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A Guide to Religious Studies

Collection Development Policy

Washington University in St. Louis

Collection Development Policy

Library: Olin

Subject: Religious Studies

Collection: General

Date Revised: April 14, 2014

Subject Librarian: Michael Schaefer


1. General purpose:

To support the research and teaching of the faculty and students in the Religious Studies program and the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics.The Religious Studies program draws on faculty from various departments such as History, JINELC, EALC, Classics, RLL, English, with affiliated faculty from many other departments.The Danforth Center’s faculty have research interests in all areas of American culture that touch on religion and politics.


2. Subjects excluded:

No relevant subjects are excluded, although religions covered by area studies are typically covered by those areas, such as Judaism, Islam, and east Asian religions.



3. Overlap with other collections or subjects:

Overlaps may be seen with all subjects from which the Religious Studies program draws faculty.



4. Languages included and excluded:

Primarily English, but other languages will be acquired as needed.



5. Geographical limitations:

None, except Judaism, Islam, and east Asian religions which are covered by JINELC and EALC.



6. Chronological limits:



7. Retrospective acquisition:

There is no systemic plan to acquire retrospective materials.Retrospective materials needed by faculty or students will be ordered as needed.



8. Types of material collected and excluded:

Focus is on scholarly, academic treatments of topics in religion. Selective, high-quality popular treatments may also be acquired.Primary source material as identified by the faculty, such as documentary source collections, are collected as needed.Textbooks are excluded unless requested by faculty.Devotional or pastoral ministry materials are excluded.



9. Other factors to consider:

The recent (2010) establishment of the Danforth Center on Religion and Politics, and the hiring of a permanent director for the Danforth Center in 2011, has increased the need to strengthen the collection.As the Center recruits new faculty, areas of research interest may be identified for increased attention.A recent example is the hiring of a senior faculty member who is a specialist in Mormon history, a subject in which we have not typically collected at a high level.Also, the Danforth Center’s faculty have very broad interests, and many of the materials they require fall into other subject areas, such as American history.



10. Subjects and Collecting Levels:

Research level for BL-BX excluding Judaism, Islam, and east Asian religions which are covered by JINELC and EALC.