110 · Representative Documents: Collection Development Policies
Collection Development Policies. African Studies
BU Libraries | Services | Collection Development Policies | African Studies
http://www.bu.edu/library/collections/cdafr.html[7/25/11 5:35:59 PM]
BOSTON UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES
Collection Development Policies
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Selectors: Beth Restrick, David Westley
Purpose | Scope | Boundaries/Locations | Related Subjects | Material Types | Other
GENERAL PURPOSE OF THE COLLECTION
The African Studies Library (ASL) is responsible for a multidisciplinary collection of resources for the study of Africa.
Strongest in the social sciences and humanities, it has considerable strength as well in the sciences, particularly in public
health, and encompasses a broad spectrum of subjects in nearly every academic discipline. Its primary constituency
comprises the students, faculty, research fellows and visiting scholars of Boston University's African Studies Center
(ASC), a department of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. ASL also supports the curriculum and research of
students and faculty in the ASC's cross-registration arrangements with several local universities, including Harvard, MIT,
Northeastern, Brandeis, Tufts, and Boston College.
The African Studies Center does not itself grant degrees; students enroll in an academic department or school and select
course work from the African Studies Core Curriculum (anthropology, archaeology, communications, economics, education,
geography, health sciences, history, languages and linguistics, law, literature, sociology, and theology) for a concentration
on Africa. The ASC does award a Graduate Certificate in African Studies, requiring completion of 16 credit hours from the
Core Curriculum and a piece of significant research in African studies, such as an MA or MFA thesis, a doctoral dissertation,
or two substantial research papers in graduate-level seminars. The ASC also offers an undergraduate minor for students
who complete six courses from three or more disciplines in the African Studies Core Curriculum, and a minor in African
languages and literatures through the Department of Modern Languages and Literatures. The African Studies Center focuses
on three major interdisciplinary research priorities: African urban studies; environment in Africa; and African humanities,
including literature, drama, and art. Recently, special focus has been placed on Francophone African literature and African
art because of new tenure-track faculty in those areas. The ASL also supports new interdisciplinary projects of the School
of Public Health and the African Studies Center in African public health.
The African Studies Library also supports the international aspects of Boston University's mission and strategic planning.
The President of the University and his newly appointed President's Council on Boston University and the Global Future
emphasize the role of Africa at Boston University. The School of Public Health's Global Health Initiative has Africa as a
major focus. The African Presidential Archives and Research Center (APARC) (http://www.bu.edu/aparc) was
established in 2001 to provide a forum for African statesmen to continue working for African development after their terms
of office, and to collect papers and documents relating to their presidencies. The APARC collections will be housed and
preserved in the African Studies Library.
The African Studies Library is committed to information service on Africa beyond this immediate constituency, and responds
to the research needs of the broader community in the University, greater Boston, and New England, as well as the nation
and the world.
SCOPE OF COVERAGE
1. Languages collected (primary and selective) or excluded: Actual and potential use shapes the language policy of
the African Studies Library. ASL collects primarily in the official languages of African nations, including English, French and
Portuguese. Arabic, while the official language of several African nations, is collected only selectively, mainly upon request.
Materials in indigenous languages of Africa, whether or not designated as official national languages, are collected
selectively, mainly to support language instruction and linguistic or other specialized research. Works in other languages are
collected selectively, either because of a specific request or a particular research value.
2. Geographical areas covered by the collections in terms of intellectual content, publication sources, or both,
and specific areas excluded, as appropriate: ASL primarily collects material dealing with all African nations and collects
very selectively in material dealing with the African diaspora, e.g., recent African immigration, especially to the United
States and Europe; vestiges of African languages, religions and culture in the New World, including Yoruba communities in
Cuba and Brazil; Shango Cults; Africanisms in American English; and studies by African anthropologists of North American
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