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  UNLV Libraries -> Architecture Studies Library-> ASL Collections -> Architecture Studies Library (ASL) Collection Management Policy

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Architecture Studies Library (ASL) Collection Management Policy

Description of the collection
Level of collection development
Users of the collection
Access to the collection
Additions to the collection
Duplication of material
Subject and language modifiers
Topics collected: Description and Library Location
Format and condition considerations
Areas of Specialization/Special Collections
Evaluation of collection
Conservation of materials
Revision history
Related documents

University of Nevada, Las Vegas Architecture Studies Library (ASL) Collection Management Policy

This policy is an ongoing document, perpetually in "draft," revised as time provides and need demands. Editions of the policy are offered for review by architecture studies faculty and library faculty involved in collection development.

Description of the Collection

Introduction: Currently the collection is small but diverse. Primary subject areas covered (and their respective Library of Congress classification designations) include architecture (NA), landscape architecture (SB), building construction (TH), urban planning (NA 9000, HT), and interior design (NK). Related topics include historic preservation (E), environmental psychology (BF), cathedrals (D), land use planning (HD), park design (GV), standards and codes (KF), and lighting (TK). Additional LC classification areas for architecture include RA (design of hospitals and other medical facilities), LB (design of schools), TL (airport design), TX (hotel design), and Z (design of libraries). The objective is a collection that is inclusive in terms of topics covered and balanced regarding the level of difficulty of the materials (i.e. from basic text to research materials). Focal areas for the School of Architecture, and hence the collection, are hotel and resort architecture, arid climate design particularly in the context of the Mojave Desert, and speculative development.

History: A BS in Architecture was not offered prior to 1987. The initiation of the collection dates from that time. Collection building for the architecture collection substantially started, however, in 1991 as plans proceeded to establish an accredited architecture program and a librarian was hired specifically for architecture studies. From 1991 to 1997 the NA portion of the collection grew from 1,500 volumes to over 7,000. The Architecture Studies Library began branch operations in the fall of 1997. The opening monographic collection of architecture and allied subjects numbered 12,200 volumes.

In addition to acquiring sufficient titles to support the program, attention was given to areas which had been identified as deficient: foreign language materials, technical and practice-oriented material, and older, classic titles. Elizabeth Byrne in her Consultant's Report titled "Library Needs for the New Architecture Library University of Nevada, Las Vegas," June 28, 1990, characterized the collection as "mostly recent (1980--), general, English language works on architectural and design history and monographs on individual architects or designers."

Description of periodical collection: The periodical collection is, of the above named areas, strongest in architecture. The opening day branch collection included 85 titles in the NA (architecture) classification area. While basic titles include substantial backfiles (e.g., Architectural Record is held from 1891 onwards), many of the titles are relatively new subscriptions (dating from the early 1990s in many cases). The other areas having notable representation are: NK (interiors) 12 titles, TH (construction) 11 titles, and SB (landscape) 9 titles. Additional titles (28) are found in the following call numbers: BF, E, G, HC, HD, HN, HT, KF, N, NC, QH, T, TA, TJ, TK, TS, and Z. Total periodical subscriptions located in the Architecture Studies Library, including uncataloged titles, number 172. Additional titles relevant to architecture studies are located in the Main Library.

The Association of Architecture School Librarians' "Core List of Periodical Titles for a First Professional Degree in Architecture" lists 53 titles. Of those, 48 are in the Architecture Studies Library, and three more are in the Main Library. The two that are not received in the UNLV Library are Deadlines and Old House Journal. Neither of those two are core for this collection. Competitions, to which the ASL does subscribe, serves the same purpose as Deadlines. Old House Journal serves a special interest that is not strong here. The AASL list of recommended but not required international journals is comprised of 16 titles. Of those the branch has nine. Several of the seven not received are in German, although the ASL does subscribe to one German title.

Indexes: The following indexes are physically held in the Architecture Studies Library: Architectural Index 1976-, Avery Index to Periodical Articles on CD-ROM, Homes and Home Building Index (now Reference Guide to Homebuilding Articles) 1990-, Architectural Periodicals Index 1991-, Design and Applied Arts Index 1991-, and Construction Index 1992-. These indexes provide adequate access to architectural periodicals. Additional indexes are provided through the online catalog: Art Index, Compendex, ERIC, General Business File, Expanded Academic Index, NTIS, PAIS, and Uncover. General Business and Expanded Academic provide full text to some of the indexed articles. The Main Library also holds some indexes of interest: RILA: Repertoire international de la litterature d'art 1975-, Graphic Arts Literature Abstracts 1975-, News Bank: Fine Arts and Architecture (index + articles on fiche) 1975-, Dissertation Abstracts on CD-ROM, and Applied Science and Technology Index 1958-.

Media Materials: Media materials are also part of the Architecture Studies Library collection. The Architecture Studies Library has several research collections on microfiche, including The Historic American Buildings Survey, The Historic American Engineering Record, Architecture and Monuments in France, and the Furniture Library Collection. The Early Alinari Photographic Archive of Art and Architecture in Italy is located in the Microforms Section of the Main Library. The Architecture Studies Library holds more than 100 architecture videos in its collection. A small number of cassettes, disks, and CDs are also part of the collection. The CD holdings are expected to expand significantly. The School of Architecture maintains a slide collection.

Level of Collection Development

The appropriate level for the ASL is Research Libraries Group Level 3: Study Level: MA and undergraduates. It is described as intended to support undergraduate or graduate course work, sustained independent study (i.e. study adequate to maintain knowledge of a subject required for limited or generalized purposes of less than research intensity). It includes a wide range of basic monographs, complete collections of the works of important writers, selections from the works of secondary writers, a selection of representative journals, and the reference tools and fundamental bibliographical apparatus pertaining to the subject.

Users of the Collection

The collection currently supports undergraduate level study in the architectural studies program (RLG levels 3a and 3b). Courses are offered in the following areas: drafting, design, cities and buildings, construction techniques, structures, codes, environmental controls, legal issues, integrated building systems, professional practice, twentieth century architecture, resort/entertainment architecture, interior design, history and theory of architecture, landscape architecture, plant materials, landscape history, urban planning, interior structures, history of interiors, acoustics, construction methods and materials, and site/water management.

In addition, the collection serves the entire academic community for related study, interdisciplinary work, and cultural enrichment. The collection is open to architects and related practitioners, but materials only of use to this group are not routinely purchased.

The collection, in conjunction with materials in the Main Library, and with the acknowledgement of the support of the Interlibrary Loan system, is intended to support undergraduate study and Master's level research, faculty research and current awareness, professional growth and continuing education, and the needs of the architectural and general community in the Las Vegas/Southern Nevada area. Given the interdisciplinary nature of architecture and its allied areas, the branch collection can be expected to be diverse, but not comprehensive enough to fully support graduate and faculty research.

Access to the Collection

The branch library is open 68 hours per week during fall and spring semesters, including hours on Saturday and Sunday. One librarian, one classified staff, and seven students provide assistance. The facility is fully handicapped accessible, including equipment such as a pocket talker and screen enlargers. Many indexes are available electronically to the users of the library, enhancing access. Descriptions of significant parts of the collection (e.g. serials, videos, research collections) are available both in the building and on the Architecture Studies Library website at New book lists are also on the web, and a display of new books is an ongoing feature of the library.

Web resources selected by the Architecture Studies Librarian are accessible on the ASL website [].

As mentioned above, materials in the Main Library are a key component in the collection's goal to support research. Items in the Main Library can be paged for delivery to the branch, and vice versa. Deliveries between the two facilities occur daily.

Additions to the Collection

Collection development for Architecture Studies is the responsibility of the Architecture Studies Librarian, who seeks faculty input both through soliciting suggestions and through feedback on items in or added to the collection. Suggestions are welcome from any of the library's users. Potential titles are evaluated based on several factors, including cost, relevance, reputation of the publisher, and anticipated use.

New periodical subscriptions are limited by budget considerations, and are reviewed in the context of the need for new periodicals in all the disciplines served by the UNLV Libraries. There is no separate budget for architecture periodicals.

UNLV participates in an approval plan with Yankee Book Peddler. Books from a variety of publishers are received "on approval" and evaluated by the Architecture Studies Librarian. Publisher, professional organization, and bookstore catalogs are routinely searched for possible additions to the collection. New books lists from other libraries are also scanned.

The addition of materials is the result of the combined efforts of many people including faculty, interested patrons, and various departments of the library such as Materials Ordering and Receiving, Special Collections, Reference, Government Publications, Media Resources, and Bibliographic and Metadata Services.

Duplication of Material

Duplication of material with that in the Main Library is done selectively. A paging and delivery system has been set up which obviates the need to purchase extensive duplicates. Nonetheless, some materials are core in more than one discipline; in addition some titles may be made more accessible by including them in a collection of like/browsable materials. It is the decision of the bibliographer in each subject area whether wise use of funds calls for a second copy located in either Main or the ASL. Acquisition of materials for the main library in architectural subjects will be coordinated with the Collection Development team as well as bibliographers serving disciplines with related interests. Duplicates (i.e. more than one copy in the ASL) may be purchased for those monographic titles for which a heavy use is predicted.

Subject and Language Modifiers

Geographical: No country where there is significant activity in architectural design or related areas is excluded; however emphasis is on the United States. Special geographical interests focus on the American Southwest and hot arid areas around the world.

Language: Materials are primarily in English. Key works available only in foreign languages will be considered for acquisition, particularly if the language is one of the romance languages or a language taught at UNLV. French and Spanish are preferred. If the material under consideration is primarily graphic/visual, the language of the text is not an eliminating factor.

Topics Collected: Description and Library Location

--Surveys of particular architectural/landscape/interior design periods and styles: primarily ASL, although a few titles covering the history of architecture should also be at Main.

--Surveys of the architecture of a country: surveys of architecture alone are in the ASL. However, many such surveys contain both art and architecture (often titled "Art and Architecture of╝"). Such surveys are considered core by both art and architecture and basic titles are collected for both Main and the ASL.

--Architecture-oriented guidebooks to cities and countries: primarily ASL, although duplicates for Main might be obtained for cities within driving distance of Las Vegas, such as Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco.

--Historical or analytical treatments of architectural monuments: library location is dependent on the monument and the degree of its significance for architecture, for example the Arch de Triumph would be ASL but Cleopatra's Needle would be Main. Monuments are relevant to the disciplines of architecture, art, and history. Location of materials is determined on a title by title basis.

--Works on urban design and planning: these titles will be in both Main and ASL as they are part of the study of history, environmental planning, sociology, political science, landscape design, and architecture. Works with a spatial emphasis should be primarily in the ASL. Core titles should be duplicated for both locations. Titles on this topic in call number area HT 160-169 are located substantially in the ASL. Planning titles in other HT areas are substantially in Main.

--Historic preservation: preservation of buildings is a shared interest of architects and historians. Material on this topic will be found in both the ASL and Main. Location of materials is determined on a title by title basis.

--Works on individual architects: all such titles should be in the ASL, including works on architects that fall in classifications other than NA (e.g. paintings of Aldo Rossi, which would be cataloged in the N classification). Since not all books about architects can be purchased, priority is given to architects with known reputation, of historical significance, or who design in regions or styles or building types of interest to the school.

--Works on building types: design of buildings should be in the ASL. This would include libraries (Z), schools (LB), hospitals (RA), sports facilities (GV), airports (TL), and hotels (TX). Often books of this type also include programmatic information, which is of use to both the architect and to the professional in the field (i.e., the client, from the architect's point of view). The location of such books depends on the proportion of design versus administrative information. Some duplication may occur in this area.

--Materials aimed at the professional architect, including liability, finances, personnel, and general management, etc., published for U.S. architects: the ASL will collect a sampling in this area sufficient to support the professional practice courses. It cannot collect extensively, nor provide a collection that would provide comprehensively for the needs of the professional architects in the community. Management materials are primarily located in the Main library.

--Cost data: the ASL will order the basic cost manuals annually (e.g. Square Foot Cost Data, Building Construction Cost Data Western Edition). Others in the cost data series will be ordered on a three or four year cycle.

--Works dealing with management of construction but not practice: since the transfer of the Construction Management program to engineering, the majority of these titles reside in Main. Core titles may be duplicated in the ASL.

--Materials on drawing and presentation approaches: titles specifically oriented to architecture, landscape architecture, and interior design are in the ASL. In addition, some basic drawing titles may be both in Main and ASL.

--Works on computer-aided design: considering the quantity and short shelf life of such titles, the aim is to collect enough to supplement the manuals for software programs used in architecture CAD classes. In particular, titles focusing on the design aspects rather than the use of a particular software will be acquired. CAD titles are also found in Main.

--Works on the history and theory of design, design principles and techniques: these titles are relevant to several fields in addition to those served by the ASL, including art, communications, advertising, and graphics. Location of materials is determined on a title by title basis. Duplication is expected of core titles.

--Works on environmental behavior, color and its impact, and the psychology of space: these areas are integral to architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture. They are also relevant to the study of psychology, anthropology, and sociology. Location of materials is determined on a title by title basis.

--Societal impacts on architecture and vice versa: if the title is classified in the NA section it will be located in architecture. If it is not, location of materials is determined on a title by title basis.

--Legal materials, including national and local standards and codes, zoning and land use regulations, contract document examples, etc.: although not attempting to be comprehensive, the ASL will collect sufficient materials to support the courses on professional practice and on codes. The uniform building codes are collected.

--Works on energy-efficient, environmentally-conscious design and construction: this is an area in which the ASL seeks to collect heavily. Materials with a primarily engineering emphasis are located in Main.

--Works on Southwest/arid environment architecture: given the Nevada environment, this is an important aspect of the ASL collection. An attempt is made to be comprehensive in this area.

--Works on the education of architects, landscape architects, interior designers, and planners: the ASL will collect basic works, or works likely to have an impact on the University's program of study.

--Works on photographing architecture: many titles in this area are more about the photographer than the architecture. These are located in Main. Titles which discuss the techniques of architectural photography, or which focus on the architecture itself, are in the ASL.

--Works in technical areas such as lighting, acoustics, HVAC, building systems, structural systems, materials and methods: core manuals, design-oriented titles, and materials that support the architecture courses in this area are in the ASL. Titles with an engineering emphasis are in Main.

--Works on the professions served by the ASL: future trends, social responsibility, licensure, diversity, etc.: these are consistently collected by the ASL.

--Works on hotel, resort, and leisure architecture: this is an area of specialization in the school, and the ASL collects comprehensively in this area. Duplication of material in Main is expected since this is also an interest in the Hotel College.

--Works on exhibit design: this area is of interest to interior design. Both the Hotel College and the School of Architecture have courses on exhibition design. The Hotel College covers issues such as content, organization, and costs. The courses in the School of Architecture focus on physical layouts, display systems, graphic design and special effects. The ASL collects titles to support those courses. Location for titles on this topic is determined on a case by case basis.

--Industrial and product design: specific courses are not taught in industrial design in the School of Architecture, nor are they taught elsewhere on campus. The topic is related to interests in interior design, however, and many architects also engage in product and/or industrial design; therefore, the ASL collects a sampling of titles.

--Land use and development: this area is a special interest of the school in various aspects including speculative development, feasibility planning for building projects, and regional planning. It is also of interest to other disciplines such as real estate and environmental studies. Location of materials is determined on a title by title basis.

--Works on houses and housing: this was an early interest of the school, and continues to be so. The ASL collects titles on forms of housing and housing developments, as well as design of houses and housing.

--Mojave Desert flora/water use and conservation: titles are collected by the ASL sufficient to support the landscape architecture program. The primary collection in this area is located in Main.

--Sense of place, community character and identity: the ASL collects titles which focus on how design, buildings, or space can be used to create a sense of place.

Format and Condition Considerations

Monographs, periodicals, special issues of periodicals, periodical indexes and abstracts, dissertations, conference proceedings, and bibliographies are collected.

Journal reprints within scope are collected and may be cataloged as separates based on the following criteria: 1) any reprint not represented in a journal included in the library, and 2) any reprint seen as a substantial monograph even if it is represented.

Hard copy, film, CD-ROM, online, and video are all formats which may be collected. Choice of format is determined by many factors: availability, accessibility, cost, space required, preservation of original material, and unique features of a particular format.

Plans, maps, photos, and primary documents are collected in areas of specialty and for the Las Vegas area.

Product literature is collected dependent on space and staffing, and the growing mass of product information on the web suggests that collecting print product material be selective.

Vertical file material on Las Vegas and Nevada architects and architecture is pursued. Additional ephemera on other topics are not excluded from the collection. However staffing, space, and storage determine how active, enthusiastic, and systematic pursuit of such materials can be.

Web sources are added to the collection if they provide convenient access to roughly equivalent print information, or if they provide substantial information not available elsewhere. A selection of links is supplied to the UNLV Libraries staff responsible for Neonweb (online catalog) net link sections. Link information is also supplied when necessary to the staff involved in creating 856 fields in MARC records. Links to less substantial sites are also created and categorized by topic, in an effort to provide a useful guide to Internet sources. This collection is mounted on the ASL web site. Links may be made to individual documents or to collections of links. Links are not made to archives of electronic messages. Links are validated regularly.

Excluded from addition to the collection are materials in such poor physical condition that their use is precluded and their restoration is improbable or impractical.


The library's policy is to retain the right to dispose of duplicates and other unwanted materials. All donor-requested restrictions must be carefully reviewed. The cost of supporting gifts -- in staff, supporting library materials and equipment for its use, and space -- must be considered before accepting a gift. The library should be extremely cautious in accepting a gift that will not be supported with other research materials, that the library will not be able to commit itself to processing within a reasonable period of time, or that the library cannot house in a manner adequate for preservation. Gifts of periodicals are welcome, with those not needed to fill collection gaps offered to architecture librarians elsewhere via ARLIS-L and AASL-L. Donations of material documenting Las Vegas architecture, landscape architecture, interior design, and urban planning are especially appreciated.

Areas of Specialization/Special Collections

Two areas have been selected for special emphasis: the architecture of the Southwest and other arid regions, and hotel-resort-leisure architecture. Materials are purchased comprehensively in these areas. A special collection of plans and drawings of Las Vegas architecture has been started with the work of Martin Stern, Jr., architect of many hotel/casinos. Additional collections documenting the architecture of the Las Vegas Strip, and other Vegas hotel/casinos, will be pursued.

Evaluation of Collection

Assessment of the collection is an ongoing and varied process. Circulation studies, comparison of holdings with core title lists, analysis of collection characteristics (e.g., age, topics represented, geographical areas covered, etc.), and examination of Interlibrary Loan requests all play a role in evaluating the collection.


Considering the youth of the collection, the growing research needs of the graduate program and the availability of expansion space in the new branch facility, weeding is not a priority, nor will it be a systematic endeavor until approximately 2008. Weeding will be conducted on an ad hoc basis as needed, based on factors such as whether a superceded edition might have research value, condition of materials, and age in relation to reliability of information.

Conservation of Materials

Materials shall be protected from life-shortening forces, such as excessive heat, cold, humidity, dryness, dust, ultraviolet light, smoke, insects, vermin, and improper handling.

Revision History

Drafted April 1991; revised June 1991, August 1992, March 1993, December 1993, February 1998, October 1998. Drafted by Jeanne Brown, Head Architecture Studies Library. Thanks to those who provided copies of their CD policies from which many ideas were gleaned and to the architecture and library faculty whose suggestions have improved its content. The current edition of this policy can be found at the UNLV Architecture Studies Library home page:

Related Documents

"ACRL Guidelines for Branch Library in Colleges and Universities." C & RL News (March 1991): 171-174.

Ball, Robert and Thomas Mirkovich. Collection Development Policy University of Nevada, Las Vegas. May 1996.

Byrne, Elizabeth. "Library Needs for the New Architecture Library University of Nevada, Las Vegas. " Consultant's Report to Wendy Starkweather. June 28, 1990.

National Architectural Accrediting Board. 1998 Conditions and Procedures for Professional Degree Programs in Architecture. NY: NAAB, 1998.

Monday, 17-Dec-2012 10:49:51 PST