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Mathematics collection development policy

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Program information

Mathematics is both a discipline and a fundamental tool for research in many fields, including the physical and life sciences, computer science and engineering, the social sciences, statistics, and business. The Department of Mathematics offers specialized training in mathematics through its masters and doctoral programs in addition to its undergraduate programs. Please visit the math department's website for additional information.

Guidelines for Collection Development

This policy applies to mathematics as collected for the Math-Physics-Astronomy Library.

1. Chronological

Emphasis is on current research.

2. Formats

Electronic journals and print monographs and series are the primary formats for mathematics materials. Journals are collected with a preference for electronic format, but print is collected if a viable electronic form is unavailable. Perpetual access, user experience, faculty preference, physical space, and cost factor into format decisions.

3. Geographical

Not applicable

4. Language

English is preferred, but materials in the major European languages or their translations are also acquired. Asian works are collected in translated editions only.

5. Publication dates

The emphasis is on current publications.

Principal sources of supply and major selection tools

Faculty members play a major role in the selection of materials for the mathematics collection. The department's evolving research programs and overall scholarly communication environment are considered. In addition to title-by-title selection, materials also come through standing orders for monographic series and approval plans.

  • Subjects collected and levels of collecting

    Algebraic Geometry, Algebraic Number Theory, Algebraic Topology, Differential Geometry, Combinatorics, Functional Analysis, Mathematical Physics, Modern Galois Theory, Partial Differential Equations, Riemannian Geometry, Topology of Manifolds

Subjects excluded

Historical, philosophical, instructional exposition, biographies, bibliographies, dictionaries, general audience, and recreational books.

Cooperative arrangements

Lippincott Library collects in probability, statistics and the application of mathematics to business. Van Pelt Library collects in the history, biography, education, and philosophy of mathematics and in game theory and logic. The Engineering collection is responsible for computer science and some applied mathematics.

Due to the proximity of the Drexel University Library, reciprocal user arrangements have been established. Penn faculty can register at Drexel's Library for borrowing privileges, and Penn graduate students use letters of introduction to establish borrowing privileges at Drexel. 

Related subject collections