To provide materials necessary to support the undergraduate courses in general engineering.

To provide general materials of a historical, philosophical, or social nature that have ties with engineering but not with one particular branch of engineering. To a great extent, these are books about engineers and engineering and about the humanistic, societal, and environmental responsibilities of engineers and their profession.

These materials could be considered as inter-disciplinary between engineering and other areas, and also multi-disciplinary for engineering.

To provide materials about engineers and engineering of interest to other members of the academic community.

To provide materials needed by or important to engineering in general that really fall within the responsibility of non-Engineering Departments but not such material as is important to or needed by only one Engineering Department.

To ensure that fundamental works on engineering, in all of its aspects, are acquired.

Science and Engineering

Almost all material is in English.
Almost all material comes from North America and Western Europe.

Most material acquired is currently published, but some older and out-of-print materials are also acquired. Rare books are not collected as such. Some historical works are collected, but the bulk of acquired material concerns the present practice of the profession.

  • Books, primarily currently published, some in reprint.
  • Periodicals, mostly current subscriptions. Quite often a periodical is not subscribed to immediately upon publication of the first issue and some picking up of one or two years' previous issues is necessary. Long runs of backfile are rarely acquired.
  • Handbooks.
  • Some theses.
  • Indexes, abstracts, and the occasional bibliography.
  • Technical reports, discussion papers, working papers and company reports, because of their great numbers and usual short term value, are left to be the responsibility of Departments and individual professors.
  • ooks of tables.
  • Some laboratory manuals and workbooks are acquired, usually those published to accompany standard text books.
  • Certain company or industry "house organs" or periodicals, some of which are widely abstracted, for which cost is often minimal or nothing, but which require collecting and cataloguing.

This profile should be looked at in conjunction with those of the several Engineering Departments; with those of the Mathematics and Statistics, Physics, History, Sociology and Political Science Departments; and with that of the Science General Fund.

This category is not really applicable here, and the subjects listed below are an approximate guide only:


General Engineering (C)

Inter-disciplinary Materials (B)

General Works about Engineering and Engineers (C)

 To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction program, the graduate thesis research program and the research activities of the Faculty.

Science and Engineering

Materials are acquired in English, primarily, with some French, German, Russian and Japanese. Some graduate students are able to use works in these languages.
There are no geographical limits, although most materials are acquired from the United States, Western Europe and Japan.

Almost all materials acquired are currently published. The major exceptions are replacements of lost books and the possible acquisition of periodical backfiles and some past conference proceedings.

  • Current books, either as texts or primary references. Some O.P. books are acquired as replacements for lost or stolen books.
  • Periodicals, mostly current subscriptions. If funds permit, certain backfiles will be acquired possibly back to the mid-1930's
  • Technical reports are sometimes needed.
  • Proceedings of conferences and symposia are acquired where possible.


Materials Science (A)

     Mechanical, structural, electrical, magnetic and chemical properties of solid materials, including thin films, surface science, crystalline and amorphous materials.


Metallurgy (A)

     Physical, mechanical, extractive, ferrous and non-ferrous metallurgy, process design and raw materials.


Ceramics (A)

     Synthesis of traditional and advanced ceramics. Mechanical, structural, electrical, magnetic, optical and chemical properties of ceramics and glasses; powder systems, powder-liquid systems.


Glass Science and Technology (A)

     Structure and properties of glassy solids, amorphous metals, the technology of glass manufacture.


Other Materials (B)

     Composites, polymers, plastics.


Chemistry (B)

     Considerable material in Chemistry, especially in the chemistry of solids, high temperature chemistry and structural inorganic chemistry are required.


Physics (B)

     Considerable material in Physics, especially in the physics of solids, electron optical systems and device physics.


Solid Mechanics (B)

     Emphasis on solid fracture mechanics, metal-forming processes, plasticity and high temperature creep and fatigue.


Opto-electronic and Electronic Materials (C)

Biomaterials and Corrosion (C)

To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction program, the graduate thesis research program and the research activities of the Faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Department is building comprehensive research collections in certain areas of study.

Arts and Social Sciences

Most materials are in English with some theses and metal working reports being acquired from Germany.
United States, Britain and Germany account for almost all the materials.

The materials acquired are currently produced, except for the occasional older book or report, and for backfiles of periodicals.

  • Periodicals are of first importance to Mechanical Engineering. Most of these are current including abstracting periodicals, but backfiles are acquired as funds permit. Current subscriptions alone account for 98% of the Library budget for this Department.
  • Working reference tools are of secondary importance. These include guidebooks, data books of metal cutting data in loose-leaf books, manuals, charts, laboratory manuals and workbooks, graphs, technical reports and manufacturers' directories and manuals. There is a large collection of these latter in the office of the chief buyer for Engineering, and they are used continuously by this Department. Much of the material in this whole category is acquired on Departmental rather than Library funds.
  • Books are third in importance, including bibliographies, reprints of conferences and symposia, theses and other material of similar nature.
  • Data tapes are used in the Department and are acquired with Departmental funds.
  • Audio-visual materials are presently acquired by the Department and by individual professors.


Aerodynamics (A)

Biomedical Engineering (C)

     Overlap with Chemical Engineering.


Ceramic Engineering (C)

     Overlap with Materials Science and Engineering.


Composite Materials (B)

     Overlap with Materials Science and Engineering.


Computer Integrated Manufacturing (A)

Computing in Mechanical Engineering (B)

Control Systems (A)

     Overlap with Electrical and Chemical Engineering.


Design of Machine Elements (B)

Engineering Measuring Systems (B)

Environmental Engineering (B)

     Overlap with Civil and Chemical Engineering.


Fluid Mechanics (A)

Fluid-Structure Interaction (A)

Machine Design (B)

Manufacturing Methods (A)

Mechatronics (A)

Noise Control (A)

Optimization in Design (A)

     Overlap with Electrical, Chemical and Civil Engineering.


Robotics (A)

Solid Mechanics (A)

Thermodynamics and Heat Transfer (A)

     Overlap with Chemical Engineering, Physics, and Engineering Physics.

To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction program, the graduate thesis research program and the research activities of the Faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Department is building comprehensive research collections in certain areas of study.

To provide the materials to support the work of the Nuclear Reactor, particularly in its novel uses.

Arts and Social Sciences

Most materials are acquired in the English language with occasional books and some periodicals in German and French. Major reference works are acquired in all Western European languages.
Most material comes from North America and Europe. Atomic Energy reports are acquired from everywhere.


Emphasis is on the acquisition of current material. Material more than ten years old is rarely acquired.

  • Books, mostly currently produced
  • Periodicals, including the occasional backfile and indexing and abstracting services.
  • Government technical reports, especially those of the various atomic energy commissions around the world. There is an intense need for this material.
  • Company reports.
  • Laboratory manuals and workbooks.
  • Books of tables, especially those of constants.
  • Thesis.
  • Reprints of symposia, conferences, etc., when available.


Solid state Electronics (A)

     Device orientation


Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Power Studies and Nuclear Materials (A)

Environmental and Pollution Control Systems (A)

Computer (A)

     The operation of computers as part of experimental systems.


Mathematics and Applied Mathematics (A)

     As applied to Engineering Physics.


Electron Devices and Materials (A)

  • Materials testing
  • Semi-conducting materials and devices
  • Integrated electronics
  • Dielectric materials and devices
  • Magnetic materials and devices
  • Optoelectric effects, devices and systems
  • Lasers
  • Masers
  • Acoustoelectric, electrochemical
  • Thermoelectromagnetic and other devices
  • Molecular beam epitaxy
  • Superlattices and microdevices

     There is considerable overlap here with the policy of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


Telecommunication (A)

Instrumentation and Special Applications (A)

Power Systems and Applications (A)

Statistical Physics (A)

Classical Mechanics (A)

Atomic and Molecular Physics (A)

Plasma Physics, Plasma Applications (A)

Electric Discharges (A)

Condensed Matter: Structure, Thermal and Mechanical Properties (A)

Condensed Matter: Electrical, Magnetic and Optical Properties (A)

Thin Films (A)

     Technology, properties and theory.

To provide the materials to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction programs, the graduate thesis research program and the other teaching and research activities of the Faculty. In order to achieve these aims the School is building comprehensive research collections in the main fields of study.

Science and Engineering

Most material acquired is in English, but other languages, especially French and German are acceptable if the material wanted is not available in English.
Coverage by material collected is world-wide, but most material comes from North America and Western Europe.

Most of the material collected is from recent publications. Occasionally, early material (pre-1950) is collected in reprint, microform, or photocopy; the Department does not collect rare books or rare maps per se, though such material is housed in Mills Library and the Map Library respectively. Old editions of text books are collected for the history of Geoscience. Most of the interests of the Human Geography area are contemporary, but materials are also collected as far back as 4,000 B.C. In Geology and Physical Geography there are no time limits on the period of interest.

  • Books, currently produced, out-of-print, reprint and, for certain original documentary material, in microform. The School will attempt to buy one copy of each course textbook.
  • Periodicals, current and backfile: those in Geology and Physical Geography are housed in the Thode Library; those in Human Geography are in Mills Library.
  • Technical reports and documents from Government Departments, Municipal Governments and Planning Authorities, including population census materials are acquired.
  • All Geological publications by the Canadian and American Federal Governments, all technical series put out by all Canadian Provinces and publications of all American state geological surveys are collected. Publications of other governments are also collected but not as exclusively. Technical reports from companies may also be collected.
  • Proceedings, and other publications of Symposia, Congresses and Commissions in relevant fields are acquired whenever possible.
  • Newsletters of professional Geographical and Geological societies are collected, e.g. Canadian Geographer, Professional Geographer, AAAG, EOS, etc.
  • Geological guidebooks and road logs are acquired from Canada and parts of the United states. These book guides to the geology of a certain area are published in very limited editions, and are usually non-reproducible.
  • Selected theses are collected and housed in the School as well as in the Library.
  • "Working papers" or "discussion papers" of other Departments of Geography or Geology are acquired by the Department in exchange for copies of its own series of "Technical Memos".
  • Maps and Atlases, including topographic, geologic, tectonic, soil, geophysical, aeromagnetic, gravity and lunar maps and atlases are acquired through the Map Library or through the main library, and are housed in the Map Library.
  • Laboratory manuals and work books are acquired.
  • Census Data Tapes and related material are bought by the Department and housed there or in the Computer Centre.
  • A small number of paper abstract series are collected. E.g. Bibliog. & Index of Geology, Geol. Soc. Amer. Meeting abstracts.
  • Audio-visual materials are bought by, and housed in, the Department.
  • The School has a large slide collection which was acquired with non-library funds.
  • Films for teaching purposes are sometimes acquired by the Department, but most are loaned. None are acquired through the library.

There is some overlap with the profiles of Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Civil Engineering, Economics and Anthropology Departments.

General Geography and Geology (C)

     General or regional geography, landscape studies, the Earth.


Mathematical Geography and Geology (A)

Teaching of Geography and Geology (D)

Behavioral Geography (A)

Economic Geography- both Agricultural (C) and Industrial (A)

Geographic Information Systems - GIS (A)

Health Geography (A)

Political Economy in Geography (A)

Political Geography (C)

Population Geography (A)

Social, Historical and Cultural Geography (A)

     Especially housing.


Urban Geography and Urban Planning (A)

Urban and Regional Economics (A)

Cartography and Map Interpretation (C)

Environmental Science and Environmental Studies (A)

Geographical and Geological Field Work and its Methods (A)

Geomorphology (A)

     Especially glacial and karst (cave science).


Hydrology (A)

     Including surface and subsurface hydrology and snow and ice.


Meteorology and Climatology (A)

Photographic Surveying and Remote sensing (A)

Oceanography, Limnology and Marine Geology (A)

Soil Studies, Vegetation Geography (A)

Archaeological Geology (A)

     Some overlap with the Dept of Anthropology.


Crystallography (C)

Dynamic and Structural Geology (B)

Earth History (A)

Economic Geology (B)

Engineering Geology (B)

     Overlap with Civil Engineering profiles.


Geochemistry (A)

  • Especially Isotope and Environmental Geochemistry
  • There is some overlap with the Chemistry profile


Geophysics (A)

  • Especailly Applied Geophysics
  • There is some overlap with the Physics profile.


History of Geology (C)

Mineralogy and Petrology (A)

Paleontology (A)

     Especially Invertebrate, Micropaleontology and Paleoecology


Planetary Science (B)

Sedimentology and Stratigraphy (A)


  • To serve undergraduate and graduate course instruction needs in those departments which offer energy-related courses.
  • To provide materials for the support of thesis research in all energy- related areas.
  • To work toward a comprehensive research collection in the energy area.
  • To encourage and support the activities of faculty working in energy-related research.
  • To provide a resource base for M.I.E.S. publishing activities.

Science and Engineering

Virtually all works acquired are in English.
 Almost all material comes from the United States, Great Britain and Western Europe.

Almost everything acquired is currently published. The journals all have relatively recent origins.

  • Books, currently published.
  • Continuations, currently published.
  • Books of tables.


Energy Resources (B)

Carbonaceous Fuels (A)

Renewable Energy Systems (A)

Environmental Effects (A)

Energy Conservation (A)

Hydro, Fission and Fusion (A)

Economic and Systems Analysis of Energy Systems (B)

Energy Policy (A)

Energy Technology (A)

Povides a brief summary of the academic program(s) offered by the University in each subject discipline which requires library support. If an academic Department, Faculty, School, Institute, etc. has a written statement of its general objectives, such a document might be summarized or quoted in this section.

Arts and Social Sciences

Indicates the languages in which materials should be collected, and outlines language restrictions including limits on translations.
Outlines the geographical limits (if any) of:
  • The academic programs offered (e.g. North and South America only).
  • The areas of the world from which publications should be purchased (e.g. only materials published in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom).


Describes (if relevant) the chronological limits of: 1. The academic programs offered (e.g. history of the British Isles from 1485 to the present) 2. Imprints required (e.g. only publications from 1945 to the present). Some reference should be made to the need for retrospective materials to support the academic programs as opposed to currently published materials.

Lists types of library material required (e.g. monographs, periodicals, microforms, maps, musical scores, government documents, theses, transactions, symposia, proceedings of international conferences, etc.).

Types of Material Excluded

Frequently, this category of information is implied by the data supplied under "Types of Material Collected". Specific exclusions may need to be mentioned. Types of material commonly excluded are slides, maps, microforms, recordings, and video tapes.



The collection level indicates the degree to which it is necessary that new materials be collected. Strength of the existing collection may or may not coincide with the desired level for new acquisitions.

The Library previously used a system that ranked collecting intensity from A-E. In 2008, a decision was made to revise the collecting levels in an effort to make them more easily understandable and establish closer ties to the research and teaching activities of the University. All new policies and revisions to existing policies should make use of this system. As many of the policies have not yet been converted to the new scale, the old system is reproduced below.

Collecting Levels

Out of Scope — No active collecting in this subject area, though occasional reference or introductory materials may be acquired.  Subjects now considered Out of Scope may have been collected at higher levels in the past.
Basic — Collecting in this area is highly selective and limited to major reference tools and key monographic works. Basic level collections are intended to provide only a broad introduction to a topic or subject area.
Instruction — Collecting at the Instruction level is sufficient to fully support the department’s undergraduate and Master’s level courses in the subject area. Instruction level collections will not generally be sufficient for original research beyond the Master’s level.
Research — Collecting at the Research level will be sufficient to fully support the faculty and graduate student research activities in the subject. Efforts will be made to acquire all important reference works, scholarly monographs (both print and electronic), and conference proceedings. Key primary source material is acquired when possible.
Comprehensive — Exhaustive assembling of unique collections, including all printed editions, archival, and manuscript material.
Comprehensive collecting will normally cover a small, tightly focused subject area. Most subject areas at McMaster will be collected at the Research level or below as appropriate to the needs of the department.

Collecting Levels A-E
(Superseded, 2008)

(A) Intensive Level:   Materials are collected to support doctoral and post-doctoral research with a high degree of adequacy. Provides for indefinite expansion of library resources to support Ph.D. and post-doctoral programs, and faculty research.

(B) Comprehensive Level:   Provides for the collection of a wide range of materials, but with little emphasis on the collection of manuscripts and non-print resources. Should support doctoral studies with reasonable adequacy, but is not designed to support a large doctoral program with heavy concentration in several fields. Considerable reliance is placed on interlibrary loan.

(C) Beginning Research Level:   At this level, a collections policy is designed to provide full support for undergraduate programs, and most of the materials required for work at the master's level. Basic works of scholarship are purchased in the required languages.

(D) Teaching Levels:   Provides for the development of a collection which will effectively support undergraduate instruction including honours programs. Requires the purchase of a wide range of reference materials, subject indexes, and bibliographies plus files of basic journals and periodicals.

(E) Basic Reference Level:   Designed to build collection selectively in subject areas in which no formal academic program is offered, but which overlap with subject areas in which academic programs are available. This level is generally not adequate to support undergraduate programs. Materials collected include only basic reference works, periodicals, and monographs.

Subjects and collections levels may be written out in the following manner with explanatory notes if necessary:

  • Quantum Chemistry (D)
  • History of France from 1789 to the Present (A)
  • Social Implications of Computers (E)
  • Western Political Philosophy from Plato to the Present (C)
  • Economic Theory (C)
  • English Literature Including Drama 1475-1660 (A)
To provide empirical and theoretical material necessary for an Honours undergraduate programme, including materials relevant to third and fourth year research projects.

Arts and Social Sciences

Primarily English.
Primarily Europe, Australasia, and North America.

Primary emphasis is on contemporary (ie. post 1980) material.

Monographs, periodicals, government documents, conference proceedings, and CDs material.


 The acquisitions policy for Communication Studies Programme reflects the four streams that comprise the programme: language and discourse, performance studies, cultural studies, and mass communication.

Language, Media and Social Life (C)

Language and Cognition (C)

Language and Computers (D)

Performance and New Media (C)

Performance and Identity (C)

Performance and Artistic and Everyday Practices (D)

Popular Culture, Race and Gender (C)

Popular Culture and Globalization (C)

Subcultures (D)

Media and Social and Political Issues (C)

Political Economy of the Media (Including Communication Policy) (D)

Media Audiences and Social Impact (C)

To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction programs and the research activities of the Faculty. At present, the graduate program is at a Master's level in all areas and at the Ph.D. level in Management Science/Systems and Human Resources.
Recognizing the interdisciplinary nature of business, the Faculty will occasionally build a collection in fields other than business, but will usually rely on the collections of others, primarily the Departments of Economics, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Mathematics & Statistics, Mechanical Engineering, Computing & Software and Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics.

Arts and Social Sciences

Only in exceptional cases are materials collected in languages other than English.
The Faculty's first preference is to collect literature which is important for teaching and research in the Faculty of Business regardless of where it is published. In the collection of materials other than books and periodicals (such as financial reports, business directories, company and industry information), the aim is to achieve wide coverage from a distinctive Canadian perspective.

The collection concentrates on contemporary publications and databases.

  • Books: primarily new books, with a small number of reprints or out-of-print titles.
  • Periodicals: current journals and some backfiles are ordered.
  • Government publications: are acquired by Mills Library. Government publications are acquired selectively for the Innis Library.
  • Theses: some are acquired.
  • Handbooks and manuals: of current law and practice in areas such as accounting, taxation and labour.
  • Reference materials: on corporations, industries, investments, international business etc.
  • Proceedings: of major National and International Conferences are acquired selectively.
  • Bibliographies: on business topics and catalogues of the holdings of major business libraries.
  • Working papers: produced by McMaster's Faculty of Business (i.e., School of Business, MINT and MeRC).


Accounting & Financial Management Services (A & B)

  • Accounting theory. (A)
  • Auditing / Assurance (auditor's opinion, legal requirements, professional standards, internal and external auditors, EDP auditing). (A)
  • Financial accounting (financial statement preparing and reporting, income measurement, asset and liability valuation, off-balance sheet financing, intercorporate investments, foreign operations, foreign exchange, segment reporting, revenue recognition, partnership, mergers and acquisitions, not-for-profit accounting). (A)
  • Managerial (or cost) accounting (includes behavioural accounting) (Includes production planning, cost allocations, variance analysis, budgeting). (A)
  • Accounting information systems (manual and computerized systems). (A)
  • Accounting Ethics. (A)
  • Standard setting. (B)
  • Controllership. (B)
  • Canadian taxation (including tax liability, computation of taxable income, tax planning, purchase and sale of businesses, corporate surplus distribution). (A)
  • Accounting for innovation and new technology. (A)

Business and its Environment (B & C)

  • Business policy. (B)
  • Business organization and administration. (B)
  • Business and government. (B)
  • Business law (Focus on Canadian law: income tax law, corporation law, banking law, securities law, communications law, intellectual and industrial property law, estates, contracts, commercial law, business association law). (B)
  • Business executives. (C)
  • Some popular works collected. Works on management of specific industries not acquired unless of general application. (C)

 Business Research (A)

  • Inquiry, theory building, hypothesis testing, survey/questionnaire development, instrument design/selection, qualitative and quantitative methods.

Electronic Business (A)

  • Marketing models.
  • Internet technolgy.
  • E-business strategies (business to consumer and business to business, changing supply chains, online intermediaries, public policy infrastructure).
  • Information retrieval.
  • Intelligent agents (design and structure, portals and search engines)
  • Telecommunication networks: wireless (digital and packet switching, error control, LANs, narrowband and broadband ISDN, ATM, wireless and mobile communication networks, TDMA, FDMA and random access protocols, ALOHA, CSMA and standard wireless LAN's, cellular network design), lifecycle of network, scripting and markup languages, design and development tools).
  • Human computer interaction (HCI) (design guidelines and interactions styles, designing usable e-business interfaces, usability evaluation, trust and loyalty building, culture and globalization effect on design, personalization).
  • E-business law and tax policy.
  • E-business technology.
  • E-payment.
  • Security, privacy and trust.
  • Mobile commerce.

Finance (A, B, & C)

  • Financial theory (rational investment decisions, asset pricing, efficient markets, financial decision making) (A)
  • Financial institutions (Canadian emphasis: includes role of central bank, regulatory authorities, managing financial institutions in a competitive environment) (A)
  • Corporate finance (financial statement analysis, time value of money, capital budgeting, risk and return, asset pricing, security valuation, dividend policy, put and call options, corporate restructuring, sources and methods of financing, capital structure, leasing, working capital management, taxation) (A)
  • International finance (foreign risk management, multinational working capital management, foreign investment analysis, financing foreign operations) (B)
  • Quantitative methods applicable to corporate finance (A)
  • Investments (security analysis, portfolio management, futures markets, options, fixed income analysis) (A)
  • Real estate investments (B)
  • Venture capital / small business investment (B)
  • Insurance (C)
  • Personal finance (C)

Financial Economics (A & C)

  • Economic analysis and business decision, application of economic principles to business, managerial economics, impact of government policies (e.g., monetary and fiscal), public finance, impact of the international economy, competition. (A)
  • Business conditions and forecasting (econometric and time series approaches, forecasting with single equation models and simulating with multi-equation models. Forecasting product sales, financial variables, economic indicators). (A)
  • Economic theory and economic history are acquired by Economics. (C)

Health Services Management

  • Determinants of the health of populations. (B)
  • Health economics (Demand for health care and insurance, health care financing, alternative mechanisms for paying health care providers, regulation of pharmaceutical Industry). (B)
  • Planning / corporate strategy formation (cost effectiveness analysis, cost benefit analysis). (B)
  • Quality assurance (quality improvement, quality metrics, utilization management, certification, registration, accreditation, client focus, Employee focus). (B)
  • Critical issues. (B)

Human Resources and Organizational Behaviour (A, B & C)

  • Human resource planning (forecasting human resource requirements and supply, analysis of career patterns, policies for dealing with shortfalls and surpluses). (A)
  • Recruitment and selection. (A)
  • Job analysis. (A)
  • Training and development (needs assessment, training objectives, planning and delivery of instruction, learning principles, evaluation (A)
  • Performance appraisal. (A)
  • Compensation / Reward systems (market pay surveys, pay structures, performance incentives, knowledge pay and employee benefits). (A)
  • Organizational behaviour (Motivation, cognition, individual differences, leadership and teams, organizational structure, technology and environment). (A)
  • Organizational development. (A)
  • Social legislation. (C)
  • Thinking skills (convergent and divergent, logic and rhetoric), creative thinking, problem solving, decision making. (B)
  • Organizational effectiveness. (A)
  • Work reorganization. (A)
  • Communication skills (oral and written). (B)
  • Gender issues in business (women in business as entrepreneurs and business owners, across various professions and in an international context). (A)
  • Diversity in the workplace. (A)

Industrial Relations (A & B)

  • Collective bargaining (especially Canadian). (A)
  • Contract administration (union and management policy, economic and non-economic issues in bargaining, including public sector bargaining. Includes bargaining issues, bargaining outcomes and impasse resolution). (A)
  • Disputes settlement. (A)
  • Labour unions. (A)
  • Labour legislation (labour standards). (A)
  • Labour market (theories of labour supply and demand, wage determination, labour mobility, unemployment, inflation) (A)
  • Labour economics (non theoretical). (B)
  • Comparative labour relations (organization of labour and management, collective bargaining practice, governmental labour policy, industrial relations models, industrial democracy, especially contrasts with North America). (A)

International Business (A, B, C & D)

  • Multinational corporations and management. (A)
  • Foreign and comparative management. (A)
  • International trade and investment. (B)
  • Foreign exchange and international finance. (B)
  • Impact of cultural and political differences. (A)
  • Japanese Business. (Japanese history, culture, economic organization and business practices. Doing business with Japan, transferability of their system. Comparisons with other Asian countries.) (A)
  • International development (includes natural resources). (C)
  • Asian Business (China ∓ Asian newly industrializing countries) (B)
  • European Business (including Eastern Bloc countries) (C)
  • International institutions (works about various IGO's - WTO, IMF, NAFTA, etc.) (D)

Management of Innovation and New Technology (A)

  • Managing organizational change (including management of conflict). (A)
  • Management of technology (including integration of firm and technology strategy, external sourcing of technology, internationalization of technology management). (A)
  • Entrepreneurship (Including cultural and environmental determinants of entrepreneurism, corporation as a community of entrepreneurs, risk taking and risk adversity, corporate mission and values, sustainable economic growth, enhancing corporate performance). (A)
  • Innovation. (A)
  • New venture creation (includes human resources, accounting, finance, strategy, marketing, info systems, protection of intellectual). (A)
  • Knowledge management / Intellectual capital). (A)


Management Science and Information Systems (A)

  • Operations Management / Production Management / Business Logistics (process control, production control).
    Inventory Control, Cost Control, Quality Control (A)

    • Material handling and distribution (order entry/processing, demand planning, forecasting, purchasing, master scheduling, material requirement planning, capacity planning, MRP, just-in-time systems, job shop scheduling, design of production lines, line balancing, distribution planning systems).
    • Size, number and location of facilities, design of warehouses.
    • General transportation from a systems viewpoint.
    • Network and graph models.
    • Service operations management (selection and execution of strategy, structuring of service enterprises, day-to-day management of services operations, management of supply and demand, queues, manpower planning and scheduling, vehicle routing and forecasting demand.)
    • Quality management.
    • Simple waiting lines (queuing theory).
    • Software packages such as LINDO, GINO, LINGO and Maple.
    • Business process re-engineering (data-flow analysis, balanced corporate scorecards).
    • Supply chain management (order management, transportation, network design, distribution channel management, after-sales service, customer service strategy, vendor managed inventory systems, supply chain coordination, advanced planning and optimization software such as APO and SAP).
  • Management Information Systems (A)

    • Information technology (strategic applications of technology, technology trends, management of info resources, building and protecting systems).
    • Model Management Systems: support requirements, model design, integration and composition, structure and manipulation.
    • decision support systems (including use of software).
    • Expert systems (rules bases, frame-based systems, fuzzy knowledge, expert system shells, knowledge engineering, automated knowledge acquisition, strengths and weaknesses).
    • Information systems analysis.
    • Applications to business data processing.
    • Databases and data warehouses (data modeling and data oriented systems approaches, current trends in object-oriented approach, client server computing).
    • Data mining.
    • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.
    • Enterprise systems.
    • Management of enterprise systems.
    • Implementation of information systems.
  • Quantitative Methods (A)

    • Optimization: linear programming (revised simplex method, column generation methods, decomposition algorithm and Karmarkar's method), integer programming, dynamic programming, nonlinear programming, fractional programming, multi criteria programming, Lagrangean relaxation, geometric programming, trajectory methods, mathematical programming, heuristic programming and meta-heuristics such as genetic algorithms).
    • Simulation: discrete event simulation, emphasis on manufacturing and service environments, simulation packages such as ARENA.
    • Game theory.
    • Control theory, decision theory.
    • Data analysis.
    • Probability and statistics: descriptive statistics, random variables, statistical decision theory, confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, simple and multiple regression, correlation analysis, analysis of variance and chi-square tests, multi-variate analysis, time series analysis.
    • Stochastic processes: Markov chains, Poisson processes, 'birth' and 'death' processes, queuing systems, elementary renewal theory, diffusion processes.
    • Statistical forecasting.
    • Statistical methods for quality control (process capability analysis, control charts, acceptance control, reliability concepts, experimental design methods).

Marketing (A & B)

  • Marketing theory. (A)
  • Business marketing (product planning, marketing channels, management of the industrial sales force, selling to the government, derived demand, vendor analysis, competitive bidding, industrial design, key accounts, trade shows). (B)
  • Consumer behaviour. (A)
  • Marketing communications, including advertising, promotion, public relations and corporate reputation management. Includes traditional (print and broadcast) and emerging media (Internet), operation of ad agencies, and Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC). (B)
  • Innovation and new product marketing. (A)
  • International marketing. (B)
  • Distribution and logistics (includes purchasing, warehousing and packaging). Some overlap with Management Science and Information Systems Area. (B)
  • Marketing research/ Competitive Intelligence (includes product research, advertising and media research, attitude research, sampling, questionnaire design, interview techniques, analysis of data). (A)
  • Sales management, salesmanship, retailing, wholesaling, franchising, direct marketing, sales presentations, legal and ethical responsibilities, self and team management. (B)
  • Services marketing (profit and non-profit). (B)

Strategic Planning / Strategic Management (A, B & C)

  • Business ethics and social responsibility (some overlap with Philosophy). (A)
  • Business history, including histories of individual companies (particularly Canadian) and biography. (C)
  • Service sector management. (B)
  • Project management (including life cycles, planning, budgeting, controlling issues and conflict management, Microsoft Project software for scheduling and management, ERP systems, virtual project groups.) (A)
  • Total Quality Management (strategic quality planning, tools for quality improvement and control, standards such as ISO 9000, Baldridge Award). (A)
  • Corporate governance. (A)
  • Manufacturing strategy (focused manufacturing, experience curves, manufacturing infrastructure development). (B)
  • Family enterprise (succession planning, managing conflict, avoiding bankruptcy). (B)
To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction program, the graduate thesis research program, and the research activities of the faculty. In order to accomplish the aims listed above, the Department is building comprehensive research collections in certain areas of study. To support the work of Ethnological and Archaeological projects and other anthropological field work.

Arts and Social Sciences

Almost all materials acquired are in the English language, with some in French and German. However, in the area of linguistics, materials are collected in languages that are not covered by the several language departments.
Although most material comes from North America and Western Europe, volumes are collected from other areas, especially Oceania and Australia.

All but the most expensive of rare books are considered for purchase. The course of study covers all time periods.

  • Both currently produced and out of print books are acquired. Bibliographies and dictionaries are an important part of the book collection.
  • Periodicals are acquired both on subscription and by backfile purchases, some of the latter in reprint or in microform. There is an expanding policy on periodicals, and back issues of all standard anthropological journals are to be acquired as they become available. The completion of journal runs and the replacement of missing volumes, especially of the standard journals, has top priority.
  • Slides are acquired by individual professors and by the Department but not through the Library.
  • Films are acquired by and housed in the Department at present.
  • Tapes and readings are acquired by the Department as well as by the Library.
  • Facsimiles are collected.
  • Bibliographies and catalogues of museums and exhibits are collected.
  • The Department acquires its own maps for instructional purposes. Its map collection remains quite limited.
  • Technical reports of ethnographic and archaeological expeditions are acquired.
  • Photographs, unless in controlled collections, are the responsibility of the individual professor.
  • "Discussion papers" or "working papers" published by the Anthropology Departments of other universities are collected by individual professors at present. The Department may collect them in the future.
  • Government publications are acquired, especially census materials, documents on the modernization of native peoples, and studies of change and development. The publications of quasi-governmental organizations such as the Smithsonian Institution, and National Museums, are also acquired.

This policy should be looked at in conjunction with those of Sociology, Political Science, Biology, Economics, and Religion.


  • General Linguistics (B)
  • Descriptive Linguistics (A)
  • Linguistic Theory (A)
  • Historical Linguistics (B)
  • Linguistics of all countries and language typology not covered by other departments (A)
  • Ethno linguistics (A)
  • Sociolinguistics (B)
This subject overlaps the profiles of Philosophy, Psychology, Religion, English, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, German, and Classics.


Social and Cultural Anthropology

      It should be noted that the department is interested in descriptive, theoretical, and methodological writings relating to the each of categories discussed below.


Ethnology and Ethnography (A)

      This broad category is critical to maintaining a first-rate sociocultural collection. Ethnology is taken to mean the cross-cultural (and often comparative) study of patterns and processes in existing and recent societies. Ethnographies are case studies of societies or of cultural groups within societies. The department has a strong interest in descriptive ethnographies and also in methodological and theoretical works concerning past and present trends in the writing of ethnography.

Social Organization (A)

      This category overlaps "Ethnology and Ethnography" and suggests the study of whole societies with a particular emphasis on interrelationships between established social institutions. The latter include kinship, economic and property relations, social stratification, social control and the supernatural. Alternatively, a book concerned with social organization might have as its focus a particular sociocultural sub-system, such as kinship relations.

Interpretive Anthropology (A)

      Interpretive anthropology is an emerging sub-discipline in sociocultural anthropology concerned with the representation of cultural and social life, both by other peoples and by their investigators. "Symbolic anthropology" is a label that many anthropologists use for a major perspective within interpretive anthropology. Interpretive anthropology actively seeks interdisciplinary links with scholars in other disciplines, notably history, sociology, philosophy and English. Anthropology has an interest in books that historians, sociologists, philosophers and literary theorists publish that concern cross-cultural perspectives on hermeneutics and phenomenology and the study of narrative, representation, reflexivity, poetics and performance.

Medical Anthropology (A)

      Medical anthropology is becoming a major area of concentration in our department. It is a sub-discipline of anthropology in which there is considerable co-operation and exchange of ideas between sociocultural anthropology, biological anthropology, and archaeology. Forensic anthropology is an important branch of medical anthropology. Other medical anthropologists are concerned with cross-cultural perspectives on health, nutrition, aging, dying, stress-related disorders, and sexuality. The department would like to build a strong collection of books on all aspects of biomedicine and cross-cultural perspectives on healing.

General Studies (A)

      The cultural construction of gender is emerging as a key field of interest within our department.

Urban Anthropology (A)

      Like medical anthropology, urban anthropology is an area in which we would like to increase our present collection. Urban anthropologists study cultural and social dimensions of peoples' lives in urban and peri-urban settings. This sub-discipline has strong links to sociology and to human geography.

Applied Anthropology(A)

      More and more McMaster graduates in anthropology are finding jobs outside academia, mainly in government and business. To train our students properly, we need to build a solid collection of books on applied anthropology. We are interested in acquiring books that concern the application of anthropological perspectives and skills to practical problems in multicultural settings.

Economic Anthropology (B)

      This shall be taken to mean cross-cultural perspectives on economics, and economic perspectives on cross-cultural institutions such as marriage. It includes political economy as an important area.

Ecological Anthropology (B)

      Ecological anthropology focuses broadly on the interrelationships between humans and other dimensions of the environments in which they live. A major branch of ecological anthropology is cultural ecology, which stresses the investigation of how culture functions as a dynamic means of adapting to the conditions of local environments.

The Anthropology of Politics and Law (A)

      Political and legal anthropologists now research a wide range of societies, including our own. Politics and law in colonial and post-colonial societies is a topic of major importance to many writers in the sub-discipline. So too is the study of indigenous rights and indigenous law within nation states, including both Canada and other countries. Legal anthropologists have close links with scholars in other disciplines (notably comparative law) in the study of legal pluralism and unofficial law. The department is also keenly interested in works on ethnicity and identity politics, both in Canadian contexts and internationally. Apart from works on political and legal anthropology, the department seeks to collect at an "A: level works on cross-cultural perspectives on warfare, aggression, and peace. Our aim here is both to satisfy the needs of our own students and also to supplement the collection of books acquired through the Peace Studies program.

Visual Anthropology (B)

      Visual anthropologists use still photographs, videotape, and motion picture film as primary tools in the recording an analysis of cultural and social patterns cross-culturally. As most graduate students and professional anthropologists now make extensive use of photography in their research, the department would like to acquire new books on method and theory relating to visual anthropology.

Religion, Magic and Witchcraft (A)

      The Department of Anthropology shares a strong interest in the cross-cultural study of religion with the Department of Religion. Both departments have members conducting research on myth and the interpretation of oral tradition. The Department of Anthropology's interest, however, is not only in established religions and belief of systems but in broader sets of beliefs relating to the supernatural, the paranormal and the occult. One area of special importance is the study of witchcraft and sorcery cross-culturally, including Early Modern Europe and present-day North America. Another area of concentration is shamanism. We also are interested in acquiring those works on parapsychology that relate to the subject matter of anthropological investigations.

Culture Change (A)

      It is accepted within anthropology that all cultures exist in a constant state of change. Under this designation, however, we specifically seek to acquire all books published on (1) culture theory, and (2) processes of development and underdevelopment. In addition, there is significant interest in the department in the well-established sub-field of evolutionary studies. The department would like to acquire all books published on the long-term evolution of social systems, both from archaeological and cultural perspectives.

History of Anthropology (A/B)

      It is important that we acquire new writings on the history of anthropology. However, the department will rarely ask the library to acquire expensive primary sources relating to the history of the discipline.

Psychological Anthropology (A)

      This category should be broadly interpreted to include theories of mental development as well as both historical and current perspectives on transcultural psychiatry. The literature on the self, psyche and emotions is particularly relevant to the department's current interests.

Structural Anthropology (B)

      Structural anthropology is not a major area of concentration in the department. However, the department would like the library to acquire major new works in the area. French Structuralists (notably, Levi-Strauss and his students) and Dutch Structuralists of the Leiden School are of special importance.

Material Culture (B)

      Not a focus of the department, but we do have one sociocultural anthropologist on the faculty and at least one PhD student in sociocultural anthropology who conduct research in this area. Material culture also is of importance to the archaeologists in the department.

Kinship Studies (C)

      With the retirement of Dr. Damas, we have lost our leading kinship expert. We would like to continue to collect some works published on kinship.

Folklore (A)

      Folklore research concerning narrative, life histories, performance theory, as well as religion and the supernatural is of current interest to the department.

Ethnoscience and Indigenous Forms of Knowledge (B)

      Although Ethnoscience is not central to the current research or teaching interests of the department, faculty are interested in expanding collections dealing with indigenous and traditional forms of knowledge.


New World Archaeology (A) Old World Archaeology (B) Archaeological Method and Theory (A)
  • North
  • Northeast
  • Canadian Plains
  • Northwest Coast
  • Paleo-Indian
  • Southwest U.S.
  • Middle America
  • South America
  • Europe
  • Middle East
  • Africa
  • India
  • Russia
  • China
  • Oceania
  • Covers theoretical aspects, cross-cutting many geographic areas.

Physical Anthropology

Because many of the subjects listed below are collected by certain Science Departments and by the Health Sciences Library, the Anthropology Department would urge the Mills Library to avoid duplication of orders with those two units:
  • Demography (A)
  • Human Biology (A)
  • Primatology (A)
  • Primate Behaviour (A)
  • Primate Biology (A)
  • Human Genetics (B)
  • Human Variation (A)
  • Race (B)
  • Growth and Development (A)
  • Dental Anthropology (A)
  • Paleoanthropology (B)
  • Paleopathology (A)
  • Osteology (A) {Skeletal Biology}
  • Human Evolution (A)
  • Human Palaeontology (A)
  • Medical Anthropology (A)
  • Forensic Anthropology (A)
Particular emphasis on works involving Europe, North America, Africa, Southeast Asia, and India are collected in the last five subjects listed above.

General and Ancillary

This is a somewhat residual category. Occasionally, works appear which are not strictly anthropological but are relevant to interests in this department and not, apparently, to major interests in other departments. Examples might be in literature, e.g. novels by or about members of certain non-Western or non-Oriental societies; or in philosophy, e.g. the symbolism and iconography of settlement pattern or technology in developing societies.


To provide a comprehensive collection of cartographic information, covering all areas and time periods.

To develop special in-depth collections of cartographic materials for areas of particular teaching and research interest to members of the McMaster University community.

To support and facilitate the use of the cartographic collection with appropriate textual information, eg. gazetteers, manuals on map interpretation, foreign language dictionaries.

Curator control over the map collection is high. Although Faculty recommendations are welcomed, they account for a very small percentage of acquisitions. Maps and atlases are not purchased to satisfy a single Ph.D. project on a small area and relatively short term, as this is considered to fall under student's necessary personal expenditures. If however the study falls within a continuing or high priority area, requests for maps will be seriously considered and adjustments are made for changing needs.

All visual information is interdisciplinary; it is quite impossible to assign any map as exclusive to any subject or Faculty. Visual information is complementary to and interconnected with other formats of information, and should be integrated and used in connection with all other areas of the Library's collections.


There are no language limitations.
All areas, terrestrial, submarine and celestial, are collected. Some geographical areas are covered only at small scales, eg. with atlases and general maps. Areas which are of current teaching and research interest are covered in larger scales, eg. with complete topographic series and with thematic mapping and atlases.

There are no chronological limits. The collection includes a representation of mapping from all time periods, with particular emphasis on periods needed for teaching and research interests.

The collection should include a representation of all forms of cartographic information.
  • Maps. Sheet maps, both historic and modern, are collected according to priority levels assigned to geographic areas. These are in many formats, including microfiche. Plans are also collected. Maps in globe form are collected as representative examples. Mounted wall maps are not collected. Moulded relief maps are collected as representative examples.
  • Atlases. Atlases, both historic and modern, are collected according to priority levels assigned to geographic areas. Some general atlases are necessary for reference use, and it may be necessary to duplicate these in other sections of the Library. Atlases relating to specific areas and specific subjects are housed in the Map Collection. It is in the best interests of the users of cartographic materials to centralize this information where possible.
  • Aerial photography and remote sensing imagery. Stereoscopic flight line coverage of the Hamilton-Wentworth area is collected to meet our policy of concentration on the immediate area. Aerial photography of other areas is not systematically collected, but may be purchased to support research and teaching. Some remote sensing imagery is held, but was donated, not purchased. Photographic reproductions of remotely sensed imagery, with explanatory text where possible, are collected. Digitial orthophotography and digital remote sensing data are collected when available through consortial or educational agreements.
  • Microform. Microfilms of geographic information documents presently unmapped are collected to meet teaching and research interests, eg. surveyors's notebooks, assessment rolls and city directories. Maps on microfiche are collected when the visual information would not otherwise be available to us in paper format, eg. historical maps, or when cost and/or storage would be otherwise prohibitive. Maps on slides are collected where colour is essential to the information content and the map is not otherwise available.
  • Reference material. Text materials are collected where they are necessary to facilitate the use or the interpretation of the visual information. Bibliographies, geographical and foreign language dictionaries, gazetteers and other specialized reference works are collected. Some local historical material is collected to support use of the local map collection. Works on the interpretation of cartography are included in the Map Collection. Works on the theory or techniques of cartography are kept in Thode Library.
  • Periodicals. Cartographic periodicals are housed in the Map Collection. Periodicals relating to GIS (Geographical Information Systems) and remote sensing are kept in Thode Library.
  • Digital cartography. Electronic atlases are collected according to the same priority levels as for paper atlases. Electronic atlases should be added to the collection only if they meet the needs of university-level researchers. Multi-user licenses or networking capability are desirable, but most electronic atlases are still being produced as single-user products. All other factors being equal, priority will continue to be given to paper atlases for the time being.
  • Digital geospatial data. The need for digital geospatial data, for use in Geographic Information Systems, is steadily growing. These data will be collected according to the priority levels assigned to all materials. Local area, Ontario and Canada are priorities for collection, as are any coverages or themes required to support particular teaching and research interests. The Map Collection will attempt to participate in any cooperative agreements which will result in improved educational access to digital geospatial data. ArcInfo export and ArcView shapefile formats are preferred for geospatial data.


     The basic collection now developed provides comprehensive global map coverage to support the present and anticipated general needs of the McMaster community. Small scale topographic mapping and general maps are available for all areas. Areas which are of interest for teaching and research are collected in greater depth, including topographic coverage at larger scales and thematic maps and atlases.

      Inter-library loan of maps is available among Ontario Council of University Libraries Map Group members, to supplement our own map collection when necessary.

Topographic Coverage

      Topographic maps comprise the core of the map collection. The Map Collection maintains depository status on federal National Topographic Series and on Ontario Base Mapping (for the local area). Superseded sheets of Canadian maps and selected other areas are retained for historical studies.

Thematic Coverage: Major Divisions


      Original rare maps are collected and kept in the Research Collections Division, Mills Library. The Map Collection holds reproduction copies of these (photocopies, photographs or microfilm). Reproductions and facsimiles are collected in the Map Collection for active use.


      The Map Collection collects geological sheet maps only, and reports where the map constitutes the most significant part of the information content. The collection does not include maps in reports where the text constitutes the majority of information, which are held in Thode Library. For Canada, historical geological survey maps are collected, as well as modern geological sheets (not preliminaries). Ontario Geological Survey Preliminary and Final series are collected. Geological cover of the rest of the world is general and small scale, at the full country or full state level.


      The Great Lakes and waterways contingent to the local area are collected and maintained through Notice to Mariners. Hydrographic charts for other areas of Canada and the world are generally not purchased; existing collections are kept but not maintained for accuracy or currency.

Environmental and Other Thematic

      All types of thematic maps not falling in the above categories are collected, e.g. transportation, vegetation, etc. Emphasis is placed on the research and teaching needs of the McMaster community, on the local Hamilton-Wentworth and Southern Ontario area, and on the lasting value of the information content (in terms of currency and comparative interest).


  1. When purchasing topographic cover, series should always be purchased complete. Small scale cover, eg. in areas of general interest, includes scales such as 1:500,000, 1:1,000,000 and smaller. Large scale coverage, collected in areas of teaching and research interest, includes scales such as 1:250,000, 1:100,000 and larger. Larger scale topographic coverage is collected complete for Canada and Ontario, e.g. N.T.S. 1:50,000, O.B.M. 1:10,000 (local area in paper, remainder in microform).
  2. When purchasing large scale topographic cover for a small area or research area, where the full series is not being purchased, the geographic area should be purchased complete if possible, eg. full state, full township, full grid area.
  3. Where the above - either 1 or 2 is done, all available atlases both current and historic are purchased in order that historic and modern maps, and in broad terms, economic, biological and geological data, are available for anyone studying in that area.
  4. The decision to buy topographic cover (1 and 2) is automatically followed by step 3.
  5. World series maps, eg. 1:1,000,000, 1:2,000,000, and world atlases, are purchased as available with no subject limitations.
  6. Maps of detail greater than 1:25,000, eg. city street maps, are purchased as available. Historical views of cities are collected in as full chronological sequences as possible. Maps of Hamilton and Wentworth County extend to the block plan scale.
  7. Hydrographic cover and geologic cover are collected for all the world, but are of small scale except in Canada.
  8. For areas of intense study by a substantial number of students over a prolonged period, large scale maps of areas outside Canada are purchased. For states of the U.S.A bordering the Great Lakes, topographic cover is infrequently updated. U.S.A cover more detailed than 1:250,000 is no longer being automatically purchased.
  9. Maps which are rapidly dated , eg. land use, are purchased complete only for Canada, Ontario or the local area. Such maps from other countries are held only as examples or samples of cartographic methodology. Emphasis is placed instead on soils and land capability maps as being more useful and of more lasting interest. Some land use maps are held for historic comparisons. Current land use is generally studied using air photos.
  10. Thematic atlases of all kinds are purchased if they show spatial distributions, and may range from the Vatican collection to plankton distribution, through climatic atlases, ice atlases, ground water atlases, city atlases. Linguistics atlases are housed in Mills Library. Priority for purchase is determined by geographical area, rather than by theme.

Major Geographical Areas and Coverage Levels

  • Canada and Ontario - complete N.T.S. and O.B.M. coverage and superseded sheets, complete atlases and thematic mapping, 19th C incomplete (A)
  • Wentworth County, Hamilton-Wentworth Region - complete, modern and historical (A)
  • Canada, other provinces - selected general mapping, thematic mapping and atlases (B)
  • United States - topographic coverage at 1:250,000 complete, large scale topographic coverage of states bordering the Great Lakes infrequently updated, selected general maps and atlases at country and state level (C)
  • Europe - topographic coverage of teaching areas complete, selected general maps and atlases at the country level (C)
  • Asia - small scale topographic coverage, selected general maps and atlases at the country level (D)
  • Africa - small scale topographic coverage, selected general maps and atlases at the country level (D)
  • Central and South America - small scale topographic coverage, selected general maps and atlases at the country level (D)
  • Australia - small scale topographic coverage, selected general maps and atlases at the country level (D)
To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate courses of instruction, the graduate thesis research program and the research activities of the faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Department is building comprehensive research collections in selected areas of study.

Arts and Social Sciences

Materials are acquired in Latin, Ancient and Modern Greek, English, Arabic, French, German, Italian and Spanish. A few Armenian editions of classical authors are also acquired, sometimes, where necessary, in English translation.
Material is acquired from Britain, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia, France, Belgium, Italy, Greece, Spain, N. Africa and the United States, with occasional acquisitions from other countries. A number of periodicals and archaeological reports come from Greece.

Rare books are occasionally acquired, if necessary. The period covered by Classics courses extends from prehistoric times to the present, but the main emphasis is from the eighth century B.C. to the fifth century AD. # Publications acquired range in date from the invention of printing to the present with the major emphasis on publications of the last 100 years. The Department actively seeks second-hand and antiquarian publications of out-of-print standard works needed to support teaching and research.

  • Books: current publications and out-of-print: editions, anthologies, commentaries, lexicons, archaeological reports, monographs, critical works, works on metre, scholia, indexes, monograph series, occasional publications, etc.
  • Periodicals: current and backfile: in general it is the Department's policy not to recommend publications in microform, but some scarce and important items are available only in that form.
  • Microforms: occasional scarce publications are obtained in this form, e.g. Scholars Press Papyrology on Microfiche; the photo graphical archive of the American Academy in Rome. It is often impossible to obtain doctoral dissertations except on microfilm.
  • Facsimiles of manuscripts and of ancient works in non-Western alphabets are occasionally acquired.
  • Theses from German universities, especially of the period from about 1875 to the present, are acquired in large numbers. These are necessary for the graduate work and research of the department.
  • Plans, maps, etc. of ancient sites, cities, etc. are acquired. These include historical maps and atlases but, generally speaking, not rare maps.
  • Transactions of learned societies, symposia, and proceedings of international conferences, etc. are acquired.
  • Bibliographies, including specialized bibliographies on particular authors or subject areas, are acquired. Lists of the holdings of major Classics libraries (e.g. the Widener shelf-lists) are acquired.
  • Encyclopedias, handbooks, dictionaries and other works of reference are acquired.

Types of Material Excluded

  • Recordings and tapes: the Department has no intention at present of building up a collection of these, though occasional acquisitions may be recommended.
  • Slides: the Department purchases its own slides for instructional purposes, and these are currently housed in the Slide Library of the Art and Art History Department.

There are overlaps between the collection policy of this Department and those of the Departments of History, Art and Art History, Philosophy and Religious Studies. It has not been possible to devise clearly defined, comprehensive formulae to deal with these overlaps. There is a measure of cooperation between departments and some agreements of a general nature. The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.

Classical Language and Literature

  • Greek and Latin philology, language, and linguistics. (A)

  • Ancient Greek literature. (A)

  • Ancient Roman literature. (A)

  • Modern Greek literature. (C)

  • Mediaeval and later Greek and Latin texts. (B)

About three-quarters of all acquired works are in this area: editions, commentaries, indexes, criticism, etc. are purchased.
The Department is attempting to acquire a complete collection of texts of Greek and Latin authors, especially in the area of Roman Studies.

Classical Philosophy (A)

The Department acquires texts in the original languages and commentaries on them. Current works about Classical philosophy are acquired by the Philosophy Department.

Classical Art and Archaeology (A)

As well as monographs and serials, we collect corpora (e.g. of mosaics, vases, statues) and collections of artifacts, excavation reports, museum guides, studies of town sites, catalogues of coins, inscriptions, etc., atlases and maps, and topographical studies with special emphasis on Italy and North Africa in the Roman period. The Department is attempting to build up a supporting collection of representative material for the study of the art and archaeology of the Roman provinces and Greece. Much of this material will be in foreign languages.

Classical History (A)

There is a considerable overlap with the Department of History, though there is a measure of consultation between the departments on library matters.

Palaeography and Papyri (B)

History of Classical Scholarship (B)

Classical Science and Medicine (B)

Classical Religion and Mythology (B)

Classical Law (B)

Greek and Roman Epigraphy (A/C)

An original agreement that the Department of Classics would collect in the area of Roman epigraphy and that the Department of History would collect in Greek epigraphy has not worked at all in practice. The Department of Classics will continue to recommend acquisition of those epigraphical works which are necessary to its programs of instruction and research.

Greek and Roman Numismatics (B)

Collection in this area is a shared responsibility of the Departments of Classics and History.
To provide the materials necessary to support the graduate course instruction program, the graduate research program, the continuing education program and the research activities of the Faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Divinity College is building comprehensive research collections in certain areas of study.
  • Material is collected to support the Christian Ministry, both Baptist and other, principally in Ontario.
  • Some material is acquired to support interdisciplinary work with the Medical School.

Arts and Social Sciences

Materials are acquired primarily in English, with occasional acquisitions in French,German, Hebrew, Classical and Biblical Greek.
Most material comes from the United States, Canada and Europe.

Rare material is collected only in the area of Baptist history. The course of study extends from about 3,000 B.C. to the present day.

  • Books, both current and out-of-print.
  • Periodicals, both current and backfile.
  • Guidebooks to religious centres in the Holy Land and the Near East, such as Jerusalem.
  • Selected theses.
  • Biblical maps and atlases are collected.

Occasionally material is acquired in conjunction with the policies of Religious Studies, Philosophy and History, and Linguistics.


Old Testament
Collecting Level:  Research

      Introduction, The Books of the Old Testament (Commentaries, etc.), Apocrypha, History and Religion of Israel, Theology of the Old Testament, Ancient and Near Eastern Religions, Hebrew Language Studies.

New Testament
Collecting Level:  Research

      Introduction, Books of the New Testament (Commentaries, etc.), Theology of the New Testament, Early Christian Literature, History of Interpretation, Intertestamental literature, Greek Language studies (classical and koine).

Christian History
Collecting Level:  Research

      Christianity and History, General History, Councils, Early Church, Byzantine, the Middle Ages, Monasticism, Reformation, Modern period (European and North American church history up to the present), Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant History, History of Theology, Doctrine and Christian Thought (Mediaeval, Patristic, Reformation, Modern), Hagiography and Biography.

Christian Interpretation
Collecting Level:  Research

      Systematic Theology: God, Creation, Man, the Incarnation, Atonement, Eschatology, History of Doctrine, Contemporary works on doctrine, Theology Texts (Patristic, Mediaeval, Reformation and Modern, Ecumenical publications), Hermeneutics, Religion and Art.

Christian Ethics
Collecting Level:  Research

      Christian Ethics, Biblical Studies on Ethics, Moral Theology, Personal and Social Ethics, Psychological and Sociological Studies of Ethics, Marriage and Sexuality, the Family, Church and State, Christians in the Political and Economic Orders, War and Peace, Moral Philosophy, Theories of Value, Formation of the Moral Self.

Philosophy of Religion
Collecting Level:  Instruction

      Philosophical Studies of Religion, especially Christianity and Judaism, but also some of the non-Christian Religions, Theories of Religious Knowledge, Faith and Reason, the Existence of God, Theism, historical and contemporary, Religious Language, Philosophical Theology, Natural Theology, Phenomenology of Religion, Philosophical Analysis and Religion.

Psychology and Sociology of Religion
Collecting Level:  Instruction

      Psychological and Sociological Studies of Religion, Nature of Religious Experience, Guilt, Conversion,  Religious Revivalism, Cults and Worship, Religious Symbolism, Psychology and Religion (Freud and post-Freudians), Sociology of Religious Institutions.

Baptist History and the Nature of the Church
Collecting Level:  Research

      Ecclesiology and Polity, Sacraments (Baptism and the Lord's Supper), the Ecumenical Movement, Confessional Theologies, Church Union, Ordination, Priesthood and Ministry, Baptist History.

Christian Ministry
Collecting Level:  Research

      Nature of Ministry, Pastoral and Clinical Training, Pastoral Care, Homiletics, Aging, Dying and spirituality, Family Life, Counselling, Spiritual Formation, Human development, Theories of Faith (Religious) Education, Curriculum planning, Theological Reflection, Formation of Christian Disciples (discipleship), Congregational Formation, Education Method, Theories of the Self, Practical Theology, Pastoral Theology, Liturgy, the Spiritual Life (including Mysticism), Missions.


The study of literature from an international and interdisciplinary perspective. The Combined Honours Programme allows students to pursue both Comparative Literature (taught in English) and another subject of their choosing.

Arts and Social Sciences

Material should be collected primarily in English, though scholarly work in French, Spanish, and German should also be considered. We would like to expand the collection of translations of literary works into English.
There are no geographical limitations, and indeed we would like to extend our reach of material to include a better representation of world literature.

There are no chronological limitations (our academic program covers a broad historical sweep from biblical and classical literature to twenty-first century literature).

Scholarly books and monographs, and works of world literature translated into English.

The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.

General Comparative Studies (C)

Literary Theory and Methodology (C)

Literary Movements and Periods, (C)

      Renaissance, Neoclassicism, Romanticism, Realism, Naturalism, Modernism, Avant-garde, Post-Modernism, Philosophy & Literature, Literary Theory and other Theories.

Literary Conventions and Genres (C)

      Lyric, Epic, Drama, Fiction.

Literary Traditions and Influence Studies (C)

Literature and Other Disciplines (C)

      Psychology, Sociology, Philosophy, Art.

World Literature in Translation; Translation Theory & Practice (C)


The reference collection supports the verification, location, research and information needs of the McMaster University community. It includes basic academic reference works plus in-depth resources in the humanities and social sciences. Responsibility for the selection of resources is primarily assumed by reference librarians who select for designated areas. Some electronic reference resources are selected by the University Library Digital Content Committee, with input from reference librarians. Items not ordered by reference but which fit into the Reference collection policy are set aside on a decision shelf which is reviewed regularly by the appropriate reference librarian for a location decision. As a general rule, only the latest edition of a work is kept in the reference area.
The purpose of the Internet reference collection on the library's website is to provide access to relevant reference metasites, quality academic search engines, and ready reference sources such as almanacs, directories, handbooks, encyclopedias, dictionaries, and university calendars.


Primary emphasis is on English; materials in other languages are acquired as necessary to support university programs and general reference work.
Primary emphasis is on Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. Materials from other areas are acquired as necessary to support university programs and general reference work.

The emphasis is on currently published materials.

Materials are collected in a variety of formats:
  • Books
  • Periodicals
  • Microform (microfiche and microfilm)
  • Electronic (e.g. Internet, CD-ROM)
  • Admission Test Study Guides (e.g. LSAT)
  • Biographies of individuals
  • Travel Guides
  • Individual author bibliographies
  • Telephone directories

This policy should be looked at in conjunction with those of the other reference departments on campus (Innis, Thode, Health Sciences) and with the departmental policies written by faculty in the Social Sciences and Humanities.

General Reference Works (A)

Almanacs Handbooks and Yearbooks

Canadian, British and American are emphasized. The current edition is held in Reference; earlier editions are shelved in the general stacks. Encyclopedia yearbooks are kept in Reference.


 The bulk of atlases are kept in the Map Collection, therefore only a small collection is maintained for basic reference work.


Subject bibliographies are collected in support of the curriculum and general reference work. National bibliographies are purchased for Britain, Canada, France, Germany and Zimbabwe in paper; others are consulted on the Internet. Books in print are purchased for Canada, US and Britain; others are consulted on the Internet.


University and college calendars are readily available on the Internet. A small collection of current Canadian university and college calendars is maintained in paper Current McMaster calendars are kept at the reference desk; back issues are in the Bookstacks.


Language dictionaries and translation dictionaries are maintained for courses that require them (e.g. language, literature, religion, history, indigenous studies). Subject dictionaries are purchased in selected areas.


The collection includes current editions of a range of Canadian, American, British and international directories covering: libraries, museums, scholarly societies, postsecondary educational programs, publishers and associations. City directories are purchased for Hamilton and suburban Hamilton/Burlington and a criss-cross directory is purchased for Hamilton (includes Burlington).


 English language publications are purchased on a five-year cycle to ensure that one current set is available. The Canadian Encyclopedia is available online and earlier print editions are kept in Reference. Subject encyclopedias are purchased in some areas.

Periodical Indexes & Abstracts

Canadian, British and American publications are purchased in relation to courses taught and for general reference. Backfiles are maintained in Reference. The preferred format is electronic.

Style Guides

 Current editions of the style guides used in academic writing are maintained.

Specific Subject Areas

For areas ranked "A" most types of relevant reference sources (Encyclopedias, dictionaries, periodical indexes & abstracts, bibliographies, directories, handbooks, biographical sources) are collected. Lower rankings necessitate more selectivity in the types and quantity of resources selected.

Anthropology (A)

      Emphasis is on social and cultural anthropology with a focus on ethnology and ethnography, medical anthropology and the cross-cultural study of religion.

Art and Art History (C)

      A research collection for use with undergraduate courses in British, European, Asian and North American art and film is maintained. Ancient to modern time periods are covered. The language is primarily English, with some French, German and Italian publications.

Biography (B)

      Major universal and national biographical sources are maintained. Collective biographies are purchased for the reference collection; individual biographies are selected by departmental representatives.

Business (E)

      The Innis Library is the main source of business information but a small collection of business publications including some dictionaries and directories (e.g. Scott's) is available at Mills

Comparative Literature (C)

      A core collection is maintained with an emphasis on European literature for graduate and undergraduate courses. Publications are primarily in English, with some reliance on French and German.

Drama (C)

      The collection features theatre history and criticism for undergraduate programs covering North American, British and European works.

Economics (A)

      Emphasis is on Canadian and American materials in the areas of monetary, international and labour economics.

Education (C)

      Materials are collected to support the Graduate Students Training Program, and to support basic reference work.

English Literature (A)

      British and North American literature is emphasized to serve graduate level courses to the PhD level. The time period covered is from 1600 to the present

Film (C)

      The collection features film history and criticism for undergraduate programs covering North American, British and European works.

Folklore (C)

French Language & Literature (B)

      The emphasis is on language and literature for Canada, France and Africa from the medieval period to the present. Graduate programs at the masters level are supported.

Geography (A)

      Emphasis is on social geography, particularly urban, economic, behavioural studies, medical, applied geography and regional planning. Thode Library collects in the area of physical geography.

Gerontology (C)

      Emphasis is on the social aspects of gerontology.

Hebrew and Sanskrit (E)

      A core collection is maintained to serve undergraduate courses in Religious Studies.

History - Ancient (B)

      Emphasis is on dictionaries and other reference guides to ancient Roman and Greek history.

History - Asia (C)

      Works on Islamic and Arabic countries, South Asia and the Far East, including China and Japan are collected.

History - Canada, Britain, United States and Europe (A)

      Emphasis is on the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Canadian urban and regional history is emphasized. Social, political and military topics are stressed for the United States. The focus for Europe is on the major nation states of France, Italy, Germany and Russia as well as the medieval, Renaissance and Reformation periods of Western and Central Europe.

History - Latin America (C)

      The relationship with American history is stressed.

History - Military and Diplomatic (A)

      Emphasis is on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries with a particular focus on the periods of the two World Wars. The diplomatic history of Europe and the United States is a secondary focus.

Related Policy - Reference: Military and Naval Science.

Kinesiology (B)

      Emphasis is on both the academic and professional aspects of such subjects as physiology of exercise, biomechanics, sports medicine, motor development and sociology of sport.

Labour Studies (A)

      Emphasis is on Canadian, American and, to a lesser extent British, materials dealing with the history and theory of the labour movement, current labour issues, women and trade unions.

Law (C)

      Statute citators and legal encyclopedias are purchased to supplement official statutes and regulations; Canadian case law series are purchased; law directories and popular guides to legal issues are collected. The emphasis is on providing material for reference work and for undergraduate course assignments.
Related policy - Government Publications.

Linguistics (C)

      Reference works are selected to support an undergraduate program covering the beginning of known language to the present time. There are no language or geographical restrictions.

Military and Naval Science (C)

      Acquisitions are made to support the courses of study relating to military history and warfare, with less emphasis on naval science.

Modern Languages: Italian, Japanese, German, Polish Russian and Spanish (C)

      The emphasis is to support undergraduate courses in language and literature.

Music - 1st Floor (A/B)

      Music Criticism (A) / History of Music; Theory of Music; Music Education (B)

      The main music reference collection is housed in the music area on the 1st floor. It contains encyclopedias, dictionaries, periodical indexes & abstracts, bibliographies, directories, handbooks, biographical sources, song indexes, tune indexes, music title indexes, thematic catalogues and discographies.

Music - 2nd Floor (E)

      The purpose of this collection is to support basic reference work. It contains a subset of the main collection (duplicate titles) and some superceded titles from the main collection.

Philosophy (A)

      Emphasis is on several aspects of western philosophy including empiricism, philosophy of science, eighteenth century philosophy and the philosophy of Bertrand Russell.

Political Science (B)

      Emphasis is on political theory and methodology, Canadian politics, comparative politics, international politics, public policy and administration.

Psychology (A)

      Emphasis is primarily the experimental and theoretical aspects of psychology: social psychology, developmental psychology, educational psychology, the psychology of aging and personality psychology. The Thode and Health Sciences Libraries collect psychology materials in other areas.

Religious Studies (A)

      Emphasis is on Biblical studies, classical and modern western religious thought and Asian religions.

Sciences (E)

      Very little collecting is done in this area as the Thode and Health Sciences library collect the major reference tools in the sciences. The Mills collection contains materials which are purchased in order to answer questions related to the social sciences and, to a lesser extent, the humanities.

Social Work (B)

      Emphasis is on social policy as it relates to Canada and the U.S; service methods and service delivery and, to a lesser extent, social problems and service activity areas such as aging and the aged, crime and delinquency and family violence.

Sociology (A)

      Several areas of sociology are supported including: class and stratification, deviance, education, family, health care, methodology and theory, political sociology, race and ethnic relations, the sociology of religion, and the sociology of women.

Technology (C)

      Materials are collected on the social aspects of technology and to support the undergraduate multimedia program.

Women's Studies (C)

      The collection reflects the interdisciplinary and multicultural nature of Women's Studies, with emphasis on feminist theory, local women's studies and developing country perspectives (particularly India).

The Library collects official government publications to support the teaching and research programs of the University.


The language preference is English. French and other languages are collected when necessary to support course or graduate research programs of the University.
The Library maintains a strong collection of Canadian, British, American and International documents. The publications of other countries are purchased selectively.

Mainly current publications are being collected, however reprints of historical titles or collections are acquired if considered necessary to support course or graduate research programs of the University.

The collection is largely comprised of the following categories of material:
  • Parliamentary and Congressional materials (debates, committee proceedings and reports)
  • Statutory materials (bills, acts, regulations, cumulative revisions of acts and regulations)
  • Statistical publications (monographs and serials)
  • Royal Commissions and Task Force reports
  • Departmental Reports
  • Basic reference works

A small collection of non-official government-related publications forms part of the collection.

Formats of Material Collected

     Government publications are collected in all formats:

  • Paper
  • Microform (e.g. fiche & film; microcard is no longer actively collected)
  • Electronic (CD-ROM, Internet)

Location of Material

The main collection of government publications is housed in the Mills Library. Highly scientific publications are housed at the Thode Library. A small collection of business publications is maintained at the Innis Library. As a general rule, titles are not duplicated between libraries. Exceptions are made for key reference titles, some statistical publications and popular serials. When demand warrants, additional copies of popular titles will be ordered for class purposes. In some cases, the additional copies will be weeded after use declines.


Jurisdictions and Collection Levels

Canada - Federal (A)

     McMaster University Library has been designated as a depository library for federal government publications. As a result, the Library receives and is legally responsible to maintain and service a large number of documents produced by the Government of Canada, its departments and agencies.

     Other materials, not available on deposit but deemed to be useful to support the University's teaching and research needs, are actively acquired by the Library. These publications are acquired by direct purchase, subscription, standing orders and mailing lists.

     The collection is supplemented by Microlog, a microfiche collection purchased by subscription. Microlog is a clearinghouse for Canadian research and report literature in all fields. This collection covers English and French publications from federal, provincial, and municipal government agencies and departments. It includes research, scientific, technical and annual reports, policy papers and statistical materials.


Provinces - Ontario (A)

     McMaster University Library has been designated as a depository library for Ontario government publications. As a result, the Library receives and is legally responsible to maintain and service a large number of publications produced by the Ontario government. The depository arrangement covers a large spectrum of the government's publications (including bills, acts, revised statutes and regulations, votes and proceedings, statistical publications, and selected departmental, agency, board and commission reports.)

     Other materials, not available on deposit but deemed to be useful to support the University's teaching and research needs, are actively acquired by the Library. These publications are acquired by direct purchase, subscription, standing orders and mailing lists - either from Publications Ontario or from the issuing department or agency. This category of material largely includes departmental, agency, board and commission reports. Decisions are made based largely on subject matter, expected usage and price.

     The collection is supplemented by Microlog.


Provinces - Other than Ontario (C)

     The Library acquires publications selectively from provinces other than Ontario. When possible, we acquire the following:

  • Annual statute volumes
  • Revised statute sets
  • Budget speeches
  • Estimates (Finance Department)
  • Public Accounts
  • Royal Commission Reports (selective - based on subject matter)
  • Departmental, agency, board or commission monographs (selective - based on subject)
  • Annual statistical publications (if not available via Microlog or as part of a Statistics Canada publication)
  • Historical cumulations or overviews
  • Publication catalogues / checklists

     Unlike Ontario, we do not attempt to acquire bills, regulations, votes and proceedings, journals, debates, revised regulation sets, annual reports or departmental reports, chief electoral officer reports.

     The collection is supplemented by Microlog.


Municipal - Local Area (Hamilton, Burlington) (C)

     The Library acquires municipal documents from the local area on a selective basis. The local area includes Hamilton, (amalgamation of Hamilton, Flamborough, Ancaster, Stoney Creek and Dundas took place January 1, 2001), Burlington, and surrounding communities. Materials are selected on the basis of subject matter and expected usage by McMaster students, faculty and staff. Subjects of most interest include: bike lanes, environment, Hamilton harbour, health, industry, parks and recreation, planning and development, social services and waste management.

     In addition, the Library acquires:

  • almost all documents issued by the Social Planning and Research Council of Hamilton.
  • Hamilton City Council - Agendas & Minutes
  • Hamilton City Council Committees - Agendas and Minutes

     Some municipal documents are acquired from the City of Toronto. Selection is based on subject matter and expected usage. Social Planning and Research Council of Metropolitan Toronto publications are acquired selectively.

     A small number of documents are acquired from other municipalities on issues of relevance to the Hamilton area (e.g., harbour cleanup in Halifax, steel industry in Pittsburg).


Political Party Materials (D)

     The Library attempts to acquire all Canadian federal and Ontario provincial party platforms and other significant documents. Most materials are collected at election time.


Nominal Census (A)

     The Library acquires sets of nominal census returns on microfilm as they are released (every five years).


Case Law (B)

     The Library maintains collections of case law: some titles come free of charge as depository publications (e.g., Supreme Court Reports); others are purchased (e.g. Ontario Reports).


Commercial Publications (E)

     The Library maintains a small collection of commercial publications within the government publications area. The collections include:

  • basic reference tools used to access government publications (indexes, etc.)
  • loose-leaf current information services
  • dictionaries, handbooks, guides to government services and politics
  • case law reporters and indexing services


United Kingdom (A)

     British documents are collected primarily to support courses in British history from the medieval to the modern period, with emphasis on the Victorian and modern periods. Documents also support research at the undergraduate and graduate levels. They are also collected to support research in courses of European history and politics, and in areas that can be compared with their Canadian and American counterparts (economics, sociology, social work and other subject areas).


Chronological Limitations

     Mainly current publications are being collected, however backfiles or reprints of historical titles or collections are acquired, particularly if they are relevant to Victorian or twentieth century British history or politics. Reprinted manuscripts or expensive sets are purchased for earlier periods in consultation with the History Department.




Parliamentary (A)

     All British parliamentary material is collected (Debates, Sessional Papers, Command Papers) for all periods with some exceptions for the House of Lords. Parliamentary papers currently being received as part of the Readex Parliamentary Papers Collection (1980-   ) are not being duplicated in paper with the exception of major white papers and other important documents.


Statutory (B)

     British Statutes (public acts) are collected for all time periods. While consolidations ofstatutes were purchased in the past, a current consolidation is not held. Consolidated indexes are purchased to provide historical evolution of legislation. Bills are not collected except for those which are included in the Readex Parliamentary Papers Collection (1980-  ). Statutory Orders and Instruments (Regulations) are not collected.


Statistical (C)

     General statistics covering a number of subject areas are collected for all time periods. All publications of the population censuses for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland are collected. Other sources covering statistics relating to population, health, labour, social affairs, economics, environment and agriculture are collected selectively.


Medieval and Early Modern British History (B)

     The library holds a core collection of State Papers and calendars of State Papers, House of Lords and Commons Journals, various series such as the Rolls Series and the manuscripts republished by the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts. This is supplemented and added to whenever required for courses or research into the history of this period.


Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century British History (B)

     Cabinet papers, parliamentary, statutory and other materials are actively collected, particularly if they relate to the social or political history of the Victorian period.


Twentieth Century British History and Politics (B)

     Subject areas collected include the First and Second World Wars, British foreign relations, foreign and domestic policy, international relations and economic and social history.


British Society and Economy (C)

     Material is selected to support courses in sociology, social work, women's studies, geography and economics. Subject areas collected include health and vital statistics, population, gender issues, environment, social welfare, labour, education, national accounts and economic conditions.

Note:      Publications of the governments of Scotland and Northern Ireland are purchased only if they are considered very important to the collection, apply to a broader event, or are related to one of the subject areas described above.


United States of America (Federal) (A)

     Congressional and statutory publications are purchased both for their research and their reference value. Other publications are purchased in three main areas: statistical (Census Bureau and Dept. of Commerce), international (US Army handbooks and Dept. of State) and departmental (eg. Dept. of Health, Education and Welfare and Dept. of Justice). Course related materials are also acquired, especially those that can be used for international comparisons.


Subjects and Collection Levels

Presidential Documents (A)

Foreign Affairs (B)

Forestry (B)

Geology (B)

Health and Welfare (B)

Law and Legislation (B)

Statistics and Census (B)

Transportation (B)

Anthropology (C)

Congressional (C)

Crime (C)

Defense and Disarmament (C)

Economics and Business (C)

Environment (C)

Finance (C)

History (C)

Labour (C)

Trade (C)

Agriculture (D)

Education (D)


Energy (D)

     Subscriptions, standing orders and mailing lists are maintained where possible. All basic reference works and indexes relative to the collection are purchased. Historical materials are acquired in microform. Monographs, serials, annuals and periodicals are acquired through GPO (Government Printing Office), the issuing agency or commercial distributors.


United States of America (State) (E)

     State documents are not generally collected. Basic coverage of state information is through federal publications that give detailed information at the state level.


Other Countries (E)

     McMaster University Library does not collect extensively in this area. Official Yearbooks and statistical compendiums are purchased where possible. Basic coverage is through the publications of international bodies and, to a lesser extent, through the international publications of the US government.


International Organizations (A)

     McMaster University Library relies on the publications of the United Nations and its affiliated agencies for general and statistical information on other countries and for international comparisons. The collection includes official records, international treaties, statistical yearbooks and a wide range of other publications.


United Nations (A)

Subjects and Collection Levels

Official Records (A)


Selected Subject Categories (A)

     Publications in the following categories are automatically received through a standing order. Categories may be added or changed from year to year.


Category I: General Information and Reference
Category IIB: Economic Development
Category IIC: World Economy
Category IIG: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
Category IIK: Economic Commission for Africa
Category IIL: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
Category IIIA: United Nations University
Category IIIB: United Nations Development Programme
Category IIIC United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the advancement of Women
Category IIID United Nations Environment Programme
Category IIIE United Nations Industry and Development Organization
Category IIIH United Nations Population Fund
Category IIIK United Nations Institute for Training and Research
Category IIIM United Nations Disaster Relief Agency
Category IIIN United Nations Inter-regional Crime and Justice Research Institute
Category IIIP International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
Cateogry IV Social Questions
Category VII Security Council and Peace-Keeping Operations
Category IX Disarmament and Atomic Energy
Category XIII Demography
Category XIV Human Rights
Category XVII International Statistics
Category XX UNICEF Publications


Law (B)

East Asia (B)

All other Subject areas (C)

     Partial standing orders are maintained with the following affiliated agencies. Monographs are ordered selectively.

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) (C)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in the area of food andagriculture.

Subjects and Collection Levels

Statistics (B)

Food Supply (B)

Sustainable Development (B)

Environment (B)

Agricultural Production and Trade (C)

Nutrition (C)

Land and Soil Reserves (C)

Forest Resources (C)

Fisheries (C)

Irrigation (C)

Fertilizers (D)

International Labour Office (ILO) (B)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in the area of labour.


Subjects and Collection Levels

Statistics (A)

Social Security (A)

Social, Economic and Employment Policy (A)

Labour and Special Groups (Women, Children, Disabled) (B)

Labour Legislation and Standards (B)

Workers' Rights (B)

Working Conditions (B)

Labour Relations (B)

Occupational Health and Safety (C)

Management (D)

Worker Education and Training (E)

International Monetary Fund (IMF) (C)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in the area of world financial and economic development issues and developing countries.


Subjects and Collection Levels

Statistics (B)

Economic Development (B)

Developing Countries (B)

World Finance (C)

World Economics (C)

Banking (C)

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (C)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in the area of education, science and culture.


Subjects and Collection Levels

Statistics (B)

Education Policy (B)

Education in Developing Countries (C)

Communication (C)

Culture (D)

World Bank (C)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in all areas of development.


Subjects and Collection Levels

Statistics (B)

Economic Development (B)

Sustainable Development (B)

Social Welfare and Social Policy (B)

Agriculture (C)

Environment (C)

Social Issues (C)

Health (C)

Education (C)

Transportation (C)

Finance (C)

World Health Organization (WHO) (D)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in the area of health, particularly as it relates to the social, economic, and non-technical aspects of health and disease.


Subjects and Collection Levels

National Health Policy (D)

Health Conditions and Health Care in Countries (D)

Health of Special Groups: Women, Children, Etc. (D)

Environment and Health (D)

Ethics (D)

Social-economic Aspects of Health and Disease (D)

Statistics (E)

Who Documents (E)

Public Health (Disease, Immunization)(E)

Health Education (E)

Nutrition (E)

Mental Health (E)

World Trade Organization (WTO) (B)

     Supplements and augments the main UN collection in the area of trade policy information for countries of the world and research resources relating to international trade agreements and issues.


Subjects and Collections Levels

Trade Policy (A)

WTO Official Documents (A)

Legal Texts (B)

Other International Organizations

     Selected publications from other international bodies are also purchased; eg. Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), etc.

Note:      The international collection is also supplemented by a Readex collection entitled United Nations Documents and Publications, a microfiche subscription service from NewsBank which is accompanied by an electronic index. The Readex collection includes the Official Records of all the UN main and subsidiary bodies as well as many other published and unpublished documents of the UN and UN affiliated bodies.

The ebook market is still in a state of flux but the University Library’s eBook Working Group is monitoring developments and purchasing ebooks selectively.

Purpose of Collecting eBooks

  • respond to evolving user needs
  • potentially useful for reserve
  • provide current editions
  • part of an innovative approach to service

November 2004; updated October 5, 2005

Arts and Social Sciences

  • primarily English
  • reference books in other languages, as appropriate (e.g. dictionaries)


  • eBooks readable with a web browser or Adobe reader
  • eBooks from vendors which:
    • supply MARC records
    • permit walk-in users, e-reserves, integration with course management software (WebCT, Learnlink) [keeping a watch on ILL]
    • COUNTER compliant (http://www.projectCounter.org)
eBooks which require proprietary software and/or hardware devices


  • Reference - all areas
  • Social Sciences
  • Humanities
  • Business
  • Science
  • Engineering
Electronic resources in support of teaching, learning and research include all the varied forms of digital, optical and magnetic technologies. The electronic resources policy, which addresses the expenditure of the Library system's Data budget, is one element of the Library's overall collection development policy. The selection of electronic resources for the Libraries' collections poses service, legal, economic and technical issues.

Arts and Social Sciences

Newspapers are maintained by McMaster University Libraries to support the University's teaching and research requirements and to provide current information to members of the University community (students, faculty and staff).


The term "newspapers," as used in this document, refers to serial publications originally produced on newsprint which report on a broad range of current events. The publications can be targeted to the general public or to a special clientele. In their original form, newspapers are typically published tabloid size or larger, with the text appearing in columns. Issues are produced without a cover, but with a masthead or banner. Newspapers appear at least biweekly.

Trade and professional journals and government newspapers are excluded from this definition.


This policy covers newspapers produced in all formats, including machine-readable format. Current formats include paper, microfilm and online.

In addition to the "newspapers of record," McMaster maintains strong collections of: - early British newspapers (18th and 19th century) - early Canadian newspapers

Primary Selection Criteria

          The Library will acquire newspapers which:

  • support campus programs of instruction and research
  • enhance the University community's awareness of current events throughout the world

Additional Selection Criteria

Influence / "Newspapers of Record".

In selecting newspapers for purchase, the Library will attempt to acquire titles that are recognized throughout the world as "newspapers of record." These titles are considered to be of the highest journalistic quality. Typically, these titles report on a wide variety of political, cultural and economic events. Some are known for their exceptional coverage of specific subjects. Most have high circulations throughout the world.

Geographic Area

  • Local / Regional Papers: The Library will subscribe to the local newspaper, The Hamilton Spectator.
  • Ontario: The Library will attempt to collect newspapers from major cities in Southern Ontario. Some attempt will be made to provide coverage of Northern Ontario.
  • Other Canadian Provinces/Territories: The Library will attempt to acquire at least one newspaper from each province and territory in Canada.
  • National: The Library will acquire and permanently retain Canadian newspapers which are national in scope and coverage (Globe & Mail and National Post). The Library will make every effort to obtain for the permanent collection the edition that is indexed and preserved.
  • International: The Library will collect selective "newspapers of record" from around the world. No attempt is made to provide newspapers from all political viewpoints in a specific country or from all countries represented by students attending McMaster.


The Library will primarily acquire newspapers written in the English language. The Library will also attempt to acquire newspapers of record written in the other modern languages taught at McMaster (French, Italian, German and Spanish).


McMaster will attempt to acquire newspapers for which indexing is readily available (e.g., Globe and Mail, New York Times). If indexing is not readily available at the University, very little use will be made of the newspaper, regardless of its content or journalistic merit.

Cost Factors

  • Subscription Cost: Annual subscription costs must be proportional to anticipated use over time. Expensive titles can be justified if the products are used heavily and/or satisfy other criteria as outlined in the document.
  • Processing Cost: The cost of processing the newspaper (i.e., the amount of staff time required to place subscriptions, obtain and paying invoices, claim, sort and check in a title) will be considered in making acquisition or cancellation decisions. Titles with limited audience or potential use will not be purchased if the processing costs are too high.
  • Storage Cost: Consideration is given to the amount and kind of physical space required to store the material. How many shelves, cabinets are required?


All newspaper titles held at McMaster University Libraries are catalogued and accessible through the Library Catalogue.


Microfilm is considered to be the permanent backfile (archival format) for newspapers of record and other important newspapers.

Newspapers collected by the Library will be assigned to one of the following retention categories:

Current Print Issues Only
When the newspaper title is of interest for current awareness purposes only (i.e., not relevant to the University's teaching or research needs), only the newsprint issues for the latest three months (or other suitable) period will be retained. In many cases, newspapers falling into this category are not indexed in any major source.

Microfilm Only
A small number of newspapers are acquired in microfilm only (i.e., no current paper issues). Typically, titles are acquired this way when the newspaper is important for historical purposes, but the current issues are either too expensive relative to anticipated use or take too long to be delivered.

Online Only
The Library will purchase online copies of newspapers as a cost-effective means of filling gaps in the collection, but when a permanent backfile is not required. (Online newspapers typically do not include the advertisements, photographs, obituaries, and other elements necessary for many kinds of academic research).

Print Plus Microfilm
The Library will maintain subscriptions for both the newsprint and the microfilm when there is anticipated need for both currently published issues as well as the permanent backfile.

Print Plus Online
Some paper subscriptions include current week(s) online.

Print Plus Microfilm Plus Online
The Library will maintain subscriptions for the newsprint, microfilm and online versions when there is anticipated need for currently published issues, a permanent backfile and a searchable archive.      

The University Library Newspaper Group

 The University Library Newspaper Group is comprised of the following individuals (or their delegates):

  • Director of Library Liaison
  • Library Director, Business
  • Supervisor, Mills Learning Commons
  • Associate University Librarian, Collections & Facilities

The Newspaper Group is responsible for:

  • recommending the purchase or cancellation of newspapers either to the Associate University Librarian, Collections & Facilities or, in the case of electronic products, the IRMC (Information Resources Management Committee).
  • recommending the retention policy for new and existing newspapers
  • ensuring that adequate access is provided to the collections via both the library catalogue and web site
  • reviewing the University Library's newspaper holdings and Collections Policy each year to determine if changes are required.
These collections of books printed after 1800 are shelved in Research Collections for a number of reasons: individual value, as part of an author collection, as part of a subject collection, reference use and date of publication. Each of these collections and classes of material will be described and their acquisition policy outlined.


The Eighteenth Century collection consists of approximately 30,000 books and pamphlets, the majority published in the eighteenth century, over 400 periodical and newspaper titles and over 400 maps. There are also many books in the collection which were published before 1700; these have usually come to the library as part of another collection. This collection was formed and continues to develop with the interest and support of the McMaster Association for Eighteenth Century Studies and interested faculty. The donation of Dr. Wiles' collection of eighteenth-century periodicals and the purchase of the A.G. Rippey Collection were additions of immense value. McMaster University's collection is considered to be the best eighteenth-century collection in Canada, and supports the American Society for Eighteenth Century Studies Fellowships offered annually since 1987.


The predominant language of the collection is English. However, books in French, Latin, German and Italian are also strongly represented in the collection, especially in Continental translations of British literature.
The British Isles is the main geographical area represented in the collection. However, since books on travel are collected, European travels to Britain and British travels to Europe and other parts of the world are also present in the collection.

Books, pamphlets and periodical literature printed between 1680 and 1800 are collected.

Books, pamphlets (catalogued as disbounds), maps, broadsides and serial publications are collected.

It is library policy that all items printed before 1801 become part of the rare book collection. While Research Collections has a book acquisition budget to develop the collection according to the policies outlined in this document, any pre-1801 books purchased by the departments in accordance with their collection policies automatically come to Research Collections to be catalogued and shelved in secure and controlled conditions. The scope of the collection is broadened by these departmental acquisitions.

The collection is exceptionally strong in the subject areas of British drama, British poetry and British prose fiction and novels. All suitable material available is added to these areas of the collection.       In order to provide the research background necessary to study the literature of eighteenth century Britain, the collection is being developed in the fields of travel, history, biography, politics, religion and reference works.

      In addition to the strong subject collections, the Division also has significant strengths in the works of particular authors. These are as follows:

  • Daniel Defoe 1661-1731
  • John Dryden 1631-1700
  • Oliver Goldsmith 1728-1774 (see Library Research News Vol. 3 No. 5 May 1976)
  • Samuel Johnson 1709-1784
  • Alexander Pope 1688-1744
  • Jonathan Swift 1667-1745
  • James Boswell 1740-1795

      The use of the hand-operated printing press before approximately 1800 means that books published before 1801 can vary not only from edition to edition, but also from copy to copy. It is therefore the policy of the Division of Archives and Research Collections to purchase significant variant editions of items. With respect to some author collections, the level of collection is intensive, an attempt being made to acquire as many variant editions as possible.

 The original Russell Archives were acquired in 1968 and contained Russell's own correspondence, manuscripts of his published and unpublished books, essays and articles, photographs and other family memorabilia. In 1972 a second group of archives was acquired, containing correspondence (some of it is still under embargo) with Russell's second, third, and fourth wives, his children, grandchildren and legal and financial agencies. The collection, including published books, is the largest author collection in the Division, and is designated as McMaster's prime Research Collection.

      The general policy of the Russell Archives is to collect everything of significance to scholars studying Bertrand Russell's life and work, especially those involved in McMaster's editorial project, The Collected Papers of Bertrand Russell, while avoiding undue duplication of other Library resources.

Arts and Social Sciences

Archival Material

      Although the original archive contained much of Russell's correspondence and manuscripts, there are still gaps in the collection. Every effort is made to fill the gaps by buying at auction and searching out individual owners. Collections of correspondence are sought as available. Individual letters are usually very expensive at auction and are avoided unless no copy of the letter(s) concerned is otherwise available. Attempts are rarely made to acquire outgoing letters dated 1952 or after, since a draft or a carbon usually exists in the collection. The Russell Archives are also interested in acquiring the papers of people who were close to Russell, especially former wives, mistresses and relatives, where it is expected that their papers will give significant information about Russell. Cognate papers include the archives of Anton Felton, Constance Malleson, Dora Russell, Edith Russell, and Rupert Crawshay-Williams.

      Along with the archival material, tape recordings, photographs, some realia and surrogate copies of Russell archival material in other libraries are acquired.


Published Books and Articles

      To add to the research value of the archival collection, a large collection of books by and about Russell has been acquired.

      All books and pamphlets written by Russell, in every edition and every printing in English up to shortly after his death, as well as every available translation, are acquired. A copy of every edition of a work contributed to by Russell, including a dust-jacket blurb, is acquired.

      The staff search for books including significant references to his life, writings and theories, as well as a copy of the exact edition of books he reviewed. Also added to the collection are standard biographies of people involved in Russell's life, significant books by his relatives, every biography of Russell himself and all books once owned by Russell, especially those with his marginalia.


The main goal is to provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction programs, the graduate thesis research program, and the research activities of the Faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Department is continuing to build comprehensive research collections in certain areas of study.

Arts and Social Sciences

Almost all monographs and periodicals acquired are in the English language, some are in French.
A greater percentage of available Canadian material is acquired, but in terms of volume more material originates in the United States. As well as material from Great Britain, European publications in English and French are acquired, especially those originating in the Netherlands (and, to a lesser extent, in the Federal Republic of Germany). Material from other areas is not as extensively acquired.

The Department is interested primarily in currently produced material. Reprints of antiquarian material are, however, relevant for economic history and history of economic thought.

  • Books; primarily currently-produced, with a small number of reprints or out-of-print titles.
  • Periodicals; much scholarly work in economics is published in periodicals rather than in books, and new journals continue to be developed. We hope to subscribe to many of these new journals (in economics and also in related areas).
  • Data; in line with the needs of our graduate field in quantitative economics, we will build up computer data banks and published data (particularly Canadian, but also international data including material from the U.N. and such sources as The International Monetary Fund, The International Labour Organization, and OECD). We have on- line access to CANSIM, the Statistics Canada data base.
  • Working papers from the Economics Departments of other universities; at present, the Economics Department acquires these in exchange for its own series and holds them in its Departmental Library. Lists are made available to those interested, including people in other Departments. The Economics Department would like to continue this arrangement.
  • Some pamphlets (principally those developed to accompany courses) are acquired.
  • Some theses are acquired.
  • Some atlases of economic interest are acquired.
  • Government publications are acquired in great numbers through the Government Documents section of Mills Library.


General Economic Theory (A)

      Includes equilibrium theory, microeconomic theory, macroeconomic theory, growth theory and theoretical welfare economics.


Quantitative Economics (A)

      Economic and statistical methods and mathematical models. The Department of Mathematics and Statistics is interested in theoretical works in this area, but the Economics Department will do most of the collecting of material.

      Economic and social statistics; national income accounting; input-output; financial accounts; national wealth and balance sheets; social indicators and accounts; productivity and growth indicators; price measures; Canadian labour force surveys (tapes); Canadian surveys of consumer assets (tapes).


History of Economic Thought (B)

      This subject is covered from the Eighteenth Century to recent years. Reprints are collected, together with the collected works of major economists.


Economic History (B)

      Canadian, American and British Economic history, mainly from the Eighteenth Century onwards. No rare materials are acquired, reprints being chosen where earlier publications are needed. There is some overlap with the collection policy of the History Department.


Economic Systems (C)

      Capitalism, communism, socialism, mixed economies. Comparative economic systems.


Economic Development (B)

      Planning theory and policy for both developed and underdeveloped countries; economic fluctuations and stabilization; inflation; agricultural economics relevant to economic development; economic geography relevant to economic development.


Monetary Economics (A)

      Monetary theory and policy, commercial banking, financial markets, financial intermediaries, consumer finance.


Public Finance (A)

      Fiscal theory and policy, government expenditures and budgeting, taxation, provincial finance, national debt, Canadian federal-provincial financial arrangements; cost benefit analysis (theory and Canadian applications).


International Economics (A)

      International trade theory, trade relations, commercial policy, economic integration especially as it applies to Canadian-American economic integration, balance of payments, international finance, international investment, economics of foreign aid, purely economic aspects of trans-national corporations.


Natural Resource Economics (B)

      Theoretical and empirical analysis of scarce natural resources (including the "limits to growth" literature).


Industrial Organisation (B)

      Industrial organisation and market structure, public policy towards monopoly and competition; public utilities and government regulation of the private sector; public enterprises; economics of technological change; innovation; research and development; industry studies; economic capacity; trans-national corporations.


Labour Economics (A)

      Manpower training and allocation, labour force and supply, labour markets and public policy, trade unions and collective bargaining, labour-management relations, human capital theory, population studies and demographic economics. An important component consists of data tapes of Canadian labour force surveys.


Health Economics (A)

      Theoretical and applied work related to the economics of healthcare, its provision and production as well as health policy analysis.


Experimental Economics (A)

      Laboratory methods applied to market and non-market decision making.


Regional and Urban Economics Including Transport Economics (B)

      Urban and housing economics; transportation economics. There is a considerable overlap with the collection policies of the Geography and Civil Engineering Departments.


Political Economy and Public Choice Theory (A)

      This is a rapidly evolving area with strong inter-linkages with the fields of macroeconomics and public finance. Given the renewed interest in this area, we wish to collect material here at all levels. There will be some overlap with the policy of the Political Science Department.


Globalization and the Human Condition (B)

      Macro economics and public policy.

The Multi Media program at McMaster offers undergraduate students training in Humanities Computing, both in theoretical and applied forms.

Arts and Social Sciences

Materials should be collected in English.
Publications may be purchased from Europe, Australia, and North America for this collection.

Mostly publications related to this area appear after 1960, with some exceptions. Retrospective materials might include materials on the history or philosophy of computing.

Monographs, periodicals, government documents, theses, symposia, proceedings of international conferences are all relevant to Multimedia.
Exclude specifically manuals or materials dealing specifically with software.

The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.

Computers-Social Aspects (C)

Computers-History (D)

Computing-Literary and Linguistic (C)

Computing-Humanities (C)

Computational Linguistics (D)

Human Computer Interface Design (D)

Human Computer Interaction (D)

Hypertext (C)

Hypermedia (C)

Technology-Civilization (D)

Technology-Culture (D)

Technology-Philosophy (D)

Technology-Arts (D)

Animation (C)

New Media (C)

To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction programs, the graduate thesis research program, and the research activities of the Faculty. For this purpose the Department is building comprehensive research collections in most areas of study.

To support the work of the Association of Eighteenth-Century Studies, which is largely dependent upon the fine collection which the department has built up in the Rare Books Room in the Research Collections Division.

To make English literature available as a recreational resource for the University community to the extent that funding permits.

Arts and Social Sciences

  • Nearly all the primary texts are in English, with only a very small proportion in other languages.
  • Secondary materials are almost all in Modern English.
  • French-Canadian material is the responsibility of the Department of French.
  • English translations of important works by foreign authors are collected, especially from languages of which there are no departments at McMaster.
Great Britain is the principal source of material, with the United States second and Canada third. The Commonwealth, other English-speaking countries, and Western Europe also supply primary and secondary material.

None for reprints and microforms, but normally the Library does not purchase original materials published before 1600.

  • Monograph books, ranging from those currently published to those published in the seventeenth century. Many are obtained in reprint and in microform.
  • Periodicals, including little magazines, in the same range.
  • Manuscripts, especially of Canadian poetry.
  • Recordings and tapes are presently acquired both through the library and through the English Department.
  • Facsimiles.
  • Pamphlets, ephemera, posters, broadsides, and "non-book" materials are acquired usually only as part of our Modern Canadian Poetry Collection.
  • Video tapes as selected for specific class instruction; housed in AV-Services.

The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.

Old and Middle English (B)

      The Department has a strong tradition of Faculty research in this area and will continue to build this collection.


English Literature, 1475-1660 (A)

  • Considerable Faculty and graduate research is being done in the poetry, prose, and drama of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. We purchase all current publications in this area and own Early English Books (Pollard and Redgrave; Wing) on microfilm.
  • We have probably the finest collection in Canada of the works of James Shirley, and an excellent selection of eighteenth and nineteenth century editions of Shakespeare and other eighteenth-century Shakespeareana.


English Literature, the Restoration and Eighteenth Century 1660-1800 (A)

  • This is a major area of specialization for the English Department, one of the greatest strengths of the Library, and, through the Association for Eighteenth-Century Studies, one of the University's major interests. Much Faculty and doctoral research is being done in this area, and Eighteenth-Century Fiction is produced in the Department. The University offers the McMaster ASECS Fellowship in Eighteenth-Century Studies.
  • All currently published works dealing with this period are collected, including reprints and microforms. Back files of periodicals dealing with the period are acquired as they become available.
  • The Division of Archives and Research Collections already contains more than 30,000 eighteenth-century volumes, and the English Department devotes perhaps 30% of its library budget to further development. We have strength in Restoration political and religious tracts, drama, and poetry; and especially in the works of Milton, Dryden, Congreve, Farquhar, and Etherege. Present strengths in Eighteenth Century literature include voyages and travels, literary periodicals, poetry, biography, fiction and the works of Boswell, Cibber, Defoe, Fielding, Gay, Goldsmith, Johnson, Pope, Sterne, and Swift. Addison, Arbuthnot, and Garrick are being developed into strengths, as well as poets of the late eighteenth-century. Many minor collections are being developed or maintained. The University and the American Society for Eighteenth-Century Studies together sponsor two fellowships annually for scholars to use this excellent collection.
  • Material is often acquired as background for literary studies by the English Department. To some extent, this overlaps the collection policy of the Department of History, particularly in the Hanoverian period.


English Literature, the Nineteenth Century (B)

      The aim of the English Department is to maintain a good working collection of modern editions and criticism to support graduate work. Except for the works of particular authors currently being studied at the graduate level, only a representative sample of original novels and plays is collected. The Dickens collection, however, which is already suitable for Master's level work, is currently being developed to greater strength, the George Eliot collection is very strong, and the works of Leigh Hunt and Charles Kingsley are actively acquired.


Twentieth Century British and Irish Literature (A)

  • All current literary criticism is collected, along with a generous selection of modern novels, poetry and drama to support the increasing Faculty and graduate research in this area.
  • Strong research collections exist, or are being developed, in Anglo-Irish Literature, especially Synge, Joyce, George Russell, O'Casey, Wilde, and Yeats; in First World War literature; and in the works of Vera Brittain and of Samuel Beckett, Edmund Blunden, Anthony Burgess, E.M. Forster, Robert Graves, D.H. Lawrence, Iris Murdoch, Siegfried Sassoon, and H.G. Wells.


American Literature (C)

  • Much graduate and Faculty research is being done on modern American literature, including women and minority writers.
  • Research Collections are being developed in Henry James and Ezra Pound.
  • All current monographs and a large selection of new works in fiction and poetry are acquired.


Canadian Literature (A)

  • The Department has a growing specialization in this field, supported by substantial research collections. A great deal of current graduate work is on modern Canadian literature.
  • We attempt to acquire all current Canadian literary publications in English.
  • We are attempting to make our collection of Modern English Canadian Poetry comprehensive back to 1920 in periodicals and monographs, including not only small-press material, but also posters and other non-book material. We consider for purchase all manuscripts and correspondence in this area which come on the market. At present we have strengths in such material by Nelson Ball, John Robert Colombo, John Coulter, Douglas Fetherling, Red Lane, David McFadden, Jane Shen, and Jack Winter. We have a very strong monograph and periodical collection of Irving Layton, although almost no manuscripts.
  • Retrospective buying in other areas generally does not aim at completeness, but rather as support for current graduate and undergraduate programs. However, there are strengths in John Wilson Bengough, Pierre Berton, Margaret Laurence, Farley Mowat, Susan Musgrave, Peter Newman, Marshall Saunders and Peter Such.
  • We are currently building up an audio archive of Canadian literature, politics, and history. The Library contains a considerable number of CBC radio and television scripts which are of value as a resource for the study of Canadian drama.
  • Archives and Research Collections has strong collections of Canadian publishers. These include McClelland and Stewart, the Macmillan Company of Canada, and Clarke, Irwin.
  • The Department of French has a strong program in French-Canadian literature, and there is close coordination between the collection programs of the two Departments.


Critical Theory (B)

      We collect most journals and monographs on contemporary critical theory. Faculty include practitioners of all schools of criticism, and many graduate students adopt new critical approaches in their research.


World Literature in English (B)

      We have maintained an undergraduate collection in English for many years. Recently, however, post-colonial literature has become an area of specialization at the graduate level and we now subscribe to most journals and purchase monographs in this area.


Translations into English (D)

  • We maintain a collection of all major works, both current and retrospective, and all works of major writers. Much of this will have already been acquired by the various foreign language departments, but the English Department, as part of its program to provide good literature as a recreational resource, has assumed a responsibility in this area.
  • All translations from French-Canadian into English- Canadian are acquired, as are all translations done by Canadians into English from other languages.


Film Criticism (C)

      Books and periodicals in English, French, and German on the art and the appreciation of film, screenplays, and relevant biography are now collected under the auspices of School of Arts: Drama rather than the Department of English as was formerly the case. There is a good collection in this area, but little material is acquired on the technical aspects of film-making.


Linguistics (C)

  • Continued growth in this area is planned, in coordination with programs in the Departments of Modern Languages, French, Classics, Anthropology, Psychology, and Philosophy. Each of the language departments collects works on its own language, and the Philosophy Department collects works on the philosophy of language and linguistic analysis. The English Department acquires most major works and most expensive works. The Anthropology Department collects works on linguistics in all languages not covered by the language departments.
  • Collection-building is to support English Department faculty research rather than the English Department teaching program specifically, but a strong collection in this area is necessary as a general support of that program.


Cultural Studies (B)

      For Globalization and the Human Condition Strategic area.

Arts and Social Sciences

To provide the materials necessary to support the undergraduate and graduate course instruction program, the graduate thesis research program and the research activities of the Faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Department is building comprehensive research collections in certain areas of study.

To some extent, the work of the Eighteenth Century Association is based upon the collection that the French Department has built up in the Rare Books section of the Division of Research Collections.

To provide some good quality recreational reading for the French-Speaking community on campus.

Arts and Social Sciences

Primary texts are virtually all in French. Some secondary materials are in English, with a very few in other languages, but three-quarters of the secondary works are also in French. Translations of French works are generally not acquired.
Most material comes from France and Canada, with lesser amounts from Great Britain, the United States and French Africa.

Rare books are acquired to support the work in the area of the Eighteenth Century, but in other than this area, very few are collected. Instead, reprints are sought, or else good modern editions of older writers including critical editions of their works. The course of study extends from the mediaeval period.

  • Books, both current and out-of-print, including some rare books.
  • Some new periodicals in literature and linguistics will be acquired subject to budgetary constraints.
  • Selected theses.
  • Some audio-visual materials are acquired by the French Department and housed there, but there is no pressure to have these acquired by and housed in, the main library.
  • Manuscript materials are not collected.

The Department generally acquires current material and retrospective buying through out-of-print catalogue orders. The major emphasis of the French Department is to develop its holdings of all but minor writers of French literature in good editions, and to develop its holdings of critical works on those writers, as well as current publications of French linguistics. The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.

Mediaeval French Literature(B)

      Including French Arthurian Romance and the Mediaeval French Epic and other mediaeval narrative forms. The English Department is also collecting in the area of the Arthurian Romance.


French Literature: 1450-1700(B)

      Emphasis on Rabelais, Montaigne, Poetry, 17th Century drama, and 17th French thought.


French Literature: The Eighteenth Century(B)

      Emphasis on Voltaire, Rousseau, and 18th Century French thought.


French Literature: The Nineteenth Century(B)

      Emphasis on the novel and poetry.


French Literature: The Twentieth Century(B)

      Emphasis on the novel, contemporary French drama and modern French poetry.


French-Canadian Literature(B)


French-African and Caribbean Literature(B)


French Language and Linguistics(B)

      Including translation, history of French language, French semantics and morphology, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics.

To provide the materials to support the upcoming graduate course program and the research activities of the institute faculty members. For this purpose, the Department is building research collections in certain areas of study related to the MA program in globalization studies.

Cross-Disciplinary Programmes, Theme Schools

Material is collected primarily in the English language.
 Material acquired comes primarily from Canada, Australia, the United States and the European Union. Smaller quantities are supplied from all countries.


Rarely is material acquired that is published prior to ? (1945?)

  • Books, primarily currently published, including reprints
  • Periodicals, current and backfile, increasingly in microform
  • E-journal subscriptions
  • Working papers of other global institutions/programs (e.g. CSGR)

Material relevant to Globalization is also acquired by the following departments: Anthropology, Economics, English, Cultural Studies, Political, Science, Sociology

  • Anti-globalization movement (B)

  • Autonomy (B)

  • Capitalism History 20th century (C)

  • Civil society (B)

  • Civilization, Modern 1950- (E)

  • Civilization, Modern 20th century (E)

  • Civilization, Modern 21st century (E)

  • Civilization, Modern. (E)

  • Communication and culture (C)

  • Cross-Cultural Studies (B)

  • Culture (463 titles in Mills) (E)

  • Democracy (1101 titles in Mills) (D)

  • Diffusion of innovations (B)

  • Economic history 1990- (B)

  • Economic history Medieval, 500-1500 (E)

  • Economic policy 1989 - (B)

  • Ethnicity (B)

  • Free Trade (B)

  • Freedom of movement (B)

  • Globalization (B)

    • Globalization--Economic aspects (B)
    • Globalization--Moral and ethical aspects (B)
    • Globalization--Social Aspects (B)
  • Group identity (C)

  • Human rights--International cooperation (C)

  • Indigenous peoples--Politics and government (D)

  • Information networks (E)

  • Information society (C)

  • Information technology - Economic aspects (D)

  • Information technology - Social aspects (C)

  • International agencies (B)

  • International economic integration (B)

  • International economic relations (861 titles in Mills) (B)

  • International finance (555 titles in Mills) (C)

  • International Monetary Fund (C)

  • International organization (B)

  • International relations (incl social aspects) (986 titles in Mills) (B)

  • International trade agencies (B)

  • International trade Environmental aspects (B)

  • International trade History (B)

  • International trade Political aspects (B)

  • International trade Social aspects (B)

  • Internationalism (C)

  • Literature, Modern -- 20th century (E)

  • Mass media Social aspects (B)

  • Non-governmental organizations (C)

  • Political Activists (E)

  • Political science Philosophy (E)

  • Post-communism (E)

  • Postmodernism Social aspects (C)

  • Postmodernism (D)

  • Regionalism (International organization) (B)

  • Regionalism (B)

  • Social change -- 20th century (B)

  • Social history (E)

  • Social History - 1970 - (E)

  • Social mobility (E)

  • State, The (637 titles in Mills) (E)

  • Technology and civilization (B)

  • Women's rights--International cooperation (C)

  • World Bank (C)

  • World politics 1989- (B)

  • World politics 1995-2005 (B)

  • World Trade Organization (B)

Two social science programmes – Gerontology, and Health Studies – have merged to form the Department of Health, Aging and Society. For the time being we will maintain independent collection policies, both described in this document. Each section of the document describes the Gerontology collection policy and then the Health Studies collection policy [marked by G and H].

G: The library's collection in the social aspects of gerontology is already well developed by reason of the established collection building activities of Social Work, Kinesiology, Sociology, and Psychology. The Health Sciences library is also collecting materials that relate more specifically to Geriatric studies and duplication of materials by the two libraries will be avoided.

H: Health Studies is an interdisciplinary program in which students learn to employ theories and methods from the social sciences to think critically about the diverse meanings and practices associated with health, illness and health care. The library’s collection in social aspects of health is growing. The current policy is intended to build resources to support the undergraduate course instruction programme; the development of an MA programme; and the research and scholarly activity of faculty.

Arts and Social Sciences

Most material acquired will be in English, with a few significant works in European languages being purchased as required if translations are not available.

G:  Most material will be acquired from Canadian, British, American and Commonwealth countries.

H:  Primary Areas: Canada; USA; Britain/ Europe; Australia/ New Zealand; South Africa; Secondary Areas: comparative international: OECD countries; developing and transition economics

G: Emphasis will be on currently published materials. H: Health Studies deals both with the present and the history of ideas about health & illness, and the development of health policies and services.

  • Books; currently published and the occasional reprint of a classic work.
  • Periodicals; many new journals are appearing in print. Many of these will be acquired as well as the backfile of older titles to provide an historical perspective.
  • Government Documents; a rich source of research for students, the relevant publications from Canadian, British and American governments will be collected.
  • Theses; theses from other institutions will be selectively purchased, preferably in bound format.
  • Audio Visual Materials. Those for classroom viewing are the responsibility of the Office for Gerontological Studies in conjunction with Audio Visual Services.
  • Proceedings; the Proceedings of national and international conferences and symposia relevant to the gerontology programme are collected.
  • Electronic Data: available through the Library's web site.



Introduction to Gerontology (C)

      A multidisciplinary study of gerontology emphasizing the broad range of gerontological studies.


Multidisciplinary Issues (C)

      An examination of the contemporary issues in the field of gerontology from a multidisciplinary perspective.


Biological Dimensions (C)

      An examination of age-related change in the biology and physiology of the human population. The Health Sciences library will collect and house most of the materials.


International Aspects (C)

      A study of the issues in selected developed and developing countries.


Gerontology Field Experience (C)

      Gerontology field experience, focusing on the integration of theoretical knowledge and practicum experience.


Research Methods in Social Gerontology (C)

      Conducting, interpreting and applying research in social gerontology.


Psychological Aspects of Aging (C)

      Including sensation, perception, attention, memory, intelligence, communication, personality, attitudes and mental health. Collected in conjunction with the Psychology department.


Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Aging (C)

      Emphasizing cross-cultural comparisons. Collected in collaboration with the Department of Anthropology.


Communication and Counselling (C)

      An examination of the theories and issues concerned with communication and counselling the older adult.


Physical Activities, Leisure and Aging (C)

      An examination of the concepts and theories in respect to aging and vitality in later life. Collected in collaboration with the School of Kinesiology and Athletics.


Social Policy and the Aging Population (C)

      An examination of the social issues and an analysis of social policies designed to meet the problems that exist with aging populations.


Social Dimensions (C)

      An examination of the sociological aspects of aging.

Health Studies


Conceptualizations of health, illness and healing across cultures & through history  (C and B)

  • cultural definitions of and responses to health concerns
  • historical aspects of health, illness and health care
  • representations of health in the arts and popular culture, including:
  • health beliefs
  • religious beliefs and health
  • health and the media
  • health consumerism
  • health ethics


The political and institutional contexts of health, illness and health care  (C and B)

  • political and institutional influences on the organization and delivery of health care
  • politics and policy development as they affect health, including:
  • health policy
  • health human resources
  • health in the welfare state
  • comparative health systems
  • privatization of health
  • work and health, and rehabilitation


Global and international health concerns in social context  (C and B)

  • the role of social and economic contexts in producing, distributing and responding to health and illness
  • health and food security/ nutrition
  • health and housing
  • inner city/ urban / rural health issues
  • health, war and peace
  • social movements and health


Specific content areas of interest (C and B)

Social aspects of:

  • Chronic illness
  • Disability
  • Mental health
  • Reproduction
  • HIV / AIDS
  • Cancer
   To provide the materials necessary to support the graduate course program, the graduate thesis research program and the research activities of the Faculty. In order to accomplish this, the Department is building comprehensive research collections in:
  • British History (1485 AD. to the Present)
  • Ancient History (Greek and Roman, to include late Antiquity)
  • Canadian history (1760 to the Present)
  • European History (with emphasis on period after 1870)
  • American History
  • Medieval History

      To support the undergraduate course program, the Department is developing a wide general collection, in all areas of History studied at that level.

Arts and Social Sciences

Most material acquired is in the English language, with some graduate materials in other Western European languages. Certain graduate programs (e.g. Ancient, Canadian and Modern) require extensive collections in other European and North American languages, e.g. German, French and Italian, and a few standard items published in Eastern Europe. The major works of History in each of the Western languages are acquired. Translations of non-English are generally to be preferred when these are available, but in doctoral fields the original texts also ought to be on hand.
The bulk of the material comes from the United States, Great Britain and Canada. Of the remainder, most comes from Western Europe. An attempt is made to acquire every currently published Canadian book of historical interest.

The majority of materials are current, but where necessary older materials are acquired, preferably in reprint or second-hand. The course of study extends back to prehistoric times, but major emphasis is on Ancient and Mediaeval European History and Modern European and North American History.

  • Books, both currently published and out-of-print. Rare books are generally not acquired if a modern reproduction is available, unless such acquisitions strengthen the holdings in Research Collections and the Russell Archives. Many reprints are acquired, to include microfilm and microfiche editions.
  • Periodicals, both current subscriptions and backfiles, the latter increasingly in microfilm. Many periodicals in foreign languages are acquired. Priority is given to filling gaps in runs of periodicals.
  • Slides and overhead projector overlays are acquired by the Department and housed there or in the slide collection of the Art Department. Individual professors also have personal collections of these materials.
  • The Department of History is purchasing, with its library budget, films, cd-roms, and audiotapes which are housed in and accessed from the Library.
  • Theses, published as well as unpublished, are acquired when possible in printed or xeroxed form, otherwise on microfilm or microfiche.
  • Bibliographies and other reference books are acquired.
  • Pamphlets and ephemera are acquired, especially if in microfilm collections that are indexed and accessible. These include the following priority items: British and Canadian newspapers and periodicals, and major western European newspapers. Select catalogues of art exhibits and guide books to historical sites.
  • Rare books and primary materials to support and supplement and fill out gaps in the Russell Archives and to develop both existing and new areas in Research Collections of particular pertinence to the History Department.
  • Government Documents are acquired in large numbers, especially British, Canadian, and Western European, including Cabinet Papers, State Papers, Sessional Papers, Hansard, and others, both current and retrospective, as they are available. Various Rolls series and Chronicles for the English Mediaeval period are acquired as well as appropriate documents from the European Continent. These are acquired frequently as microfilm, microfiche, microcard, or in digital form.
  • Plans, maps and atlases are acquired, including rare maps. - Some data and teaching tapes are acquired.
  • Some photographs are acquired.

The long 18th century (c.1650-1800), Russell and the 20th century, and Cultural Studies have been declared Faculty of Humanities priority areas for resource allocation.

General Notes

  • History in all of its aspects is studied, but the emphasis is on political, social, labour, religious, and cultural history generally, and for Canada also economic, demographic, urban and labour History.
  • The core of the history program is the study of British, European, Canadian, Ancient and American history.


Ancient History (C)

      Ancient Rome is represented by a very strong collection. Collections are being developed in specialized areas, e.g. the Roman provinces, especially Britain, Gaul and Greece. Greek history is being developed to a comparable level. Attention is also being given to civilizations peripheral to the Greek and Roman and to disciplines ancillary to history (numismatics, epigraphy, genealogy and archaeology). Since the Department of History no longer offers a graduate program in Ancient History, we rely greatly on the Department of Classics to maintain these collections.


British History (A)

  • The course of study in this area begins around 1485 with increasing emphasis on the period since 1650. Major collections of private papers, periodicals and government documents for the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries are normally purchased as a matter of course; while very important and expensive orders in sixteenth and seventeenth century religious and social history are purchased after consultation with the departmental Library Representative. It is the intention of the British historians to acquire in the future not only appropriate rare books and more periodicals, but also actively to increase microfilm holdings of many primary sources.
  • Purchases for the Eighteenth Century Collection will continue to be acquired in consultation with the Research Collections Librarian.


Canadian History (A)

      The primary focus of graduate work is the period from the 1830's to the 1960's, especially in the areas of social, economic, demographic, urban, labour, intellectual, religious and women's history. Primary documentation (archival material, pamphlets, newspapers, journals) are given priority. Increasing attention is being paid to urban history and regional history, especially of Ontario from the 1780's and French Canada between 1760 and 1867. Supporting materials in the American and British, and to some degree European, collections are encouraged.


European History (A / B)

  • The emphasis is on the twentieth century -- in effect the period between 1870 and 1956. Concentration on the major nation states of France, Italy, Germany and Russia/Soviet Union -- their international relations, their intellectual milieux, their labour and protest movements, and their experience of fascism and communism. (A)
  • History of Western and Central Europe from 1500, with special attention paid to the Renaissance and the Protestant Reformation, the commercial revolution and expansion of Europe, early modern society, and revolutionary and post-revolutionary French history. (B)


American History (B)

      Emphasis is primarily on secondary works and reprints of source materials in social and political history before 1861, and on political, social, women's, and diplomatic history thereafter; in the case of diplomatic, particularly after 1898. Microfilm holdings should be concentrated in the late 19th and 20th centuries in support of Phd fields in other areas.


Medieval History (B)

  • Europe in the Middle Ages, with emphasis on the earlier periods.
  • Though Medieval History is not a doctoral field, it is essential to purchase relevant primary material in Latin and Greek, and secondary material in German, French, and Italian. In addition, a consistent effort should be made to obtain English translations of primary source materials.


Latin American History (C)

      Especially as it relates to American History.


Asian History (C)

      Especially as it relates to China, Japan, and South Asia.


Islamic History (C)

      Especially as it relates to pre-modern Eurasia and the Modern Middle East.


Military and Diplomatic History (B)

      Acquisitions are in support primarily of the period between 1870 and 1945. Emphasis in diplomatic history is on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Military history concentrates on the periods of and surrounding the two World Wars to include pre-1914 war planning and preparations.


History of Science (C)

      Material that relates science to the intellectual and social history of the West.


Historiography (B)

  • Histories of historical writing, philosophies and theories of history, historical method, especially as these relate to the United States, Canada, Britain and the Continent.
  • Departmental acquisitions policy is conducted in liaison with other interested departments, particularly Classics, Economics and the History of Medicine.