Collection Development and Maintenance
Slides are acquired for courses at faculty request; for general growth of the collection after support for teaching; and to replace degraded slides. The goal is fair, reasonable distribution of resources among these areas. To achieve this goal while remaining within the slide library budget, acquisition guidelines are:
For brand new courses/faculty: up to 400 slides
For courses related to existing holdings or previous courses: up to 175 slides
These figures may vary depending on course offering, budget status, and departmental demands. Both careful budget allocation and collegial consideration are essential to successful growth of the collection.
Faculty are strongly encouraged to apply to the Committee on Undergraduate Teaching for Brown Grants to help defray the cost of slides for new courses. Brown Grants are especially helpful for purchases of commercial slides but can also be applied towards processing costs for in-house production of custom slides. The curator will gladly assist faculty in their grant applications by providing sources, numbers, and costs of slides and visual materials.
Acquisition sources include commercial slides, book/periodical images, and donations. Commercial slide sets may be ordered through the curator. With respect to federal copyright law, photography of book/periodical illustrations may not exceed 25% of total illustrations per volume. Exceptions to this policy would be made at the discretion of the curator: consideration would be given to unique opportunities such as catalogues raisonnees and new or revised scholarship.
New slides are catalogued into the collection according to our classification system. Any questions or comments about classification should be brought to the curator. The curatorial staff make an effort to keep abreast of changes in attribution, theory, scholarship, etc. that affect classification of images, and solicit the advice of faculty in their fields of specialization.
Removal of unneeded slides is a routine part of collection maintenance. The collection's deaccession policy reflects the belief that a bad image is better than no image, therefore faded or discolored slides will remain in the drawers until suitable replacements are found. In addition to faded film, deaccession criteria include excessive duplicate holdings, obsolete scholarly information (except that kept for reference), and physically damaged slides. Patron assistance in locating unsuitable slides is appreciated.
Material removed from the collection is arranged by classification number in a holding box in the slide library. Faculty are asked to approve or disapprove potential discards before leaving for summer projects. Images pertinent to the interests of faculty on leave will be held up to one year after the end of the leave.
Slide orders are received, reviewed, and classified by the curator, who orders commercial slides and sends book/periodical sources to the assistant curator and student assistants for further processing and cataloguing. In-house work is then given to the photographer, who is responsible for shooting and developing the film. Processed film is received by the curatorial staff, checked for quality and accuracy, masked and placed into glass mounts. Labels are applied and the new slides are filed into the collection (non-department slide orders are simply checked and delivered in glassless mounts, unlabeled). Upon completion of the order, the source material and the colored copy of the slide request form are returned to the requestor. The white copy is retained by the slide library for statistical use, including keeping count of slides made per course for budget adjustment each semester.
Organization & Filing
The collection is organized by era, civilization/nationality, artist/location, and date (subject keyword searching will be added as the collection database develops). Each slide has text and alphanumeric labels that together indicate its place in the collection. Slides in the drawers are thus in specific order; patrons browsing or pulling slides should take care to respect that order to ensure trouble-free access by all who use the collection. Any unused slides removed from the drawers should be placed in the faculty's own return boxes or given to the staff. In case of confusion about slide location, all questionable slides should be brought to the curatorial staff.
Replacement of used slides is performed by student slide filers who have 24-hour access to the slide library. Their job is to return the slides to the drawers in accurate and timely fashion, and to keep a tally of slides used by each lecturer. Faculty should endeavor to place their used slides only in their own return boxes to keep circulation statistics accurate. The curatorial staff monitor the student filers' work and assist when necessary.
(This is an edited portion of Rice University's Slide Guide)