Thursday, February 18, 2016

Collection Development Survey Results

HEB recently asked our subscribers to participate in a survey designed to assist in expanding our title list to reflect both underrepresented areas of study and currently popular interests in scholarship. In response we received feedback from 362 respondents at subscribing institutions.

We conducted a similar survey in 2012, and we’ve seen significant shifts in this year’s data. Of the five fields we identified as “trending” in 2012, only two—Film and Media Studies and American History—remain in this year’s top five. (No longer among the top trending fields: Art and Architecture, Latin American History and Literature.) Areas experiencing new growth in popularity include Women’s Studies, LGBT/Queer Studies, and Environmental History. When asked about areas in which their collections should expand, librarians identified deficits in LGBT/Queer Studies, African History, Environmental History, Native American Studies and Middle Eastern History.

These results seem to indicate that certain areas—particularly LGBT/Queer Studies and Environmental History—are growing rapidly while remaining underrepresented in library collections. At the same time, perennial mainstays like American History are experiencing increased interest but remain well-represented. At HEB, we will use these findings to continue to develop our collection in both established and emerging areas. We thank everyone who took part in the survey.

If you would like a sample of HEB’s offerings in the abovementioned areas, please see the following links. We have assembled Pinterest boards that highlight HEB’s titles in Film and Media Studies, LGBT/Queer Studies, Native American Studies, African Studies and Colonial American History.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

HEB's Top Ten Titles for July 2015-December 2015

Twice a year, HEB publishes a list of our ten most-accessed titles. We’ve seen certain books become regulars on the HEB “bestseller” list, and newcomers to the list have alerted us to emerging trends in scholarly research.

For the second half of 2015, two titles make their top-ten debut. Robert Darnton’s The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History details an eighteenth-century workers’ protest and is inspired by the work of Darnton's colleague, Clifford Geertz, who wrote one of our perennial bestsellers. The other new addition for this six-month period is Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917, by Gail Bederman. By focusing on four prominent Americans of the time, Bederman explores notions of masculinity in flux at the turn of the century. The popularity of this work underscores a growing interest in the study of gender and race, as has been demonstrated by many other titles on our lists.

  1. Anderson, Imagined Communities: Reflections on the Origin and Spread of Nationalism (Verso, 2006)
  2. Geertz, The Interpretation of Cultures: Selected Essays (Basic Books, 1973)
  3. Jenkins, Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide (New York University Press, 2006)
  4. Ngai, Impossible Subjects: Illegal Aliens and the Making of Modern America (Princeton University Press, 2004)
  5. Brown, Mama Lola: A Vodou Priestess in Brooklyn (University of California Press, 1991)
  6. Johnson, Soul by Soul: Life Inside the Antebellum Slave Market (Harvard University Press, 1999)
  7. McClintock, Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality in the Colonial Contest (Routledge)
  8. Darnton, The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History (Basic Books, 1984) 
  9. Bederman, Manliness & Civilization: A Cultural History of Gender and Race in the United States, 1880-1917 (University of Chicago Press, 1995)
  10. Chauncey, Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Makings of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940 (Basic Books, 1994)