Geography & History (900)

General Comments

This collection provides information concerning geography, history, and such auxiliary disciplines as travel, genealogy, biography, and insignia.

Development Plan

Collection emphases are history and travel, with a pronounced U.S. focus and, within the U.S., a heavy Western region emphasis. History coverage includes social condition and civilization sources.

Existing collections are comprised of many older sources. While older sources of historical information are not inappropriate, care should be taken to purchase sources with new perspectives and visual appeal. This collection is heavily influenced by electronic sources.
  • 900 Geography, history, and auxiliary disciplines. A collection providing time-lines and treatments of pivotal battles and disasters is maintained. A small, solid core of general world history sources is maintained. Works emphasizing Western civilization are maintained, but Eastern civilization coverage is minimally developed.
  • 910 Geography and travel. Travel sources are heavily developed and maintained. A collection emphasizing historical atlases is maintained. Contemporary atlases are generally housed in the reference collection. A small collection with general overview coverage of geography as a field of study is developed and maintained. The maps and orienteering collection is maintained. The travel section includes both travel guides and accounts of travel. Travel guides are heavily developed and maintained. Works emphasizing North American travel are maintained with a focus on Western states. Wyoming travel sources are housed in the Wyoming collection. For non-regional areas, works on particularly popular locales such as New York City, Washington D.C., Florida, and Alaska are developed and maintained. A diverse collection covering all continents is maintained, emphasizing popular locales of international travel. Travel information on Japan, Africa, and South America requires future development.
  • 920 Biography, genealogy, insignia. The biography collection covers specific classes of persons rather than individual biographies (individual biographies are housed in the Biography collection). Genealogy sources are minimally developed; the reference collection and a special, unclassified genealogy collection provide the major bulk of the Library's resources in this area. No special genealogical sources are purchased (e.g., census records, marriage registers); however, interesting family histories (trade publications) may occasionally be purchased. An assortment of name books (both given and surnames) is maintained. Flag sources (U.S., state, international) are maintained. Insignia recognition sources are maintained.
  • 930 History of the ancient world to ca. 499. This collection emphasizing works on Egypt, Greece, Rome and Stonehenge is developed and maintained, with increasing focus on archaeological aspects and developing history.
  • 940 General history of Europe. Coverage of all historical periods is developed and maintained. Works with an emphasis on Eastern, Central, and Western Europe, British Isles, England and Wales, France and Monaco, Italy, Spain, Scandinavia, and other parts of Europe are maintained. Sources with a World War II emphasis are maintained, but weeding should occur regularly. Inclusion of some revisionist sources should not be ruled out.
  • 950 General history of Asia. Works emphasizing areas of contemporary interest are maintained and care should be taken to provide "follow-up" sources when conflicts or events subside (e.g., the aftermath of conflicts). Works on Japanese history require future development. Korean War information requires future development preferring overview sources to personal narratives. Sources on the Vietnam conflict are maintained as a major collection, emphasizing overviews rather than personal narratives.
  • 960 General history of Africa. Sources with a continent-wide emphasis rather than those about individual countries are maintained; however, works covering areas of contemporary interest, including follow-up sources when events subside, are developed. South African history sources require future development.
  • 970 General history of North America. In this major collection, works emphasizing the United States and, from a regional perspective, the West are maintained. Encyclopedic sets of historical topics can be purchased for breadth of coverage and convenience of access and acquisition of information. A collection emphasizing Western U.S. Native American coverage is maintained. From an era perspective, a collection emphasizing the Civil War and 20th century is maintained, but other areas require future development. A Canadian core of non-U.S. history sources is maintained. Maintained also are contemporary history sources for Middle America, with possible development of earlier history sources. A collection emphasizing coverage of ancient Indian history is developed and maintained.
  • 980 General history of South America. This section is maintained as a small collection with a continent-wide emphasis, rather than coverage of individual countries.
  • 990 General history of other parts of the world, of extraterrestrial worlds. A small collection emphasizing works on Hawaii, Australia, and New Zealand is maintained.

Influencing Factors

Purchases and buying patterns are determined in large part by:
  • electronic/Internet sources availability.
  • new works.
  • budget constraints.
  • circulation statistics.
  • patron requests.
  • present and potential relevance to the community.
  • shelf space.


  • Travel guides over three years old are weeded.
  • Eventually discarded or moved to the reference collection are most genealogical sources (the occasional trade publication family history excepted).
  • Caution should be observed in discarding primary sources of history. Retention of personal narratives of war requires particular selectivity.
  • Biographies are weeded as names become obscure, as better biographies are written, and, for persons still living, as newer sources are written.