Collection Development Policy
It is the general policy of the Somerville Public Library to acquire, as far as is possible and practical, and as funds allow, at least one copy for reference use of all books contributing to a knowledge of local history comprising the area of the current City of Somerville and its past boundaries as part of Charlestown. Material not relating solely to the Somerville area may be added to the Local History Collection, at the discretion of the Head of the Reference and Local History Department. Examples are local histories from nearby towns, such as Cambridge, Arlington and Medford, materials on Middlesex County, and material on topics of great interest such as genealogy, the Civil War, and general Massachusetts histories. Materials are acquired usually through purchases from publishers and donations. The Library maintains a collection of the works of Somerville authors, both past and present.
This general policy is considerably broader in scope than strictly historical. Emphasis is also given to the acquisition of those materials which will contribute to a knowledge of the social, civic, religious, economic and cultural life, both past and present. Materials to be collected include books, diaries, yearbooks, pamphlets, newsletters, bulletins, periodicals, reports, letters, speeches, manuscripts, documents, maps, atlases, clippings, postcards, photographs, slides, films, videotapes, sound recordings, electronic materials, paintings, art reproductions and prints, posters, stereo views, genealogical records, minutes, memorabilia and ephemera such as commemorative programs and advertisements. The Library reserves the right to decide whether a proposed gift is to be added to its collection.
Museum objects are generally not collected, except in limited number for display or interpretation purposes. Inexpensive display objects to promote and interpret the collection may be acquired. To donate museum artifacts, such as furniture or textiles, please contact the Somerville Museum and Historical Society, One Westwood Road at 617-666-9810.
Archival collections of minutes, etc. from local associations, institutions, etc. to be stored in the Library and used only by members of the association, are not accepted into the collection.