The Haddon Library

Collection Development



The purpose of this Collection Development Policy is to provide a framework of priorities and selection criteria for the maintenance and development of the Haddon Library’s collections.  It is intended to give guidance, not only to teachers, researchers and Haddon staff engaged in book and journal selection, but also to putative donors and testators.  It will enable these valued friends to translate their goodwill into the most effective benefit for future generations of students and researchers.

Predecessors of this document are the Haddon’s Statement of Aims and Objectives from 1993, and the Collection Development Policy drawn up in 1999 and revised in 2009.  It is arranged as follows:


1.  Recommendation and selection
2.  Language
3.  Variant versions
4.  Multiple copies and replacement copies
5.  Relationship to holdings of other libraries in Cambridge

1.  Reference works
2.  Periodicals
3.  Audio-visual and electronic media
4.  Theses
5.  Offprints
6.  Archive material
7.  Books more than 100 years old
8.  Microforms
9.  Photographs

1.  Exchange
2.  Gift and bequest



The Haddon Library serves a Faculty that has played, and continues to play, a leading role in the development of its constituent fields, and in their inter-disciplinary integration.  It has a large and uniquely valuable collection, overseen by an officer Librarian.  The Librarian serves as secretary of the Library Committee, to which the Faculty Board delegates matters of broad policy concerning the Haddon.

This Library’s purpose is to provide support for international-quality teaching and research.  Teaching in the Faculty is research-driven rather than textbook-driven, and many of the older publications across the disciplines are as essential to undergraduate work as they are to research.  The Haddon serves the research needs of the entire Faculty, comprising the three Departments of Archaeology, Social Anthropology, and Biological Anthropology, together with the Cambridge University Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research.  With the many bequests it has received over the years from important figures in the discipline, the Haddon now stands as the country’s leading research collection of published material in this field.  As its holdings are listed in the Cambridge Union Catalogue and are available for inter-library loan and for consultation by visitors, the benefit is to the University as a whole and to the wider scholarly community.  Registered users during the year 2009-2010 included  616 Cambridge undergraduates, 529 Cambridge graduate students, 275 Cambridge staff, and 184 visitors


1.  Recommendation and selection

At the time of writing, the Haddon has no certain budget for the acquisition of books.  Its former book and periodicals fund is now devoted entirely to journal subscriptions and channelled via the University’s Journals Co-Ordination Scheme.  The Faculty, and its three teaching departments, have generously agreed to support the Haddon’s book purchasing as a temporary measure, and the Librarian is devoting time to fundraising.

In times of financial stringency, we shall give preference to required reading for students, and to publications of research value which fall into either or both of the following categories:

(a)    publications not already available in Cambridge
(b)    publications eligible for purchase using special grants (e.g. the Smuts Fund, which supports purchases in the area of British Commonwealth studies)

2.  Language

Publications in non-European languages will not normally be added to the Haddon’s collection.  Offers of material in East Asian languages should be forwarded to the relevant specialist at the University Library.   If a foreign-language work exists in an English translation, we shall for preference acquire that translation, unless there are serious doubts about its reliability.  Translations from English into foreign languages will not generally be acquired.

3.  Variant versions

The basic rule is that we will not acquire variant versions of works we already hold.  However, there are exceptions, as follows.

We will acquire new editions where one or more of the following circumstances apply:

(a)    the new edition incorporates substantial revision
(b)    the subject has undergone rapid change
(c)    our copy of the previous edition has been heavily used
(d)    a long time has elapsed since the previous edition

For reprints in general, see the statement on Multiple copies and replacement copies, below.

We will acquire modern facsimiles or reprints of older works, exceptionally, if this is necessary to save wear and tear on the originals.

We prefer, in general, to acquire books in hardback rather than paperback.  We will purchase paperbacks where one or more of the following circumstances apply:

(a)    no hardback is obtainable (including where the reason is our own financial prudence)
(b)    we are specifically buying Multiple copies and replacement copies (see below)
(c)    the paperback contains significant new material not in hardback
(d)    the subject is a fast-moving one (e.g. genetics) in which publications are rapidly superseded

4.  Multiple copies and replacement copies

Multiple copies of books will be acquired when  the observed or anticipated demand from readers is exceptionally high.  Preference will, in addition, be given to the categories laid down, under Recommendation and selection above, for purchases made in times of financial stringency.

5.  Relationship to holdings of other libraries in Cambridge

Mention has already been made of the importance, in times of financial stringency or when considering the purchase of additional copies, of establishing that the books in question are not held by other Cambridge libraries.  However, this cannot be absolutely the determining factor in any decision about purchase.  Duplication of texts is not always a wasteful luxury but can be a sign that the books are needed by readers in more than one institution.  Consulting with all the University’s libraries about all the Haddon’s purchases — or even with some of the University’s libraries about most of the Haddon’s purchases — is likely to be more wasteful of time and money than allowing books to be present in those parts of the University where they are most in demand.

The Haddon circulates an annual list of book recommendations to college librarians in Cambridge.  The list is made up primarily of the titles that have been most borrowed in the Haddon during the year.

For further discussion of this question, see below, C.3 Audio-visual and electronic media.


1.  Reference works

This category includes encyclopedias, dictionaries, bibliographies, maps, atlases, and library and museum catalogues.

For us to acquire such publications, they must meet both of the following criteria:

(a)    they must focus on archaeology and anthropology, or on one or more subfields within the discipline, or be indispensable for the work of staff and students (e.g. style guides, directories of funding bodies)
(b)    they must contain information that is not readily and reliably available online

For a fuller discussion of the online-vs-paper question, see below, Audio-visual and electronic media.

2.  Periodicals

Periodical runs are kept as complete as possible.  Decisions about new subscriptions are now taken via the University’s Journals Co-Ordination Scheme, on which the Haddon is represented.

Many periodicals are now published online as well as on paper.  For a discussion of the online-vs-paper question, see below, Audio-visual and electronic media.

Many of the Haddon’s periodicals are received by way of an exchange of publications.  See below, D.1 Exchanges.

3.  Audio-visual and electronic media

Audio-visual publications — videotapes, CDs, etc. — require special facilities, preferably isolated from the reading areas, for their playing.  The Haddon lacks those resources, and does not compete with teaching departments in the Faculty that are building up audio-visual collections on their own premises.

Electronic publication has come to mean less the circulation of physical artifacts, such as those described in the previous paragraph, than the making available of resources online.  Subscription to those resources is most sensibly managed on a University-wide basis.  The Haddon is a subscriber to the University’s ebooks@cambridge scheme, and automatically recommends titles for purchase by the scheme’s co-ordinator in the following circumstances:

(a)     they have been recommended, whether as ebooks or as print on paper, for purchase by the Haddon
(b)    they have been recommended for placing on Restricted Access in the Haddon

For academic journals, electronic is increasingly the primary mode of publication, with print-on-paper as an optional extra.  Factors rendering print-on-paper an attractive option include ease of use, durability, accessibility to users not registered with the subscribing institution, and readiness of access in comparison with the complexity and unreliability of access online.  The Haddon has no plans for a mass termination of its print-on-paper subscriptions.

However, when the question is considered in respect of any title that is published both online and as print on paper, financial pressures militate against the University’s willingness to support multiple print copies of titles that are, at least in theory, available across the University online.  The presumption will be that the print-on-paper subscription will end, unless one or more of the following conditions are met:

(a)    A print-on-paper subscription is necessary to enable the online subscription.
(b)    No other print-on-paper subscription exists within the University.
(c)    Support for the print-on-paper subscription is expressed by academics in at least two departments of the Faculty.

Economic advantages to any mode of publication must be considered as transient, and should not, by themselves, be used as criteria for choosing one mode over another. However, they should be recognised for their value in opening the discussion.

4.  Theses

Theses approved for the award of M.Phil. degrees in the Faculty are deposited in the Library, and kept in secure conditions.  Theses approved for other degrees are not acquired as a matter of policy, but donations may be accepted.

Purchase of theses will be considered according to the normal criteria.  That applies especially to theses in their published versions.  For unpublished theses (including those available from UMI [formerly University Microfilms International]), the inter-library loan system, and increasingly the British Library’s EThOs service , are normally more appropriate methods of gaining access to this material.

5.  Offprints

Offprints are not generally purchased, though donations and bequests may be accepted.  Photocopies of material in exceptionally high demand will be kept in accordance with the terms of the University’s Copyright Licensing Agency agreement.

6.  Archive material

The Haddon retains administrative archives relating to its own work.  Archives relating to the work of some other bodies within, or associated with, the Faculty, may be stored here.  However, the Library does not have the resources for proper archive conservation, and will not seek to add such material to its stock.

7.  Books more than 100 years old

The Haddon is justly proud of its collection of old books, some of which date back to the 16th century.   Most of these have come to us by donation.  They are kept in secure, stable conditions, and questions about their treatment are referred to appropriate experts in other Cambridge libraries.  The University Library, and the libraries of the older colleges in Cambridge, all of which possess substantial holdings of rare books, are good sources of such expertise.

8.  Microforms

In terms of preferred medium, microforms are a third choice, after print on paper and electronic storage.  They will be acquired only if they convey information that is not readily and reliably available in either of those formats.

9.  Photographs

The Haddon does not collect photographs.  The Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology maintains a Photographic Archive.


1.  Exchange

The Haddon benefits from two modes of exchange: one where this Library purchases material for sending to the exchange partner, and one where the material for sending is donated from within the Library’s natural “constituency” — by the Cambridge Antiquarian Society, by the Museum, by the McDonald Institute, by one of the journals that are published in the Faculty.

The wishes of the donor-for-sending are strictly honoured in any decision taken in respect of the material received as a result of the exchange.  It should be noted that the Haddon’s relations with the Cambridge Antiquarian Society are a matter of formal agreement between the Society and the University (Cambridge University Reporter, 23 April 1987).  Books and other materials which have come into the Haddon as a result of those relations may not be disposed of without the specific, written consent of the Society’s Council.

2.  Gift and bequest

A large part of the Haddon’s stock has been acquired by way of donations and bequests.  The value of the Library as a working collection for research has been greatly enriched thereby.

In the present times of great stringency, gifts have come to play an even greater part in the library’s collection development.  Where books by graduates or members of the Faculty are recommended for acquisition by the Haddon, it has become standard practice that the Librarian will, in the first instance, approach the author and solicit a gift copy.

Another much-appreciated source of donated book is the journals published within the Faculty, whose presentations of ex-review copies have had a value readily visible from the level of reader demand.

The Librarian and Library Committee warmly appreciate offers of gifts, and will carefully evaluate each one for its potential worth to the Haddon; but they may in certain circumstances regretfully decline them, or suggest a more suitable recipient, when the offer is not appropriate to this Library.  The Librarian, in consultation with the representatives of the appropriate Departments, will be happy to advise prospective donors or testators as to the suitability of their intended gifts.

The following list shows some categories of gift that are particularly welcome.

(a)    Financial support (this helps to maintain the Library’s valuable collection, and enables it to purchase according to the Faculty’s priorities)
(b)    Prescribed reading
(c)     Publications by members of the Faculty
(d)    Publications bearing directly on, and further augmenting, existing holdings in the principal subject areas of the Library
(e)    Publications in collections, gathered over a lifetime by recognized contributors to the Faculty’s field
(f)    Publications embodying research carried out in the Library
(g)    Publications produced by recognized research institutions working within the Faculty’s field
(h)    Reference tools

The following categories of gift are less welcome.

(a)    ‘Fringe’ publications.  There can be no watertight definition of this category.  The Librarian will consult with teaching staff when it is necessary to establish how far a work’s idiosyncrasy is outweighed by the value of its contribution to the field.
(b)    Publications in non-European languages
(c)    Publications whose accession, preservation and/or storage might require expenditure beyond the capacity of the library’s budget.  In such cases, an accompanying offer of financial support would be very welcome
(d)    Loose offprints
(e)    Short, broken runs of journals (unless these exactly match gaps in the library’s existing holdings of the same titles)
(f)    Publications produced by government agencies not directly involved in the library’s field
(g)    Gifts in an inappropriate genre or form


From the foregoing parts of this document, it will be obvious that the Haddon’s aim is for continuous expansion and enrichment of the collection.  However, we recognize that, in some circumstances, we might have to discard some of our stock.  (See above, D.1 Exchanges, for restrictions on the disposal of material that has been received by exchange.)

When the Librarian and Library Committee have taken a decision to dispose of stock, the following categories may be considered, if they have become surplus to demand:
(a)    multiple copies
(b)    damaged works for which replacements have been acquired
(c)    superseded editions of reference works

Library staff should then draw up a list of material to be considered for disposal, and circulate that list to members of the Library Committee, who must consult with the bodies they represent.  When unanimous agreement has been reached as to which stock shall be disposed of, it should be offered as follows:
(a)    to the University Library
(b)    to other sections of the Faculty
(c)    to other sections of the University
(d)    institutions outside the University, and individuals, within it or not

Guidance as to correct procedures in this area is available at .

No remuneration is sought for stock transferred to the University Library.  In the other cases, the Haddon may make a charge.

Aidan Baker
Haddon Librarian