Collection Policies


General Collecting Guidelines
Collecting Codes


The Department of Political Science and Geography offers both a Bachelor of Arts degree and Bachelor of Science degree in Geography. The geography program is designed to give students a broad base of geographical training and an understanding of human-environment interrelationships, while providing an opportunity to specialize in one of the two emphasis areas: Urban geography or environment & resources. The Department of Political Science and Geography also offers one general minor and two minors in areas of specialization (Resource Management and Urban Planning) and participates heavily in the undergraduate international studies B.A. program, and interdisciplinary studies teacher education programs.

 At the graduate level, the department offers, through Graduate Programs in International Studies, the M.A. and Ph.D in international studies. Current areas for student concentration are: conflict and cooperation including security studies and collective security, international relations, American foreign policy, political economy and development, and transnational issues including migration and democratization studies. Regional specializations are available in Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Scandinavia and the Baltic, Eastern and Western Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

The Department of Political Science and Geography offers an undergraduate and graduate certification in remote sensing for coastal environmental analysis. This provides an interdisciplinary program for students wishing to pursue careers in coastal management and research, remote sensing, or geographic information systems (GIS) applications.

The geography collection additionally supports a variety of other undergraduate and graduate level programs at ODU. At the undergraduate level, geography courses are integrated into the "perspectives - social sciences" area of the general education program. The geography collection also supports undergraduate work in the areas of political science, sociology, women's studies and economics. At the graduate level, the geography collection supports work in urban studies, women's studies, education, and sociology. Materials in physical geography, remote sensing and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) also support undergraduate, graduate and faculty research in the areas of oceanography and geology. As Old Dominion University expands its emphasis on internationalization in all areas, the geography collection will become an increasingly crucial area of the collection.

To support these program offerings the library must collect a broad base of geography materials at the undergraduate level, and a selected range of material at the graduate and research levels. The areas of heaviest concentration are human geography, environmental geography, urban geography, and political geography.


Language Guidelines:
English will be the primary language of the collection. English language translations of foreign works will be collected on a selective basis. Non-English language materials will generally not be collected.

Chronological Treatment of Subject Guidelines:
The collection development emphasis will be on current topics in geography. Historical materials should be considered in the areas of human geography, environmental geography, urban geography and political geography

Geographical Guidelines:
Works on the geography of all world areas should be collected selectively. United States geography and Virginia geography are important to a wide variety of academic areas and should be emphasized. Emphasis should also be placed on geographic regions most pertinent to Old Dominion University's areas of International Studies program concentration, including Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia, Latin America, Middle East, Scandinavia and the Baltic, Eastern and Western Europe, and the former Soviet Union.

Treatment of Subject:
In addition to scholarly monographs, the library may collect materials of a technical nature, such as manuals to particular GIS software, or associated datasets.

Types of Material:
ODU Library will collect scholarly monographs including bibliographies, conference proceedings, and reference works. It will maintain on-site access to core geography periodicals and to bibliographic databases designed to facilitate access to geography literature. In addition, the library will offer access points to geography related information that is not available on-site including online database services and Internet accessible resources. The Library may selectively acquire numeric files or datasets in conjunction with efforts to incorporate GIS into library services, or to facilitate use of GIS within the various academic departments.

Date of Publication:
Current materials published within the past five years will receive priority. Older materials may be selectively acquired in order to fill in weak areas of the collection.

Other General Considerations:

  1. Interdisciplinary Relationships / Related Policy Statements: Related collection development statements are maps & atlases, international studies, political science, sociology, urban studies, linguistics, geology and oceanography.

  3. Local/Regional/Consortia Resources: Old Dominion University is the only higher education institution in the Hampton Roads area offering a B.A. or B.S. in geography. Christopher Newport University offers an undergraduate geography minor.

  5. Center For Research Libraries: The Center for Research Libraries (CRL) offers a variety of geography resources. This collection is especially useful for historical materials, foreign monographs and periodicals, and doctoral dissertations.

  7. Virtual Library of Virginia: OCLC Firstsearch (Geobase, Social Science Abstracts), IAC Infotrac Searchbank, and Cambridge Scientific Abstracts (Sociological Abstracts) databases available through VIVA provide a wide-variety of resources on geography-related subjects. Journal of Historical Geography and a number of other geography-related journals are available fulltext through Academic Press IDEAL.

  9. Government Publications: Government publications received through ODU Library's participation in the Federal Depository Library Program (FDLP) are particularly useful in geography. Essential materials include those produced by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), Bureau of the Census and Department of Agriculture. The Library offers access to many of these documents in print, CD-ROM, or through the USGS World-Wide Web site at

  11. Distance Education: Geography degrees are not currently offered through the university's distance education programs, although geography courses are frequently held at the Virginia Beach Higher Education Center.

  13. Additional Considerations: The library is beginning to offer geographic information systems (GIS) services. This will impact collecting in a variety of disciplines, as GIS has applications in many academic areas. Library funds may be used to purchase GIS compatible datasets.

  14. An increasing amount of geography related material is available on the Internet. A good starting point is Heather McAdam's "Geography - WWW Virtual Library" site at
Summary of Collection Strengths and Weaknesses:
Geography will be a particularly demanding collecting area for the library over the next few years. The increasing university emphasis on internationalization and international studies will require more comprehensive collections relating to many diverse regions. Human geography materials support a number of different graduate programs including international studies and urban studies. Physical geography materials support advanced graduate study in the College of Science's Ocean, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences department. Geography materials supporting these graduate programs should be strengthened. Support for the undergraduate degree programs in geography are adequate at this time.

Collecting Codes
key to collecting codes

Discipline: Geography
Bibliographer: Stuart Frazer (
Date: 12/98
LC Class
Subject Descriptors
Collection Code
G - GF Geography 3a  
G70 Geography - Methodology 3b  
G70.212 - 70.215 Geographic Information Systems 4 Certification program
G70.23 Geography - Mathematics 3  
G70.3 Geography - Statistical Methods 3  
G70.39 - 70.6 Remote Sensing 4 Certification program
G72 - 76 Geography - Study and Teaching 4 Teacher education applications
G82 - 88 Geography, Ancient 3  
G141 Historical Geography 3  
GA101 - 1999 Cartography 3b  
GB Physical Geography 3b Geology/oceanography applications
GB400 - 649 Geomorphology 3b  
GB450 - 460 Coasts 4 Certification program & geology/oceanography applications
GF Human Geography 4 International studies applications
GF21 - 23 Human Geography - Methodology 3b  
GF125 Urban Geography 4 Urban studies applications
HB1951 - 2160 Population Geography 3  
JC319 - 323 Political Geography 4 International studies applications
P375 - 381 Linguistic Geography 4 Linguistics program applications
RA791 - 954 Medical Geography 3b Health sciences applications
UA985 - 997 Military Geography 3  
S494.5.G46 Agricultural Geography 2