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Retention and Disposal Policy

This section lays down general principles to guide decisions on retention and disposal of printed material from Main Collection stock. Procedures are in place for Course Collection material. Gifts are covered by the donations policy.


The chief criteria for retention of stock relate to its present and potential future importance for LSE teaching and research. The Library will therefore aim to keep material falling into the following categories:

  • Material required for teaching
  • High use material
  • Research material in 'core areas', as defined in the Library's collection development policies. Including material covered by any collaborative collection management scheme.

To date the Library is participating in the following:

  • BL Concordat (Western European Government publications)
  • Co-FoR (Russian and East European Studies)
  • SCOLMA (selected African materials)
  • Unique, rare or hard to obtain material.
  • Historically deposited collections, unless permission is given to dispose as the Library sees fit.

Disposal / Relegation to store

Disposal encompasses the removal of items to other appropriate Library collections or to the UK Research Reserve; relegation to low use store; offering to charitable book disposal firms for redistribution and/or recycling; and physical recycling of unwanted or unusable material. Material for disposal will normally be identified by the Collection Development Team.

All major (i.e. collection or part of collection) disposal decisions will require final approval by the Library Leadership Team (LLT).

Catalogue records for material approved for relegation or disposal will be altered or removed as appropriate. All items designated for disposal will be stamped as 'withdrawn' from stock.

The following factors will be taken in account in making decisions for disposal or relegation:

  • Documented feedback from consultation with academic staff.
  • Availability and accessibility in other London or M25 libraries.
  • LSE participation in collaborative collection management schemes.
  • Availability in electronic format, including access for non - LSE visitors.
  • Consultation with appropriate Library Service Groups and final approval of Library Leadership Team.

The relegation of stock to store will be supported by an active programme of digitisation to be planned and implemented by the Digital Library Team.