Materials Selection Policy - Architecture Collection


Collection Area


There will be a separate collection development policy for materials in support of the undergraduate bachelor of science in interior design.


The library's architecture collection is developed to support the undergraduate bachelor of science degree in architecture and the graduate master of architecture degree. The collection supports the curricular and research needs of students and instructional and research needs of faculty. Materials are selected at the upper division undergraduate and graduate readership levels.


The UTSA Library Architecture collection includes subscriptions to scholarly and professional journals often beginning with the first volume. The collection also consists of journals purchased through large electronic databases, as well as electronic and bound indexes. In addition, the collection has books available for circulation and additional print materials in the Reference Collection. Additional materials are available in Permanent Reserve at both the John Peace and Downtown Campus Libraries, the Multimedia Center at the John Peace Library, and in Special Collections and Archives.


The UTSA Library has collected materials for Architecture since 1969, however most of the materials have been purchased since the Architecture program was established in the 1990s.

Responsibility for Selection

The Library's Architecture Bibliographer has primary responsibility for selection of materials for the Architecture collection. The Bibliographer works closely with an annually appointed faculty liaison from the Architecture program, as well as other Architecture faculty, in order to meet student and faculty informational and research needs.

The Head of Collections & Curriculum Support, the Assistant Dean for Collections and Extended Services, and the Dean of Libraries of UTSA oversee the work of the Architecture Bibliographer.

Final selection of materials is the responsibility of the Bibliographer and the Head of Collections & Curriculum Support, with guidance and/or permission sought from the Assistant Dean and the Dean, as needed or required.


NK 1700 - NK 2195 interior decoration--general
NK 2200 - NK 2750 furniture

NK 2775 - NK 3505 other furnishingsBudgets for materials selection are determined annually. For books, nonbook materials (e.g., DVDs, videocassettes, slides, etc.), and continuations (e.g., electronic databases, print journals, etc.), funding is generally increased by at least 10 percent per year due to inflation in prices of materials. Because funding for library resources has increased greatly in FY 2004, most selection areas received significant increases in funding over and above the increase for inflation. In total, the budget for the architecture collection increased by $5,000 over FY 2003's budget, or by 25 percent.

Special request funding--for expanded selection of retrospective or current materials or for special items and collections--are honored throughout the fiscal year. Thus, it is possible for Bibliographers to request additional funding at any time in order to fill gaps in the collections, to take advantage of special offers or newly available resources, and/or to meet the collection needs of new degree initiatives, courses, or faculty interest.

Location of the Collection

Prior to the relocation of the School of Architecture to the UTSA Downtown Campus, the primary location for the Architecture collection was the John Peace Library at the University's Main Campus. However, in 2002, the School of Architecture relocated to the Downtown Campus. Thus, a sizable portion of the Library's book and current journal collection in Architecture has been transferred to the UTSA Downtown Campus Library. As of February 2004, approximately half of the titles and one-third of volumes or items designated with the Library of Congress classification, NA, have been relocated to the Downtown Campus Library. All new books, audiovisual or nonbook materials, and current journals selected for the Architecture program are automatically cataloged to the Downtown Campus Library. Older materials are gradually being relocated to the Downtown Campus Library with those with imprint dates of 1990 to present, the most circulated items, being transferred first.

In FY 2004, the Architecture Bibliographer began recommending for transfer older, heavily used architecture materials, especially those with multiple copies, to the Downtown Campus Library.

Additional scholarly research materials to support the Architecture program are held in the Library's general collections at the Main Campus, the Special Collections Department at the Main Campus, and the UTSA Archives at the Institute of Texan Cultures, located approximately one mile from the Downtown Campus Library. It is anticipated that the John Peace Library will remain the primary research library for UTSA with the Downtown Campus Library providing support to the School of Architecture as much as possible. Some advanced research in the discipline may still need to be conducted at additional facilities at the John Peace Library and the UTSA Archives.

Collecting Level

Overall selection for Architecture is at the 3C Level, Advanced Study or Instructional support, based on guidelines set forth by the WLN Collection Assessment Manual*, and the Research Libraries Group:

The advanced subdivision of level 3 provides resources adequate for imparting and maintaining knowledge about the primary and secondary topics of a subject area. The collection includes a significant number of seminal works and journals on the primary and secondary topics in the field; a significant number of retrospective materials; a substantial collection of works by secondary figures; works that provide more in-depth discussions of research, techniques, and evaluation. This level collection can support master's degree level programs as well as other specialized inquiries such as those of subject professionals within special libraries.

Treatment of Subject

Selection focuses on scholarly treatments and books on architectural design, international practice, and historic preservation, the three main specializations of the degree programs offered at UTSA. Materials selected include works on architectural history, architectural theory and criticism, architecture of the Americas, and individual architects, among others.

Materials in structural, mechanical, and environmental engineering are collected selectively to support the Architecture program. The primary responsibility for selection of engineering materials falls with the Engineering Bibliographer.

Materials in urban and regional planning and design are collected selectively to support the Architecture program. The primary responsibility for selection of planning materials falls with the Public Administration Bibliographer.

Subjects Selected


NA 0001 - NA 0150 general architecture
NA 0190 - NA 1994 architecture history
NA 1995 - NA 2599 architecture study, teaching, museums, exhibitions
NA 2600 - NA 2635 Atlases, collections of plans
NA 2695 - NA 2817 architectural drawing and design
NA 2835 - NA4050 architectural details, motives, decoration
NA 4100 - NA 8480 special classes of buildings
NA 9000 - NA 9428 aesthetics of cities, city planning, and beautification


NK 1700 - NK 2195 interior decoration--general
NK 2200 - NK 2750 furniture
NK 2775 - NK 3505 other furnishings


BF 0353 - BF 0367 environmental psychology
SB 0457 - SB 0467 gardens--special styles and types
SB 0469 - SB 0476 landscape architecture
TA 0630 - TA 0695 structural engineering
TH 0001 - TH 9745 building construction

Coordination With Other Subject Areas

There is coordination for Architecture selection with selection for Interior Design, Engineering, Art, Art History, Mexican-American Studies, and Public Administration. There is coordination of the selection of scholarly research materials in Architecture with the Library's Special Collections and Archives departments.

Types and Formats of Materials Selected

The collection includes:

  • books
  • exhibition catalogs
  • directories, encyclopedias, and general and reference works
  • technical reference works
  • journals, indexes, abstracts, and other serial publications
  • folio volumes
  • videocassettes, audiocassettes, compact discs, slides, CD-ROMs, DVDs, and other multimedia and audiovisual resources
  • collected works
  • electronic resources or databases
  • microforms

Because of the historical and visual nature of much architectural study at present, it is anticipated that books and print publications will continue to remain an important part of the architecture collection.


The primary language of the collection is English. However, materials in other languages, notably Spanish, are acquired selectively to support research and study in the program. Dual English or multi-language publications are acquired selectively. When available, English translations will generally be preferred over original language publications. Exceptions may include the works of important architects for which the original language publication may also be collected.

Chronological Coverage

All periods of architectural history, design, and practice are collected, although at varying levels of intensity.

Date of Publication

Current publications are the primary collection focus; however, retrospective, historical materials published in the 20th century are actively acquired, based on recommendations by bibliographies, faculty, patrons, and library staff. Reprints are acquired to replace worn materials or fill in collection gaps. Added copies of heavily used titles are acquired as availability and budget allow.

Geographical Coverage

No areas are excluded. Emphasis is on historic preservation, design, and practice in the United States, especially in the architecture of South Texas, the Rio Grande Valley, the Texas-Mexico Borderlands, and Mexico. International practice, design, and preservation in Western Europe, Japan, and Latin America are also included.


Monographic and serial publications by university presses, scholarly and professional societies, and trade and commercial presses are collected. English and dual-language monographs are collected using a subject-based approval plan established with Blackwell North America.

Approval plans for Spanish-, French-, and German-language materials and materials published outside of North America, Great Britain, and Australia/New Zealand are in progress. When complete, these plans will provide additional language, subject, and geographic coverage for architectural studies.

Key publishers from which publications are generally acquired include:

  • Thames and Hudson
  • Oxford University Press
  • Princeton Architectural Press
  • Routledge
  • John Wiley
  • McFarland and Company
  • Rizzoli
  • Harry N. Abrams
  • Ashgate
  • Cambridge University Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Brill
  • Yale University Press
  • Architectural Press
  • Taunton Press
  • Smithsonian Books
  • Columbia University Press
  • Real Instituto de Estudios Asturianos
  • Phaidon
  • Birkhauser-Verlag fur Architektur
  • El Croquis Editorial
  • Frances Lincoln
  • Schiffer Publishing
  • Springer-Verlag
  • W.W. Norton
  • Birkhauser
  • Villegas Editores

Materials are also selected from many other commercial and university presses around the world.

Professional societies are essential sources for information needed for professional practice. They provide access to building codes, equipment standards, and established professional standards. Key organizations from which these publications are often available are:

  • The American Institute of Architects (AIA)
  • The American Society of Interior Designers
  • The International Code Council
  • The Royal Institute of British Architects
  • Union Internationale des Architectes
  • The American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • The American society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE)
  • The World Federation of Technical Assessment Organizations

Place of Publication

Restrictions may apply to approval plans that may limit publications acquired to those published in North America, Great Britain, Europe, and Australia/New Zealand. The addition of several foreign-language approval plans should expand selection from other geographic areas.

No geographic areas are excluded for firm orders. Physical and intellectual qualities of works generally produced by reputable or recommended publishers determine whether titles are selected for the collection.

Collection Evaluation

Collection evaluation has taken place throughout the UTSA Library's history. Beginning in Summer 2004, a schedule will be developed and enacted to insure that every subject area represented in the UTSA Library collection will be evaluated once every five years.

Cooperative Collections & Curriculum Support Agreements
The Library participates in a variety of cooperative library agreements at the local, regional, national, and international level. These agreements range from joint purchasing programs to borrowing services and document delivery. These agreements serve to broaden the base of resources available to the University's faculty, staff, and students as well as significantly improve access to resources, whether within the Library, on campus, or remotely from homes or offices.

The UTSA Library is a member of the Council of Research and Academic Libraries (CORAL), a consortium of nearly 30 San Antonio area libraries including all local colleges and universities. This membership entitles UTSA students and faculty to utilize the collections of other member institutions at no charge. Other related collections of particular interest to UTSA students and faculty include those of Trinity University and San Antonio College, which maintain significant holdings in architecture, decorative arts, building construction, and urban development, as well as the McNay Art Museum Library. Specialized collections of particular local interest include the San Antonio Conservation Society's archives and the photography collection at the Institute of Texan Cultures Library.

The TexShare Library Resource Sharing Program, a program of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission, was developed to support and enhance resource sharing among Texas academic libraries. TexShare has implemented the TexShare Card, a statewide borrower's card enabling students and faculty affiliated with any TexShare institution to use the materials and services of any participating TexShare library. TexShare also maintains a World Wide Web site, which provides access to all available online catalogs of TexShare libraries and a number of free databases. The UTSA Library also accesses several notable, commercial electronic resources via its participation in TexShare.

The University of Texas System Advisory Committee on Library Resources continues to pursue its goals in cooperatively acquiring, housing, and providing access to additional resources that may be beyond the means of any single institution. As a participant in the UT System Digital Library, the Library has been able to provide students, faculty, and staff with access to a number of specialized databases.

The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) is an international consortium that operates the nation's oldest cooperative research library. The 162-member research centers, colleges, and universities pool their resources to acquire, store, and preserve rarely held publications at CRL, which, in turn, makes them easily accessible to scholars throughout North America. CRL holdings include U.S. and foreign newspapers; international doctoral dissertations; collections on area studies, including Africa, Latin America, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe; rare scholarly journals; and a variety of U.S. and international subject collections, including many government publications by U.S. and foreign governments and agencies. Many of these resources would be difficult to find from any other source.

The UTSA Library is a member of CRL; thus, all resources in the CRL collections are available to UTSA faculty for research. In many cases, these materials are lent indefinitely until another person requests them.

Policy Review

The Architecture Bibliographer and the Head of Collections & Curriculum Support will review this policy statement at least once every five years. Periodic review may occur at other times, due to changes in the program for which materials are selected.

 *WLN Collection Assessment Manual, pp. 32-3; reproduced in "Appendix 1: Collection Codes (WLN): Current Collection, Acquisition Commitment, Collection Goal," Guide for Written Collections & Assessment Policy Statements, 2d ed. (Chicago and London: American Library Association, 1996): 13-4.