About our collections
The University of Minnesota Libraries' extensive collections serve the University, citizens of Minnesota, and the global community.
The University of Minnesota Libraries' selects, curates, and preserves materials that contribute to the University’s teaching, research, and community programs.
As the only R1 research library in the state of Minnesota, our collections are essential in enabling new discoveries and outstanding education at the University of Minnesota and also serve the research needs of the broader community of scholars throughout Minnesota and the world. We have over 7.7 million print volumes, 1.97 million ebooks, 120,000 serials and 130,000 linear feet of archival materials.
With careful consideration of a set of values and priorities that guide collections decisions, and in support of the University of Minnesota’s mission, the Libraries develops collections of published works, unique materials of distinction, and scarcely-held resources.
Selection values, priorities, and considerations
The University of Minnesota Libraries' collections reflect our relationships with our faculty, researchers, students, and community members, as well as our relationships with vendors and publishers. Our work is guided by our values, our researchers’ priorities, and considerations for the contracts and licenses the Libraries enters into with vendors and publishers. Through effective planning and resource allocation, the Libraries develops strategies and policies to ensure it acts as an excellent steward of the University’s resources.
These Values have been given a Senate Library Committee Statement of Support.
The Libraries’ values for collections guide our investments in our collection areas and discovery tools (below is an abridged version of our values, based on the full and finalized version).
- 1. Alignment of collection development with the University of Minnesota’s mission. We purchase, acquire, and provide access to materials in support of the research, and discovery, teaching and learning, and outreach and public service missions of the University of Minnesota.
- 2. Open and enduring access to information. We commit to supporting and expanding open and perpetual access to scholarly resources through our acquisition and licensing of content.
- 3. Partnerships and collaborations. We collaborate with groups and organizations that share our values to ensure that our collection and services are sustainable, allow for the collection of unique materials, and increase the breadth and depth of accessible content.
- 4. Innovative information, use, and interactions. We seek out and evaluate new and evolving formats and information sources, as well as the methods by which they provide access to information, to support innovative developments in teaching and research.
- 5. Economic sustainability. Through data driven decision making and expectations for publishers, we provide efficiencies and cost savings to campus through centralized, campus-wide acquisition and licensing of content.
- 6. Equity, diversity, and inclusion. We develop and steward diverse collections that reflect the broad scope of intellectual, cultural, educational, and research interests of its users and communities to address critical gaps in the collection and anticipate emerging research and educational needs.
- 7. Privacy. The privacy of our user community in their academic endeavors is essential to fulfilling the University’s mission. We, in collaboration with vendors and publishers, strive to protect user privacy by limiting the amount of user information that is collected, monitored, disclosed, and distributed.
The Libraries’ collections serve the research needs of today’s students, faculty, and the public, as well as the needs of future scholars. We also actively purchase course materials when possible to save students money and simplify the selection process for faculty. We strive to meet the needs of our users through a balanced approach of collecting heavily used core materials as well as unique or scarcely held content.
Our liaison librarians are available to discuss collection requests and we welcome suggestions for purchase (U of MN login required). Though budget limitations may prevent us from being able to purchase everything that is desired, we do our best to acquire—either through purchase or by borrowing from another library—the materials that are needed and get them into the hands of users.
Considerations for vendors
To follow our values and provide increased transparency about our financial transactions, we expect vendors and publishers to abide by our guidelines and expectations for cost-effective and timely transactions. To ensure timely, clear, and accountable communication, we require that:
- Written proposals are submitted via email;
- Meetings are held virtually to preserve valuable time, money, and resources for both parties;
- Contracts meet our legal and business needs;
- Additional requirements are also met.
University policy prohibits employees from accepting gifts or endorsing a product or service.
Support the collection
The Libraries welcome your financial support for our collections. Please donate now, or learn about other ways you can partner with us to meet the academic and research needs of the next generation of Minnesota scholars.
Collection development team
The Libraries’ collections are developed by a core team in collaboration with subject liaison librarians and curators who have selection responsibilities.