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Bowdoin College Library
3000 College Station
Brunswick, ME 04011-8421

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Collection Building Resources

How Faculty Can Contribute to Collection Building at Bowdoin

The richness of the Library's collection is a direct result of the faculty's long-term involvement in the selection of materials. In support of that involvement, we have created this document to outline the roles librarians and faculty play in building the collection and to describe how we acquire new and retrospective materials. We value your participation.

Please see the Bowdoin College Library Collection Management Guidelines page for a more detailed document outlining the overarching philosophy and guidelines of collection development at Bowdoin.

How We Acquire Books, Journals, and other Materials


The Library acquires books, both print and electronic, in several ways:

To order books, place your request via the Library Materials Order Form. Or simply mark up publishers’ catalogs and forward them to Acquisitions, H-L Library. Additional ordering information is here.

For reserve books, please see the Library’s guidelines for ordering books for reserve.


Journals require a continuing commitment of funding, staff time and, for print materials, shelf space. Requests for new journals are evaluated on a case-by-case basis in the context of curricular needs (new or established), faculty research and financial commitment. We consider whether the journal is well-indexed, available in electronic format, and has the potential for wide use. As with monographs, the Library acquires journals in several ways:

To request a new journal, please consult with your research librarian or fill out the Periodical Request Form with detailed justification of why we need to have this new journal at Bowdoin.

Databases and Other Materials

All other materials including databases, CDs, DVDs, scores, maps, data sets, images, streaming services, etc., are acquired through a combination of librarian and faculty orders. Faculty may use the Library Order Form or simply e-mail their research librarian with the request. Databases and other expensive products are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Library and in conjunction with Colby and Bates. Contact your research librarian with your request.

We welcome your questions and comments. Please contact Tim Morton.