Document Delivery / Interlibrary Loan (DD/ILL) services are essential to the Judaic Studies researchers for materials that are out of print and not held locally. The data provided by DD/ILL are actively considered in relation to journal purchase decisions; at one time DD/ILL book request forms were examined and accessible monographs were purchased, and it is to be regretted that this can no longer be done.

IV. Emerging Choices

Research in Judaic Studies will continue to rely on both print monographs and journals to support academic and research pursuits for historical, literary and current information. Increasingly, electronic access to full-text electronic resources, including digital surrogates of print materials as well as journals, will provide faculty and students with information when and where it is needed.

Large databases of classic texts are becoming available and the acquisition of materials in this format offers several advantages as a collection building strategy: electronic collections enable us to acquire a large number of texts that are not available in print; when networked, the electronic texts are more widely available to students and faculty; the electronic versions will require less intensive preservation strategies than the paper volumes; less physical space is required to house the collection. Databases of Hebrew language texts often include an added value of special features for the search and presentation of text that would not be possible in print format.

Resource sharing options, facilitated through the Library's gateway connections to other users catalogs and websites, will play an increasingly significant role in providing researchers with access to essential materials that can not be purchased and held locally.

The future of collecting to support Judaic Studies 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.

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