SPEC Kit 330: Library Contribution to Accreditation  · 103
Brigham Young University
Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU). Library and Information Resources 5
5.B Information Resources
Book and journal collections are the most basic and most important resource of the
libraries. The libraries’ holdings have grown from 300,000 volumes in the early 1960s to nearly
3.5 million items available for student and faculty use today. The libraries’ collections are broad
in scope and deep in research value, and they reflect the university’s degree and research
General Collections
The libraries maintain strong collections in support of all university degree programs. In
addition, a number of collections reflect institutional emphases, including business management,
music, education, biology, engineering, Mormon studies, family studies, genealogy, and
language competencies. For example, the Lee Library has the largest university library collection
of genealogy and local history materials in the nation; only the church-owned Family History
Library in Salt Lake City is larger. These collections support the university’s family history
degree program as well as the research efforts of genealogists from around the world.
The Lee Library has developed strong vernacular collections that support BYU’s
extensive language and area studies courses. Music students find a wealth of texts, audio
recordings, and scores, including the world’s largest viola music collection. The Lee Library’s
map collection is one of the most comprehensive in the Intermountain West and is heavily used
by students and faculty in the social and physical sciences.
Special Collections
Complementing the libraries’ general materials and adding to their research potential are
the holdings of the L. Tom Perry Special Collections. Founded in 1957 with just over 1,000
books and 50 manuscript collections, Special Collections now houses approximately 300,000
books and pamphlets, 8,000 manuscript collections, and over 1,000,000 photographs. Among the
diverse and important research materials in Special Collections are the Western Americana,
Film Music, Motion Picture History, Renaissance and Reformation, History of Printing, Fine
Printing, Nineteenth-Century Literature, Photograph, and Folklore collections.
Faculty and students alike are drawn to Special Collections by the opportunity to conduct
research using original source materials. Faculty and researchers from many disciplines, but
particularly those in humanities and social sciences, regularly note that they enjoy immediate
access to source materials while their colleagues at comparable undergraduate institutions
must travel great distances to locate such resources.
Digital Collections
The Lee and Hunter Libraries aggressively acquire and produce digital content to
supplement traditional holdings and support student and faculty research efforts. Today’s
students rely on Webaccessible content and assume that library resources will be available at any
time and from any location through online connections. Faculty expect ready access to digital
library content to incorporate it into their teaching. To meet faculty and student expectations,
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