American Geographical Society Collection Development Policy

About the Collection
The AGSL provides comprehensive geographical information, both current and retrospective, in a variety of formats, to UWM faculty, staff, and students, local researchers, and the international scholarly community. The Library supports the following UWM academic units: American Indian Studies, Anthropology, Archaeology, Architecture, Art, Art History, Biological Aspects of Conservation, Biological Sciences, Center for Economic Development, Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Center for Urban Initiatives and Research, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Classics, Comparative Literature, Criminal Justice Institute, School of Education, Engineering, English, Film, Fine Arts, Foreign Language and Literature, Geography, Geosciences, History, Information Studies, Limnology, Mass Communications, Mathematical Sciences, Nursing, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Psychology, Spanish and Portuguese, Urban Planning, and Urban Studies.

Collection Level: Advanced

Collection Areas and Formats
The AGSL comprises seven interrelated format-specific collections. Each of these has its own focus, collection priorities and depths.

  • Maps and Charts
    The AGSL map and chart collection is one of the largest and most comprehensive in the world, and maintaining this resource is one of the principal efforts of the Library. The collecting objectives of the AGSL map collection are as follows:

   Topographic mapping (i.e.: the basic record of the earth’s physical and cultural environment)
World 1:250,000 & smaller
N. America 1:25,000 / 1:50,000 / 1:63,360 and smaller
S. America 1:100,000 / 1:250,000 and larger
Europe 1:50,000
Asia 1:200,000 – 250,000 — selected areas larger
Africa 1:200,000 – 250,000 — selected areas larger
Australia 1:250,000 & 1:100,000
            Geologic maps (the structure of the earth)
World 1:2,500,000 or larger in areas of faculty research interest, depending on availability of materials
N. America 1:500,000 or larger

   Thematic maps: As available, depending on faculty research interests, and with acquisition priorities in direct proportion to local proximity.

   Country maps: Recent country maps are collected.

   City maps and plans: Recent maps and plans of major cities are collected, with priorities in direct proportion to local proximity.

Local coverage: A serious attempt is made to acquire
(1) most material covering Southeastern Wisconsin, including the Milwaukee metro area
(2) all significant materials covering the state of Wisconsin
(3) most significant material covering the Great Lakes region

  • Atlases
    The aim is to collect all major world, regional, national, and state atlases, both general and thematic, with special emphasis on current collection strengths and the research needs of the University.
  • Reference Works
    A comprehensive collecting level is maintained for reference materials relating to geography and cartography. Priority is also given to materials which support the other format-specific collections and the curricular and research needs of the University. The AGSL reference collection includes titles not specifically published as reference works but whose de facto reference value precludes their circulation.
  • Monographs
    The monographic holdings of the AGSL primarily comprise older materials of broad geographic scope. Current geographical works are collected for the general collections of the UWM Libraries. Relationships have been established with numerous major publishers to receive review copies of newly published material within the broad field of geography for listing in Current Geographical Publications, the international bibliographic journal published by the AGSL.
  • Serials
    Historically, the AGSL serial holdings are among the strongest anywhere in the field, and the AGSL collects at the highest possible level, thanks in part to many gift and exchange subscriptions. Regional coverage is very broad.
  • Photographs and Slides
    Gift collections of photographs and slides are selectively acquired provided full property rights, including reproduction rights, are granted by the donor or seller. To be considered for inclusion, the images must be of broad regional or thematic interest to the field of geography.
  • Digital Data
    The major emphasis is placed upon local data (Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin), the State of Wisconsin, and the Great Lakes region. Less emphasis is placed upon data acquisition for the United States and world data. Research interests of faculty and students for other areas are supported, particularly with Landsat imagery, as funds permit. The AGSL will maintain a Web page of freely available data sets that match this emphasis. The AGSL strives to provide the hardware, software packages, and data necessary for access to digital data that support the research interests of faculty, students, and staff of UWM.
  • Facsimiles
    Facsimiles of cartographic works are collected to provide: (1) examples of important manuscripts and rare printed materials which are not in the collection; (2) less expensive facsimiles of works which are in the collection, to minimize unnecessary handling of original materials, especially rare and valuable ones, when these items will be used intensively for study purposes; and (3) support of outreach services.

Related Collections
Africology, Anthropology, Art History, Freshwater Sciences, Geography, Geosciences, History, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Religious Studies, Sociology, Urban Planning, and Urban Studies.

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