Documents and Maps Collection

Collection Statement

A. Purpose

The primary purpose of Documents & Maps is to support the library's mission to meet the study and research needs of the students, faculty, and staff of the university. As a depository of federal and state documents, the area also will be a "government information bank" open freely to all. Consequently, the area intends to: (1) develop collections tailored to the needs of the university community, residents of Black Hawk County, and the people of the 2nd Congressional District of Iowa; (2) maintain the collections in terms of replacement, mending, and binding in a manner equivalent to the general collection; (3) weed and discard out-of-date and little used material from the collection according to the rules and regulations of the U.S. Government Printing Office and the State Library of Iowa. The rules concerning federal depository libraries can be found in Instructions to Depository Libraries, Guidelines for the Depository Library System, and Federal Depository Library Manual. The regulations regarding the State of Iowa depository system can be found in the Iowa Administrative Code.

The materials in Documents & Maps support programs and degrees across the curriculum. These materials strongly support the undergraduate curricula in the colleges of Business Administration, Education, and Social and Behavioral Sciences. The area also significantly supports programs in earth science and environmental studies within the College of Natural Sciences. The area's collections support the programs of the College of Humanities and Fine Arts to a lesser degree. The area collects a slightly higher proportion of material suitable for graduate research than the library's general collections.

Related Subject Areas/Other Resources

The subject content and types of materials in the area generally overlap with the resources in the general collection, periodicals, and the Reference Collection. Documents & Maps and the Reference Collection duplicate some government and private publications that are of significant value and high use. In addition, the area transfers many federal and state depository titles to the Reference Collection or periodicals. This transferring of materials may decrease as government publications are entered in UNISTAR.

Since the collections in Documents & Maps contain materials on diverse subjects, the area needs to cooperate with bibliographers in the general areas of business, education, natural science, social science, and behavioral science. Thus, the area routes surveys of new federal depository items to the Head of Collection Management and interested bibliographers for comment before selection.

The United States Government distributes increasing amounts of important information in electronic format, especially CD-ROM. The area will coordinate its policies dealing with the collection of information in electronic format with the general library policy on this matter.

Documents & Maps collects atlases on a limited basis. The atlases in the area are selected to aid in servicing the map collection. The Reference Collection fund is responsible for maintaining the main collection of atlases in the library.

Cooperative Agreements/Special Features of Collection

Documents & Maps participates in one of the oldest and largest cooperative agreements in the United States: the U.S. Depository Library Program. The library has been a federal depository library since 1949 and currently selects about 50% of the 7,000 series available. As part of this agreement, the library cooperates with the other depositories in the state of Iowa, especially the University of Iowa (the regional depository). The regional depository coordinates the discarding of depository material in the state to insure that depositories in Iowa have access to both historical and esoteric federal publications. The University of Iowa also provides ILL service for government publications.

The area is also a depository for State of Iowa publications. This program began in 1979, and the State Library coordinates this program. Documents & Maps is a "full depository" for State of Iowa publications. This means that the area receives all publications distributed by the program. The vast majority of these publications are distributed to the library in microfiche with a "core" list of publications coming in hard copy. The "core" list publications are usually standard reference works such as the Code of Iowa. The area sends the "core" list publications to CSR for inclusion in the Reference Collection, periodicals, etc.

Historically, the area has strong subject collections in education, statistics, U.S. history and government, earth science, physical geography, and ethology. The area has many significant sets in these subjects such as Office of Education Bulletins, United States Census, Congressional Serial Set, Professional Papers of the U.S. Geological Survey, and Bureau of American Ethology Annual Reports and Bulletins.

B. Primary LC Classes

Documents & Maps collects information in most LC classes. The area collects most heavily in E (U.S. History), H (Social Science), J (Political Science), K (Law), and L (Education). The area also collects significant materials in G (Geography), QE (Geology), and T (Technology).

LC classification is not used for the vast majority of federal and state documents that the area collects. For U.S. Government publications, the Superintendent of Documents (SuDocs) classification is used. For State of Iowa publications, the depository microfiche is arranged by the Swank Classification system. Both classification systems group documents by issuing agency, not subject.

Documents & Maps collects documents in most SuDoc classes. It collects most heavily in the following classes, with the issuing departments, agencies, and offices noted: AE (National Archives), C (Commerce), CR (Civil Rights), D (Defense), ED (Education), GP (Government Printing), He (Health & Human Services), I (Interior), Ju (Judiciary), L (Labor), Pr (President), PrEx (Executive Office), S (State), SBA (Small Business), X and Y (Congress and Commissions).

C. Collection Guidelines

Federal Publications

Documents & Maps is not a library of record for federal publications. The area will develop a "functional" collection of federal documents stressing high use documents and major historical sets. It will duplicate highly used depository items through its GPO Deposit Account and the Special Order Service of LC's Documents Expediting Project (DocEx). The area will weed its collection of unneeded publications on an on-going basis. It will carefully follow the rules for the disposal of depository items as outlined by the U.S. Government Printing Office (noted above).

Documents & Maps will collect materials in support of the curriculum including those needed for class assignments, collateral reading, individual study, term papers, reports, and research projects in disciplines with undergraduate programs. The area does not intend to acquire all materials needed for research projects, theses, and dissertations required for graduate degrees unless they are useful to other patrons. ILL will be encouraged for esoteric materials.

The area will collect general reference works, bibliographic tools, and similar sources of basic information in subject fields not directly related to local curriculum. It will provide indexing that will identify documents that UNI does not have that can be obtained via ILL.

In addition, the area will collect material of general or current interest likely to have lasting value. It will obtain items for faculty research when the material has potential usefulness for other patrons. ILL will be encouraged for esoteric material. The area also will collect material needed by administrative and service personnel as appropriate.

Hard copy format is preferred for most materials collected. Microform will be collected when it is the only form available for needed information or saves major amounts of space. Microforms should not be used as an excuse for collecting information that is not needed in the collection. Microforms need good indexing to be a truly useful part of the collection. Electronic information will be collected. Priority will be given to indexes and statistical data. It is unclear how much the area can or should support federal electronic information products with the purchase of commercial software. Currently, this will be done on only a limited basis. Maps will be collected. (See following section on the Maps Collection.) Audio/visual material will generally not be collected by the area.

Priority is given to works in English. No geographical areas are totally excluded from the collection. Material relating to Iowa will be collected in depth. Research on the use of government publications shows that interest in most government publications significantly decreases after 3-5 years. So, the area will develop a collection of recently published materials and major historical sets.

Iowa Documents

Documents & Maps has been a full depository for Iowa documents since 1979. Most Iowa documents are received in microfiche; a core list of reference material is received in paper copy. The area will fully comply with the regulations of the State Library's Depository Center on access, retention, and disposal as outlined in the Iowa Administrative Code.


The Map Collection provides support for teaching, research, and general reference to the university community. Maps are basic educational tools in a variety of subject areas beyond the traditional areas such as geography and geology. The collection shall be broad in scope, with in-depth coverage limited to Iowa material.

The area collections have two basic types of maps: topographic and thematic. Topographic are general purpose maps that show terrain, topography, elevation, and cultural features of an area. They come in many scales that range from a detailed look at a small area to a general look at a large area. Thematic maps usually deal with a specific subject or topic. For example, a thematic map could deal with the distribution of persons over 65 years of age by county across the United States or the location of medieval castles in Ireland.

For topographic maps, small scale coverage (less than 1:500,000) will be maintained for the entire world at a scale of at least 1:2,500,000. Supplemental small scale maps of North America (Canada-US-Mexico) will be collected at 1:1,000,000. Medium scale coverage (1:200,000-1:500,000) will be maintained for North America, Great Britain, Europe (to the Ural Mountains), and the Near East.

Large scale coverage (1:24,000 - 1:100,000) will be maintained for the United States at 1:100,000. The area will collect the 1:50,000 County Topographic Map Series for Iowa. In addition, the area will collect the largest scale maps (1:24,000) from the U.S. Geological Survey for 13 states. They are: California, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The above 13 states were selected after detailed consultation with the Geography and Earth Science departments. Changes to this list should be made only after consultation with the two departments. Also, any major expansion of the number of states collected at 1:24,000 will have significant space and equipment considerations. The Library Administrative Council must approve any major expansion of this collection.

Thematic maps are published in far fewer numbers than topographic maps. The criterion in selecting these maps is more flexible. Detailed, multi-sheet thematic maps outside Iowa should be approached cautiously with an eye toward potential usage. Generally, the smallest geographic unit (outside the U.S.) that should be considered for purchase would be an entire region or significant country. There are no restrictions on subject matter.

The Map Collection receives much of its collection through the GPO Depository Library System. It will select mainly depository maps series of potentially high use. The agencies that produce most of the mapping that the area will select are the U.S. Geological Survey, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Bureau of the Census, and the National Park Service. The area may need to increase its selection from the USGS to accommodate the increased interest in physical geography in the Department of Geography.

For topographic, thematic, and historical mapping, in-depth geographic coverage will be attempted only for Iowa. Areas within Iowa having first priority are Black Hawk County, Cedar Falls, the UNI campus, and Waterloo. Second priority will be given to nine Iowa cities: Ames (Story), Cedar Rapids (Linn), Council Bluffs (Pottawattamie), Davenport (Scott), Des Moines (Polk), Dubuque (Dubuque), Iowa City (Johnson), Sioux City (Woodbury), Waverly (Bremer).

Regarding map coverage of the entire State of Iowa, the area will attempt to select as comprehensively as possible. Usually, two to five copies of current thematic or topographic maps showing the entire state will be acquired.

The area has a rich collection of 19th Century maps of Iowa. This collection is of great interest to students (formal or informal) of Iowa history. Purchase of original 19th Century material should be limited to Iowa alone. Some consideration may be give to maps in which Iowa is regionally important. Considering the price of historical maps, discretion needs to be employed when adding to this collection.

The area will collect support materials for the map collection such as atlases and gazetteers. Documents & Maps will collect a few general atlases to support the map collection as general guides, indexes, or quick reference tools. The Reference Collection will purchase general and thematic atlases that are deemed necessary to support the curricular and research needs of the university community. The area will maintain a gazetteer collection that will allow it to locate effectively specific locations shown on its maps.

The acquisition of aerial photography will be limited to Black Hawk County. All historical photography of the county will be kept. The area will try to insure that the most recent photography of the county is no more than 10 years old. Considering the great expense of this photography, a special allocation is usually needed to purchase a set of aerial photos for the county.

The area also maintains a collection of current highway and street maps for each state and Canadian province, approximately 400 major U.S. cities, and 300 major foreign cities. Materials in these files should be no more than five years old.

D. ALA Collecting Level Codes

Library of Congress Level

Class Subject Level

A General Works 3a

B Philosophy/Religion 0

C History-Auxiliary 2a

D History(except American) 3a

E U.S. History 3b

F Local History 3a

G Geography/Anthropology 3b

H Social Science 4

J Political Science 4

K Law 3b

L Education 4

M Music 1a

N Fine Arts 2b

P Language/Literature 0

Q Science 3b

R Medicine 3a

S Agriculture 2b

T Technology 3b

U-V Military/Naval Science 3a

Z Bibliography/Library Science 3a

Sudoc Code Level

Class Department Level

A Agriculture 2b

AA Action 2a

AC Arms Control 3a

AE National Archives 3b

C Commerce 3b

CAB Civil Aeronautics 1a

CC Federal Communications 3a

CR Civil Rights 3b

CS Civil Service 3a

CSA Community Services 2a

D Defense 3b

E Energy 3a

ED Education 4

EP Environmental Protection 3a

FA Fine Arts 2a

FCA Farm Credit 3a

FEM Federal Emergency 2b

FHL Home Loan Bank 2a

FM Federal Mediation 1a

FMC Federal Maritime 0

FT Federal Trade 3a

FTZ Foreign Trade Zones 0

GA General Accounting 3b

GP Government Printing 3b

GS General Services 2a

HE Health & Human Services 3b

HH Housing & Urban Development 3a

I Interior 3b

IA Information Agency 2a

IC Interstate Commerce 2a

ITC International Trade 3b

J Justice 3a

JU Judiciary 3b

L Labor 3b

LC Library of Congress 3a

LR Labor Relations 2a

MS Merit System 1a


NC Capital Planning 1a

NCU Credit Union 1a

NF Arts & Humanities 3a

NMB Mediation Board 1a

NS Science Foundation 3a

OP Overseas . . . Investment 2a

P Postal Service 3a

PE Peace Corps 2b

PM Personnel Management 2a

PR President 3b

PREX Executive Office 3b

RR RR Retirement 0

S State 3b

SBA Small Business 3b

SE Securities & Exchange 2b

SI Smithsonian 3a

T Treasury 3a

TC International Trade 3a

TD Transportation 3a

VA Veterans 2a

X,Y1 Congress 3b

Y3 Commissions . . . 3b

Y4 Hearings 3b

Y7 Congress 3b

Y10 Congressional Budget Office 3b

E. Strengths and Weaknesses of Collection

The collections in Documents & Maps have many strengths. In two inspections since 1983, the U.S. Government Printing Office commended the area on its support of the university curriculum and its support for the information needs of the public. The GPO has also praised the area for purchasing indexing, such as the historical Congressional Information Services indexes, that provide bibliographic access to much important material available on inter-library loan. The area has general strengths in the social sciences with special emphasis in political science, U.S. history, geography, earth science, and 19th Century Iowa maps. The increasing integration of Documents & Maps into the library's general collection management program is a positive step in improving the area's collections and raising the awareness of its collections by the subject bibliographers.

The collection management of Documents & Maps can improve in several areas. First, the area can develop clear policies on federal electronic information. This includes but is not limited to CD-ROM. What access should the area provide to federal databases? How much support material (additional software) can the area reasonably provide for government CD-ROM products? Second, despite its strengths in earth science, the area needs to consider expanding its collecting of more sophisticated mapping from the U.S. Geological Survey. Third, the library does not collect information from the National Technical Information Service in a coordinated manner. This needs further study. Fourth, the scope of the map collection still needs a clearer focus.

P. Wilkinson

Documents & Maps Librarian

June 1992