Collection Policy for the Department of Music icon

Collection Policy for the Department of Music


Collection Policy for the Department of Music

The Collection Policy for acquiring resources for Music does not stand in isolation and should be viewed in relation to the Library’s overarching Collection Development and Management policy.

1. User Categories

1.1. Taught Courses and Programmes

1.1.1 Undergraduate

The Library undertakes to support all taught undergraduate courses in accordance with current validation procedures. The Library expects the Music Department to make it clear where personal copies of essential primary and secondary readings should be obtained by students in order that undue expectation is not placed on the Library.

1.1.2 Masters

The Library supports validated Masters Programmes, but does so in the knowledge that Masters students may require material not held by Royal Holloway but available to them through the University of London (Senate House) Library (, other central University of London libraries, libraries participating in the SCONUL access scheme (, the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries Visit a Library service ( and the Inter-Library Loans service.

1.2. Research

1.2.1 MPhil & PhD, Academic Staff

The Library has a collection of considerable breadth and depth to support the needs of research students and staff in the Music Department. However, it does not expect its collections to fulfil these information needs comprehensively. Significant research material will be available via the Library’s print and online provision but researchers at this level should expect to make extensive use of the University of London (Senate House) Library (, the British Library ( and other major research libraries, other central University of London libraries, research libraries participating in the SCONUL access scheme ( and the M25 Consortium of Academic Libraries Visit a Library service ( Researchers will also expect to use the Library’s Inter-Library Loans service and national services such as EThOS (Electronic Theses Online: ) and ESTC (English Short Title Catalogue: )


2. Types of materials

The following guidelines by type of material are set within the context of a movement towards an e-strategy for acquisitions, where appropriate, commencing with e-journals and reference works.

2.1 Monographs and texts

When buying primary texts and secondary materials, the Library will take into account the Music Department’s policy on material taught course students are expected to buy as well as the budget provision available.


The Music Department’s information provision budget is determined by the budget allocation formula agreed by the Library Users Advisory Group.

Subject to the above factors, materials on reading lists will be given priority as it is the Library’s intention to support taught courses as fully as possible.


Primary texts will not be acquired in multiple copies unless these are scores required for teaching.

Multiple copies of secondary material, clearly defined on reading lists as core reading list items, will be acquired, where possible, in the ratio of one copy per ten students. However, the Library and the Music Department should work together to provide such readings electronically as per 2.2 below to reduce physical pressure on the shelves. It is also recognised that within the Music subject area, some texts will hold their value to the field for an indefinite period but that authors and subjects may at times be rested or even dropped from the degree. Where possible, consideration will be given to this prior to texts being bought in large multiples.

Other secondary materials will be acquired in multiple copies on the basis of predicted demand and, subject to available funding, will be supplemented on the basis of evidence showing actual demand, e.g. through the analysis of the number of reservations.


Loan statuses will be changed as appropriate to improve accessibility.

E-books will be acquired as the preferred format subject to budgetary constraints.

2.2 Journal Articles and Chapters of Books

  • Unless specific requests are made for print copies, material of this type will be obtained and hosted on the College’s digital object management system (currently the Equella Digital Repository) and made available via Moodle according to the terms of the Copyright Licensing Agency Comprehensive Higher Education Licence.

2.3 Journals

  • As part of the annual review of subscriptions to journals and other standing orders for the Music Department, the Library will liaise closely with the Department via the Library representative.

  • As part of the review, the Library will agree with the Music Department the balance of expenditure between journals and books, digital chapters, etc, ensuring that an appropriate amount is available for the purchase of reading list materials.

  • From the financial year 2010/11 the Library is moving towards an e-only acquisition policy for journals.

^ 2.4 Electronic resources

  • The Library purchases access to significant on-line databases and resources relevant to the Music Department. All such provision is subjected to annual evaluation to determine relevance and to assess value for money in terms of levels of use in relation to cost.

  • All resources subscribed to, together with appropriate gateways and sites, will be accessible via the Library catalogue and will be available 24/7.

  • All Royal Holloway users have access to e-resources acquired by the Senate House Library.

Principal electronic resources for the Music Department to which subscriptions are held by Royal Holloway include:

  • Arts & Humanities Citation Index (Web of Knowledge)

  • Archival Sound Recordings (British Library)


  • NAXOS Music Library

  • Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

  • Oxford Music Online

  • Oxford Reference Online

  • Project MUSE

  • RILM Abstracts of Music Literature


2.5 Other Media

  • CD’s and DVDs are acquired upon departmental request from the Music Department’s Library budget allocation.

2.6 Examination papers

  • The Library holds examination papers for the preceding five years both in hard copy and electronically (digital copies via the Digital Repository). Examination papers for 2010 onwards will only be held in digital format.

2.7 Theses

  • The Library holds copies of distinction level MA theses for a period of 5 years where these are sent to the Library by the department.

  • The Library receives a copy of all MPhil and PhD theses which are housed in the Depository Library.

^ 2.8 Special Collections

Among its rare book collection of about 7,000 items, the Library has significant holdings dating from the sixteenth to the twentieth century and collections relevant to Music, including the Dom Anselm Hughes collection and the Cotton collection.


Additions to the special collections will be made very selectively (see main Collection Development and Management Policy document).

2.9 Archives

  • Among the College’s Archives ( is material of relevance to the Music Department, for instance the Brain Denis Papers.

  • New acquisitions will be made selectively in line with the provisions of the main Collection Development and Management Policy document).

2.10 Donations

  • Donations of library materials will only be added to stock after evaluation under the framework of the Collection Development and Management Policy and the departmental Collection Policy.

  • Items that are not judged to fit the criteria for acquisition will not be accepted.


3. Retention and disposal policy

  • Within the Music Department’s subject areas some texts may hold their value to the field for an indefinite period but authors and subjects may at times be rested or discontinued from the undergraduate degree teaching. Therefore, the collections will be subject to regular consultative review in order for the Library to manage its space appropriately. The Library recognises that authors and subject areas within the discipline are subject to revaluation, and acknowledges a custodial role for texts which are not currently taught by the present staff of the Music Department.

  • At the time of stock reviews, appropriate criteria will be agreed with the Music Department. On the basis of these, the Library will coordinate the stock reviews.

  • Where required, it is expected that the Music Department will provide sufficient staff resource to enable the Library to manage the process within an appropriate time-frame.

  • As general practice on a day-to-day basis or when reviewing stock in the Music Department’s collections, particular attention will be paid to multiple copies, items in poor physical condition and items no longer of research or teaching interest. The importance to the Music Department of superseded editions and of material in related interdisciplinary areas is recognised.

Information Consultant for the Department of Music: Russell Burke

Department of Music Library Representative: Dr Mark Berry

Policy agreed: July 2010

Review date: July 2012

Russell Burke

July 2010

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