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Library Collections Policy

The policy, strategy, and criteria for acquiring items for the Library are described here. All collections held at LSE in the Library have been recognised for their outstanding national and international importance and awarded 'Designation' status by the Arts Council (formerly Museums Libraries and Archives Council).

Principles of Collection Policy

The Library aims to acquire collection materials in support of teaching, learning and research at LSE. In addition, the Library collections provide a resource of national and international importance for researchers working in the social sciences.

Materials are selected on the basis of their subject content, following the collection development policies which are agreed in consultation with the academic community of the School.

The Library will give priority to acquiring materials in electronic format where this gives:

  • enhanced service quality for our users in terms of access and use of the material
  • value for money for the School
  • appropriate assurances of long-term access to the content

The Library is committed to collecting, preserving and making available the digital research output of LSE, including theses, research papers, and research data.

The Library is mindful of its role as an archival collection for the social sciences. Where the principles set out above cannot be met through the acquisition of materials in electronic format alone, a copy in print format will be acquired.

The Library collects significant material in the social sciences on a worldwide basis, paying particular attention to the integrated and interdisciplinary approach of the School. The interdisciplinary nature of the social sciences and its publications means that the boundaries of any particular subject or discipline cannot be easily determined and described in isolation. For the purpose of collection development, a 'core area' of specialisation within the social sciences is defined for intensive collection.

Within this core area collection is to research level, i.e. to a level where independent research in the published sources can be pursued. Politics, economics and social studies form the nucleus which embraces, for example, the political, economic and social aspects of anthropology, geography, law and philosophy.

Aspects of these and other subjects which fall outside the 'core' may be excluded (eg. physical anthropology and geography), or collected more selectively to research level (eg. sociolinguistics).