Library Depository Selection Guidelines


Item by item selection is extremely time­ and labor­-intensive so we must rely, insofar as possible, on selection criteria that can be mechanically applied to identify candidate materials for transfer to the Library Depository. Candidate materials can then be reviewed on an exception basis by subject specialists in consultation with faculty.

Operating assumptions

  • Items to be transferred to the Depository from open stack collections must be accessible through the public online catalog.
  • Efforts will be made to retain in open stacks materials that are unlikely to be identified through subject and keyword searches.
  • Monographic items requested three (3) times in a 12­ month period will be automatically returned to open stacks.
  • Because mechanical selection criteria do not take into account changing program needs and may not reflect the need to retain core on­site collections, as program needs change or as items are determined to need to be on­site, these will be returned to open stacks


From Collections in Open Stacks

The following classes of materials will be considered for transfer to the Library Depository. Subject specialists, in consultation with faculty, may recommend to the Head of Collection Development specific titles to be excepted from these general transfer criteria:

  • Monographic titles cataloged 10 years ago or before that have not circulated
  • Monographic titles published 35 years ago or before that have not circulated
  • Monographic titles published 25 years ago or before that have not circulated in the last seven years
  • Print periodicals that ceased publication 10 or more years ago
  • Annuals and other non­circulating volumes dating from 20 or more years ago
  • Print runs of serial titles prior to specific dates
    • Science/Engineering: those dating from 15 or more years ago
    • Social Sciences: those dating from 20 or more years ago
    • Arts and Humanities (including History): those dating from 20 or more years ago
  • Print and microform back file volumes within online collections such as JSTOR or ProjectMuse from which a publisher’s embargo has been lifted
  • Print and microform back file volumes for which electronic access has been acquired in the past year
  • Duplicate titles between the Science & Engineering Library and Paley Library


Other materials may be considered periodically for potential transfer to the Library Depository such as:

  • Books and journals forming disciplinary sub­collections that are not of immediate relevance to current programs.
  • Materials that are vulnerable to theft or that are in a physical condition that would benefit from the controlled environment and security of the Depository.


From Special Collections in Closed Stacks

Manuscript and archival collections as well as selected printed materials from the Libraries' various "special collections" departments and units including Urban Archives, Rare Books & Manuscripts, Conwellana­Templana, and Contemporary Culture Collection have also been designated for the Library Depository.  Selections are determined collection by collection, item by item as necessary, using the following criteria:

  • size of collection,
  • preservation requirements,
  • amount of use,
  • processing status,
  • physical condition
  • security concerns.


Policy history:  Adopted November 2006 Dean of Libraries.

Comments or questions concerning this page should be directed to the Senior Associate University Librarian.

last reviewed 25 June 2013 by Jonathan LeBreton