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Collection Development Policy: School of Architecture

Collection Development Policy: School of Architecture

Bibliographer: Frances Y. Scott

June 2003

Subject Content
Types of Materials Collected
Additional Selection Parameters
Electronic Resources
Related Areas of Research and Teaching at Rensselaer
Cooperative and Consortia Agreements


Organization of School:

The School of Architecture is one of five schools at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Rensselaer is the nation's oldest technological university. A nonsectarian, coeducational institution, the university offers degrees from five schools: Engineering, Science, Architecture, Humanities and Social Sciences, and the Lally School of Management and Technology, as well as interdisciplinary degrees in information technology. More than 140 degree programs in nearly 60 fields lead to bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees.


The School of Architecture offers bachelor's and master's programs. Foremost among them are the five-year Bachelor of Architecture (B. Arch) and the three-and-a-half-year Master of Architecture (M. Arch.I). The four year Bachelor of Science degree in Building Science prepares students for opportunities presented by the building industry. The School of Architecture offers the Master of Architecture (M. Arch I) as a first professional degree for students who already have a baccalaureate degree in any field of study, as well as post professional master's programs (M.S. or M. Arch. II) in Informatics and Architecture and Workplace Design, and Master of Science degrees in Building Conservation, Informatics and Architecture, Architectural Acoustics, and Workplace Design.

Primary Population (2002-2003):

31.5 FTE architecture faculty
84 graduate students
231 undergraduate students
315 total FTE students (UG & Grad) majoring in architecture and related fields

History of the Architecture Library:

The Architecture Library's collection was begun in 1929 and the branch facility established in 1930. It now occupies approximately 4700 square feet on the east side of the Greene Building's third floor. The physical collection has grown to 30,000 print titles housed in the facility and over 100,000 slides. The graphic collections now include an increasing number of digitized images, and multi-media material on architecture, design and the visual arts, as well as traditional maps, drawings, prints, photographs and microform collections. The library frequently receives a Capital District Library Council grant to purchase architectural materials. These funds have enabled the architecture librarian to purchase materials of a more popular nature for various age groups and to serve a diverse group of users throughout the Capital District.

Because the Architecture Library is one of Rensselaer's research libraries it also shares in an incredibly rich collection of resources in both print and electronic formats. While Folsom Library serves as the central library, the Architecture Library supports the School of Architecture programs. The total collections now number one-half million volumes of books on open-access shelves, as well as scholarly journals, technical reports, government-document series and multi-media material. The Web gateway for the libraries, called RensSearch, provides online access to thousands of electronic books and full text journals and nearly 300 research databases and reference resources. The Rensselaer community can access many of these resources both on and off campus. Increased participation in library consortia and their sponsored programs, such as Connect NY, now facilitates access to the collections of other libraries and enables our users to borrow materials expediently from other participant libraries in the state.



Architectural Acoustics (B)
Architectural Design (B)
Architectural Drawing, Conceptualization, Computerized Simulation, Imaging, Modeling (C2) Architectural History (C2)
Architectural Theory (B) Architectural Practice (C1)
Building Systems (B) Environmental Concerns (B)
Historic Preservation & Restoration of Buildings (B) Landscape Architecture (D)
Related Arts (Color/Furniture/Interior Design) (D) Sustainability in Architecture (B)
Technology in Architecture (C1) Urban & Regional Planning (D)
Workplace Design (B)  

Levels of Collecting Intensity (adapted from Guidelines for Collection Development, Collection Development Committee, Resources and Technical Services Division, American Library Association, 1979):

A. Comprehensive Level

B. Research Level

C. Study Level; C.1 Advanced Study Level; C.2 Initial Study Level

D. Basic Level

E. Minimal Level


Reference materials: Reference materials such as directories, handbooks, dictionaries, and encyclopedias with relevant subject matter are selected. Preference is given to web-based resources where available and affordable.

Monographs: monographic series; congresses; symposia; academy and society publications.

Serials: Journals and newsletters on architecture and related fields including electronic publications.

Slides and Digital Images: Most slides are still produced by the slide library from printed materials but increasing emphasis is being placed on both in-house production of digital images and licensing digital images from commercial vendors.

Multi-media: Videos, CD-ROMs, DVD's are collected in relevant areas.

Areas of Selective Collection: Maps/Drawings: dissertations; government documents; technical reports; building trade literature.

Types of Material Not Collected: Undergraduate textbooks, workbooks, dissertations or theses from other institutions; general interest material, i.e. fiction, current history, "how to" books and coffee-table type of publications are not collected. Multiple copies are generally not acquired including duplicating titles already in Folsom Library's collections.

Materials purchased with Architecture library allocated funds may reside either in the Architecture Library in the Greene Building or in the Folsom Library.


Language: Primarily English-language publications are selected. Foreign language books with significant illustrations are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Publishers and Publication Dates: Primarily current materials are selected. A book and slip approval plan with Blackwell North America strengthens the acquisition of architectural publications from all major publishers and university presses which meet the approval profile. Publications of commercial publishers associated with scholarly or technical publications are reviewed for selections, as are publications of professional organizations, government agencies and professional practice organizations. Older titles that are considered classics in the field are acquired as needed and available. Older materials that support current research and teaching are acquired in the original or reprint publications as available and appropriate. For all of these materials, preference is given to electronic format over print or micro-format.

Geographic Coverage: Emphasis is on the United States as well as foreign countries.

Chronological Coverage: The interest in architectural publications covers all periods, however, more material is collected from the Renaissance to the present.


Electronic resources are any resources that require computer access. This includes web-based databases, compact discs, DVDs, and laser disks. Electronic products which support the curriculum and research are selected as affordable. The electronic resources to which the Rensselaer Libraries subscribe are primarily indexes and abstracts, collections of full-image publications, image retrievable databases, document delivery services, statistical data collections, and reference tools.


Other departments and schools that are involved in areas of interest to the School of Architecture include School of Engineering, School of Science, Arts Department, Science and Technology Studies, and Information Technology.


Consortia arrangements with groups such as the Capital District Library Council, Connect NY, New York Consortium of Library Consortia (NYCOLC), Nylink, Partners in Information and Innovation (Pi2), and WALDO (Westchester Academic Library Directors Organization) are maintained and provide resource sharing and electronic resources for consortia purchase at affordable prices. Some examples of electronic resources that support the area of architecture and have been purchased through consortia agreements are: AMICO Library, ArtBibliographies Modern, Bibliography of the History of Art, and Arts and Humanities Citation Index (Web of Knowledge).

Contact: Frances Scott, Architecture Librarian, Room 309, Greene Building, Telephone: (518) 276-6312, Fax: (518) 276-6312, email: scottf2@rpi.edu
Biography page: http://www.lib.rpi.edu/about/people/scottf.html