Collection Development Policy

Collection Development Policy


Kenyon's library collection development practices are attuned to Kenyon's overall educational mission and values as an undergraduate, liberal arts college. Our collection development practices are flexible and encourage creative ways of meeting Kenyon's information needs. We are prepared to meet new collection management challenges, anticipate future needs, and take advantage of promising opportunities as they present themselves.

We are building a strong, versatile library collection, which helps to foster diverse communities, examine inequitable systems, and develop inclusive practices for teaching, learning, and research support. We provide support for the current curriculum to include all majors, departments, and programs. Our collection is a resource for faculty research, but our materials budget does not allow us to systematically collect at the "research" level. We accept specific requests for local purchase of research-level materials on a case-by-case basis. In addition to supporting the College's formal academic programs, the library provides resources for the general academic interests of the Kenyon community.

Librarians are responsible for developing the library collection but rely on faculty to help in this endeavor. Librarians coordinate their efforts to ensure that the library collects to meet the needs of the college as a whole, and the individual departments. Faculty and librarians in different departments may collaborate on collection development in different ways, depending on the needs of the discipline and the resources available.

Kenyon is fortunate that our collection does not exist in isolation but as a subset of the larger OhioLINK collection, which spans almost all the academic libraries in Ohio. This enables Kenyon patrons to have quick, practical access to a wide variety of materials beyond our local collection, increasing the depth and breadth of available resources and perspectives. Our membership in OhioLINK also helps provide access to many electronic books, journals, and databases we would not otherwise be able to afford. This collaborative effort informs all of our collection work.

The library collects a broad spectrum of resources in a variety of formats. The formats collected include printed books, periodicals, sound recordings, video recordings, maps, microforms, and various electronic resources. The primary criterion for selecting any item is its relevance to Kenyon's teaching mission. When we evaluate information resources we consider their content, cost, accessibility, and viability. The library collects primarily English language materials, but also collects in other languages as required by the curriculum.

The library regularly assesses the usefulness, relevance, and condition of its collection to ensure that we make the best use of the available budget and space to provide a dynamic, relevant and effective collection in support of the curriculum. (Updated March 2023)


Digital Collections


The purpose of this statement is to establish written management guidelines for the continuing growth and maintenance of Kenyon’s Digital Collections. This policy is intended to provide a general framework by which current and future Digital Collection decisions can be made. By articulating our collection goals and policies, we help ensure that the Digital Collections support the needs and interests of the Kenyon community. This document is designed to be dynamic and flexible and we rely on input from faculty, students, administrators, and librarians to provide recommendations and suggestions on our strategies. As Kenyon’s information needs and the nature of the Digital Collections develop and change, we expect this document to evolve. Ultimately, we hope it will provide structures and procedures for reviewing, interpreting, and implementing policies and integrating new submissions to our Digital Collections.


This policy for the Digital Collections operates within the framework of the library's general Collection Development Policy as well as relevant departmental policies.  Kenyon's Digital Collections are intended to support teaching, learning, and scholarship at the College.


The collections must be produced, submitted or sponsored by Kenyon College faculty, staff, or students.

The collection must be scholarly, research oriented, or highlight Kenyon or local area history or culture.

The collection items must be in an acceptable digital format or can be suitably converted.

The collection items must be submitted with the purpose of long term availability and access.

The submitter should have and be willing to grant the rights to preserve and distribute the collection items via Digital Kenyon.


College faculty and students are are welcome to suggest collections from personal academic research or Kenyon’s special collections and archives to be digitized and made available through the Digital Kenyon web site.

Working with Digital Kenyon not only ensures that the digitized materials will remain in a stable environment for long term access, but that they will be made accessible through a reliable, trustworthy, and credible source.

If there are materials (preferably a “collection” of materials) in the Kenyon special collections and archives a faculty member would like scanned and made available online for pedagogical purposes, LBIS requests that:

Faculty contacts and coordinates project parameters and expectations with special collections and archives staff.

Faculty agree in writing (email is fine) with the special collections and archives on what the final outcome of the project will look like before the project is begun.

If the submitted materials are from personal research, the submitter will create a draft project plan and request a meeting with the Digital Resource Librarian to discuss options and challenges. Research must also comply with all standards and requirements of the Institutional Research Board.

Once the project is defined, the submitter will approach and Digital Resource Librarian and finalize project scheduling, material requirements and metadata standards.

Digital Kenyon would like to work with faculty on projects that are important to their teaching and research; however, the department must balance a small staff between many projects. Not every project can be accepted and could be rejected because:

The collection does not match the general parameters of research and scholarship produced at Kenyon College or does not reflect its intellectual environment.

The collection contains a file format(s) that cannot be deposited for technical reasons.

The size of the submission (in terabytes, for example) is prohibitive. For example, some sets of research data may not be accepted because of their size.

The collection may not be deposited because of copyright issues. For example, it may violate a publisher's copyright agreement with an author to deposit a journal article as published (i.e. as a pdf from the publisher's site).


Digital Kenyon provides support for as many file formats as possible within the constraints of the available institutional resources. The proprietary or executable nature of some file formats, however, may make it impossible to guarantee persistent access as digital technologies evolve and this possibility should be considered and addressed before submission. File formats for all collections are to be agreed upon between submitter and the Digital Kenyon administrator(s) before submission.


Materials deposited to Digital Kenyon require a minimum set of descriptive information (metadata) to be provided at time of deposit. Some metadata is generated automatically by the Digital Kenyon software, or can be set to generate automatically. Other metadata, i.e. title, author, date, etc., must be provided by the submitter. A minimum amount of metadata is required for each item, but additional fields may be added or subtracted as appropriate for each collection.

Metadata must conform to existing professional standards as well as the extent and limitations of the Digital Kenyon software.


Placement of materials in Digital Kenyon is equivalent to publication so authors/submitters must exercise due diligence in clearing any needed rights (including any third party copyrights).

Collections in Digital Kenyon are, by default, accessible world wide, that is, they are openly and freely available via the World Wide Web. Open access to deposited items encourages the distribution, dissemination, promotion, and use of the research and scholarship produced at Kenyon College. LBIS strongly encourages depositors not to place access restrictions on deposited research.


However, LBIS recognizes there may be situations which require access restriction including embargo periods. Embargoed material can be deposited in Digital Kenyon, but the maximum embargo period should not exceed 5 years.

If a collection requires either complete access restriction or an embargo period, terms must be agreed upon between the depositor and LBIS before submission of any items.


LBIS provides ongoing support for as many file formats as possible within the constraints of available institutional resources. Materials deposited in Digital Kenyon will be preserved using best practices for data management and digital preservation. The proprietary or executable nature of some file formats, however, may make it impossible to guarantee persistent access to all deposited materials as digital technologies evolve.

Periodic audits should be scheduled for materials to ensure continued access, reduced file degradation risk, and to upgrade files as necessary. Any submission requests should include a section on anticipated future needs of the collection and an upkeep schedule. This can be discussed with the Digital Kenyon administrator(s) and adjusted as necessary.


The nature of digital collections often precipitates the need for platform and file updates. If/when a migration of materials to a new platform becomes necessary, the Digital Kenyon administrator(s) will be responsible for the transfer of materials to the new platform. Submitters and collection managers will be notified of platform and/or file changes when appropriate.


Digital objects and collections will be reviewed and disposed of as necessary, based on the LBIS collection development policy.

A collection may be removed for reasons including but not limited to:

The collection is abandoned, i.e. no longer supported by the submitter or their approved collection manager.

The collection materials or digital object becomes obsolete to current scholarship.

The collection materials or digital object becomes obsolete technologically and an update is not available or technically feasible.


Jenna Nolt

Digital Initiatives Librarian

Olin Library 210

(740) 427-5698


Policy created March 2014 by Abigail Miller.

Special Collections & Archives


The Greenslade Special Collections and Archives, housed in Olin and Chalmers Libraries, consists of two main collections: Special Collections and the Kenyon College Archives. Special Collections includes rare books ranging from medieval manuscripts to contemporary artists’ books and special subject research collections. The Kenyon College Archives collects records and other materials of enduring historical value documenting the history, organization, policies, and activities of the College. Materials include college publications, student and faculty papers and photographs, and college memorabilia.

As with the general Library Collection Development Policy, Special Collections and Archives reflects and supports the Library’s mission and the College’s goals. Special Collections and Archives supports the use of primary source materials within the Kenyon College curriculum and the wider community of scholars.


Selection Responsibility

Materials may be acquired for the Special Collections and Archives through transfer, gift or purchase, but selection for placement in Special Collections and Archives lies with the Special Collections Librarian and the College and Digital Collections Archivist, often in consultation with the Collection Development Librarian, Associate Director of Research and Instruction and the Library Director.  

Format of Materials Collected

The primary formats collected include printed texts, manuscripts, photographs, graphics, artifacts and objects, microform, audio-visual materials, databases, and digital materials. We try to acquire scholarly editions, typically first editions or unique materials. Textiles, furniture and fine art are not typically collected due to the specialized nature of their care.

Transport of Collections

Donors are responsible for the delivery of materials to the Library. Special circumstances may be taken into consideration.


Special Collections and Archives can only accept unconditional gifts and donations. Exceptions may be made in special circumstances.

Special Collections and Archives will not accept the following items:

publications best suited for general circulation

items which cannot be properly housed (i.e. clothing, fine art)

items which are too large for available storage and/or display space

materials still in active use by departments or offices

materials in which the donor’s ownership is in question or disputed

moldy or damaged items

duplicate materials

non-original materials (i.e. photocopies, facsimiles)

materials of no research value to the campus community

The library will not be responsible for the return of unsolicited items.


Acquisition of New Materials

Special Collections and Archives acquisitions will be evaluated by the same criteria as for other library materials however, additional selection criteria specifically applicable to SC&A will be considered, including but not limited to:

quality of material


circumstances of creation and ownership

enduring value: evidential, informational, intrinsic

cost of retention: processing, storage, preservation, technical support

format appropriateness

copyright and fair use


Materials Collected

The College Archives seeks documentation that will accurately reflect the establishment, development, and activities of Kenyon College. In pursuit of these records, the Archives will collect official records from administrative offices and academic departments of Kenyon College, their predecessors, and affiliated bodies, including:

Materials documenting the establishment of Kenyon College and contributing to the understanding of its history; particularly records related to the development of its governance, organizational structure, funding, and management;

Materials documenting policies, strategic planning, and activities of College departments and offices;

Materials documenting the development and achievements of the College in teaching and research;

Materials documenting the development of the College’s fabric and infrastructure;

Materials of permanent legal, administrative, and financial value;

Materials documenting relationships with stakeholders including staff, students, funding authorities, benefactors, and central government;

Materials relating to the College’s role within the local and wider community, particularly records relating to marketing, alumni, and press communications.

To supplement these records and ensure all significant aspects of the College’s activities are documented, the Archives will also collect materials from non-official sources including:

Materials from senior staff, administration, and academic staff; particularly correspondence, photographs, research material, manuscripts of published texts and articles, diaries, and notebooks;

Material from alumni, particularly those relating to their experiences as students at the College;

Materials from student associations, clubs and societies;

Materials from staff associations and societies.


If any materials require access restrictions, those restrictions should be made for a fixed term and determined at time of donation or transfer. Access to materials may not be retroactively restricted except in extraordinary circumstances agreed upon by Special Collections and Archives staff.

Due to limited staffing, budget, and space, all donations, gifts, and transfers are subject to review by the College and Digital Collections Archivist and Special Collections Librarian and may be declined. The Archivist also reserves the right to periodically review the archival status of accessioned materials (see section V. of this document).


Acquisition of New Collections

New collections will be considered by the College under the following conditions:

The proposed collection must be of value to the curriculum, student independent research or faculty/staff research;

A list of the proposed collection must be provided so the Librarian(s) can judge the value of the collection based on housing requirements and general usefulness to the college community;

The library will not actively seek new special collections, however, items or collections that add to current special collections strengths will be considered if the acquisitions can be supported by gifts or special funds;

Collections that do not build upon current special collections strengths will be discussed by Librarians and Director to determine whether or not the library should and can expand its special collections in a new direction. Such collections must be of value to the curriculum, student independent research, or faculty/staff research;

Materials will not be accepted on loan by Special Collections. In special cases materials may be accepted, providing they are accompanied by a letter of intent spelling out their eventual donation or sale to the Libraries within a reasonable period of time.

Existing Collections

In an effort to preserve and maintain our cultural and literary history, Kenyon College Greenslade Special Collections and Archives will continue to maintain materials in the following collections:

Eugene Bigler Collection of art and archeology

Bishop Brown Collection of late nineteenth and early twentieth century works on labor, capital, socialism, and the aristocracy

Charles Clinch Bubb collection of books printed by Bubb’s own Clerk’s Press in Cleveland between 1908 and 1919. Many collections of lyrics, carols, tales, and liturgical texts.

William Dameron Collection on the history of books and printing

Brooke and Thomas Catesby Jones Collection of assorted fictional works

Lamb Collection of classic literature and essays

Richard Levey Collection of various twentieth century volumes of poetry and materials related to poetry and the craft of writing, especially in America.

John N. Lewis Collection of treatises on Math, Physics and Astronomy from between the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries. (In English, French and Latin).

Powell Collection of materials by or relating to Vladimir Nabokov.

Riker Collection of materials by and about William Butler Yeats.

Wright Collection of materials relating to the sport of angling



Gift materials owned by individuals or organizations may be accepted to the Special Collections and Archives if they meet the collection criteria established in this document and after evaluation by Special Collections and Archives staff.

All donors must transfer material under a Deed of Gift (Appendix A) agreement signed by the owner(s) of the materials and Special Collections and Archives staff.


It is the responsibility of the donor to demonstrate they are the valid owner(s) of the material on offer. When assigning ownership of the materials to the Special Collections and Archives, the donor will be granting copyright of the materials to the College unless otherwise agreed.


The Kenyon College Library and Development Office requests that written appraisals be made by a qualified appraiser on collections believed to be in excess of $5,000. In order to avoid conflict of interest, librarians or library staff are not permitted to perform appraisals. The potential donor is responsible for contacting a qualified appraiser.

Access Restrictions

Materials requiring access restrictions are discouraged from deposit. If any materials require access restrictions, those restrictions should be made for a fixed term and determined at time of donation. Access to materials may not be retroactively restricted except in extraordinary circumstances in agreement with Special Collections and Archives staff.


Transfer of materials to the Archives from offices and departments of the College are considered permanent and irreversible. The materials may be made available to department staff only in the reading room of the Archives.

A department or office transferring materials to the Archives will fill out a Transfer Form (Appendix B) before any materials are accepted for deposit in the Archives.

For departments and offices with frequent deposits of materials, i.e. programs, publicity, press releases, etc., a delivery schedule may be established with the Archivist.


Decisions regarding purchases for the collection will be based on a general knowledge of the historical strengths and weaknesses of the collection, as well as on a knowledge of the curriculum of the College and an understanding of the research needs and interests of both faculty and students.  

Additional criteria to be considered includes: significance of the subject matter, importance of the author or creator, potential for use by patrons, importance to total collection, availability in consortium or area libraries, scarcity of materials on the subject, purchase price, continuation costs, format and its longevity, and available space.


The Special Collections and Archives staff reserves the right to review the status of any accessioned materials and recommend their disposal if the material does not meet the criteria of the Department Policy as outlined in this document.

Materials will only be deaccessioned within the terms of their deed of gift, college regulations, and established records management policies.


This document may be periodically reviewed and updated as needed.

Created: August 2014 by Abigail Miller, College and Digital Collections Librarian; Elizabeth Williams-Clymer, Special Collections Librarian

Approved by: Julia Warga, Associate Director of Research and Instruction; Amy Badertscher, Library Director

APPENDIX A: Deed of Gift












1. The Greenslade Special Collections and Archives of Kenyon College Library and Information Services Department, gratefully acknowledges receipt from:





Of the following materials:






2. I, ____________________________, hereby make a gift of and assign to Kenyon College (the College) the materials described above. I hereby grant, give, assign, and transfer any and all rights, title, and copyright which I possess to the contents of said materials to the College for its use in fulfilling its research, educational, publication, and exhibition goals.


3. The disposition of any materials which the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives department, (the Archives) determines are duplicative, or which are deemed to have no research value, or are otherwise inappropriate for inclusion in the Archives will be the Department’s prerogative.


4. In the event that I may, from time to time, give additional papers to the Archives, title to such additional materials shall pass to the College and all the provisions of this deed of gift shall be applicable to the additional materials. A description of the additional materials so donated and delivered will be prepared and attached hereto.


5. In making this gift, it is my intent that College affiliates and researchers may have full access to these materials. In addition, I agree that persons granted access to these materials may also make single copies in lieu of note taking. I understand that I have access to the materials at any time during regular operating hours of the ARchives and that I may request copies of donated materials for personal use. As a courtesy, reasonable copying and delivery expenses shall be borne by the Archives.






____________________________ ____________________________


Signature of donor(s) Accepting on behalf of the Archives




____________________________ ____________________________


Date Date




See reverse for Explanation of Deed of Gift






Explanation of Deed of Gift Agreement





This is a copy of a gift agreement that the Special Collections and Archives Department sends out to all donors of materials. The purpose of this agreement is to document your gift, transfer the title and copyright to Kenyon College, and to protect the rights of both the donor and the donee (the Special Collections and Archives Department). The agreement addresses five items:




1. Acknowledgement of your gift and description of material you have deposited. This is usually a brief description of the donated materials, longer may be attached if necessary. This part of the agreements is usually filled in by Archives staff following delivery of materials.




2. Assignment of copyright to Kenyon College. Under law, any items you or your ancestors have written are your literary property. If a researcher comes to the Archives and wishes to quote from your writings or those of your family, he or she must first obtain permission from the copyright holder. For many researchers, this procedure is a time-consuming one. For our older collections, a particular problem arises in determining who are the current heirs holding the copyright to a document. In order to facilitate the process of research at the Archives, we ask donors to assign copyright to the College to save the donor(s) time and effort of responding to future researchers. The gift of copyright also allows the Archives to digitize materials for preservation and research purposes.




3. Disposal of non-archival material. Not every item in an historical collection is of sufficient value to warrant the cost of permanent storage or preservation. Because of our limited space and increasing collections, the Archives must review the contents of each collection to determine what material is truly archival in nature and what is ephemeral, duplicative, or routine. Materials which do not meet archival appraisal standards or do not fit within the Archive’s Collection Policy are separated and either disposed of or sent to an appropriate organization.




4. This agreement applies to any future gifts you may give to the Archives. Rather than fill out and sign a new form for future gifts or accessions, this clause states any further donations from you will fall under the same conditions as this one.




5. Open or limited access. We strive to make all of our collections open and available for immediate research use. At the same time, we recognize that it may be appropriate for some materials to be closed to researchers for an established period of time. The archives staff will be glad to advise you about the types of restrictions currently being used and what is appropriate for your materials. By signing the agreement, we also ask you permit us to make photocopies of materials to facilitate efficient research.


In addition, you have access to your donation during the regular hours of operation and as a courtesy we will provide you with copies of donated materials for your personal use.





APPENDIX B: Material Transfer Form












Name:________________________________   Date: __________________________________




Email:________________________________   Phone:_________________________________








Material(s) for transfer:






























(If more space is required, please attach additional sheet)




Reason for transfer:






Retention value of material(s):








___________________________________ ___________________________________


Signature         Date Signature of SC&A staff           Date



APPENDIX C: Reproduction Request




Reproduction Request Form


The individual or corporation named below has been granted permission to republish or reproduce materials held by the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives subject to all conditions set forth below.


1. Unless otherwise noted, permissions are granted for one-time use only.




2. All xerographic, photographic or digital reproductions of items held in the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives shall carry the following statement whenever republished or reproduced:


Greenslade Special Collections and Archives, Kenyon College, Gambier, Ohio.


Used by Permission.


3. If a reproduction is included in a publication, the author/publisher shall provide one complimentary copy of the publication to the Greenslade Special Collections and Archives Department.




4. Images may not be altered unless authorized in writing and noted in the credit line. They will be shown in either full color or black and white, will not be superimposed or transposed. Cropping may not significantly change the meaning or context of the image, or compromise its authenticity as an historical document.




Name and Contact Information of Requestor: [Name and Address/ Phone and/or Email]


Date of Request:


Description of Item Requested: [object or file number(s) and/or physical description]


Purpose of Republication: [book, Title, publication date]


Print Run:


Republication Fee: [to be used for commercial requests only]


Approval Needed by President’s Office or Public Relations Office:  ____Yes ____No


Approval Granted by President’s Office or Public Relations Office:  ____Yes ____No ____ N/A



__________________________ __________________________


Signature of Requestor                                                   Signature of Kenyon College Staff                                       



__________________________ __________________________


Date                                                                       Date


Kenyon College - Greenslade Special Collections & Archives - 103 College Drive, Gambier, Ohio 43022

Kenyon Authors

The Kenyon Authors Collection celebrates and honors some of the contributions of faculty, administrators and staff to contemporary scholarship.

The Kenyon Authors Collection exists in two parts, a non-circulating collection located in Special Collections and a circulating collection which is part of the general collection.

The non circulating Kenyon Authors Collection in Special Collections is composed of monographs that are authored, co-authored, edited, co-edited, translated, or illustrated by a Kenyon faculty member, administrator, or staff member while he or she was employed at Kenyon College. The library will attempt to obtain one copy of all such works. For most titles, the library will also obtain a second copy of these works to add to the circulating Kenyon Authors Collection, which is part of the general collection, but this is done at the discretion of library collection development staff.

Only monographs of current faculty, administrators, or staff are added to the Kenyon Authors Collection. At the discretion of collection development staff, works by faculty, administrators, or staff who have retired from Kenyon but who have maintained their Kenyon affiliation may also be added.

Retrospective collecting of monographs published by Kenyon Authors in the past while they were employed at Kenyon may be done when possible.

Gifts of materials for the Kenyon Authors Collection will be favorably considered.

Articles, scholarly papers, chapters, and similar publications, e.g., recorded lectures, are not included within the Kenyon Authors Collection. When available, such materials may be filed in the Kenyon Archives at the discretion of library staff. The Kenyon Authors Collection is not intended to be a comprehensive record of scholarly output.

Reprints, translations into other languages, etc. are not routinely added.

Self published works may be considered on a case by case basis.

The Greenslade Special Collections and Archives hosts an annual reception to honor authors of new acquisitions to the Kenyon Authors Collection.

Retention Parameters

Retention Parameters 

Deselection, or withdrawal, is just one part of collection development and is best understood within the context of the library’s overall collection development policy.  Our goal is to create a dynamic, relevant and effective collection that supports the college curriculum.  Retaining materials that no longer meet current or projected future user needs is a sign of poor collection stewardship.

Just as deselection should not be viewed in isolation, neither should the Kenyon collection.  Kenyon's collection is a small subset of the broader OhioLINK collection, and the physical collection is but one part of the overall collection.


The library accepts gifts of materials relevant to Kenyon's needs and in usable condition. These gifts may be single volumes or larger collections.  Due to the high costs of managing the gift process, the Library's primary interest is to acquire only materials which are highly relevant to Kenyon's needs. All potential gifts will be evaluated in terms of the collection development goals of the library.

Withdrawal Procedures:

Librarians will create a list of titles being considered for retention and post on the library collection development website, generally during the first week of the month. 

Each list will have a review period of approximately 4 weeks. 

Recommendations to retain an item should be communicated by email and should include a rationale for retention. 

At the end of the review period, books on the list which Kenyon has not chosen to retain will be processed for withdrawal.