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History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Collection: General

Date Revised: March 2014; June 2016

Subject Librarian: Ruth Lewis

1. General purpose:

Support for research and teaching at Washington University Danforth Campus.   This is not a department or even a program, major or minor, but there are relevant classes and interested faculty and students in several departments at the university, including Philosophy, PNP, Biology, Physics, History, Romance Languages and Literatures, and probably others. There is a presence in the College of Arts and Sciences, see .  There is also a Center for History of Medicine at the School of Medicine. A Minor in Medical Humanities was added in fall, 2015.

2. Collection strategy:

Prior to fall 2015: There was no firm order budget line or automatic shipment profile for history of science.   It appears that adequate coverage for recent monographs comes via profiles that are active in history and other fields.  The subject librarian reviews “slip” titles on YPB  and occasionally consults about a particularly well-reviewed title with a faculty member,  but almost all book orders are placed in response to a request from a faculty member or student.  The Neureuther fund is used  for that purpose. [In fy 13 there were 5 book titles ordered plus another 6 titles paid from a small gift designated for history of science.  In fy12 10 books titles were ordered.]

In fy16 a budget line was assigned for firm order acquisitions.  Selections are still primarily by request from faculty and graduate students.

3. Journals and databases;

  • There is one database "paid" by history of science: History of science, technology, and medicine.Cost is shared 50/50 with the medical library.
  • There are few standing orders designated history of science, for example:
    • Canadian bulletin of medical history = Bulletin canadien d'histoire de la médecine.
    • Historisk-filosofiske meddelelser
    • History of science
    • Medicina nei secoli
    • Medizinhistorisches Journal
  • In the area of journal access, significant coverage is also provided by related disciplines, for example:
    • British journal for the history of science, funded Philosophy
    • Social studies of science, funded Social Work
    • History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences, funded Biology
    • Philosophy of Science, funded PNP
    • Studies in history and philosophy of science. Part C, Studies in history and philosophy of biological and biomedical sciences, paid at Becker Medical Library

(This is not a comprehensive list.)