Nadine Vorhoff Library and the Newcomb Archives Collection Policy
The Vorhoff Library and the Newcomb Archives seek to collect, preserve, and make available research materials in women’s studies, particularly those that relate to women’s education, the history of women at Tulane University, to southern women, to culinary history, and to the work of women. We define women’s education broadly to include books and records that deal with women’s formal and informal experiences of learning.
The Vorhoff Library present includes (with some exceptions) all the women’s studies periodicals at Tulane University. A number of these journals are online as well.
The Library also collects books that relate to endowed lectures of the Center for Research on Women. For example, we collect books and articles by Zale writers (add web page here). We also have two small, but growing, special collections devoted to books on mothering and to the novels of girlhood. The staff and members of the acquisition committee annually review our collections and that of Howard-Tilton for gaps in women’s studies, and thus collect across many different disciplines.
The Newcomb Archives collects the records of the College (1886 to the present), as well as papers of alumnae and of other women., especially those whose papers tell the story of the Louisiana women’s movement, culinary history, and work in the South.
Monographs, monographic series, reference works, conference proceedings, and anthologies are regularly sought. Media (including software, audio, and visual items) are selectively sought. We are now considering a project to collect women’s studies textbooks. Collections of previously published material are sought in those cases where other access to the materials is problematic.
Most items are collected as printed text, though other formats are considered.
English, with some exceptions
We have focused our collection on printed and archival materials from the 19th century to the present. Women's Studies as a discipline emerged in the early 1960s, however its interests date to the emergence of gendered humankind, about five million years ago. In general, most Women's Studies historical scholarship relies upon the written record rather than archaeological one.
Out of print materials are often sought.
We concentrate mainly on women in the U.S.
The Vorhoff Library and Newcomb Archives strive to work with Howard-Tilton Library to find ways we can best complement each other in our collections. The Howard-Tilton Library collects a wide variety of materials on women as seen through different disciplinary perspectives. They have a strong collection of books on feminist theory, manuscripts from family papers, and early twentieth century women’s records. The Amistad Research Center Library includes materials relevant to the lives of marginalized groups, notably women of color in the United States, and to a lesser extent, to lesbians. The Tulane Medical School Library collection is notable for its inclusion of public health materials, and for psychiatric, genetic, and physiological studies that support Women’s Studies.
The Vorhoff Library and the Newcomb Archives, as one of the only Southern members of the National Council of Research on Women, undertakes the work of information the public about resources on women in the region. We have published a number of guides to bibliographic and archival resources and are currently updating the popular 1989 Guide to Collections on women. We see the chance to link our resources and those of others (electronically and otherwise growing and we believe strongly that cooperation is to our benefit in terms of financial resources. We have had special success in working with the Historic New Orleans Collection, the Amistad Research Center, the University of New Orleans Library, and the Southern Foodways Alliance at Ole Miss. A consortium of individuals from the HNOC, the State Museum, the Vorhoff Library,and the community at large are now working to create a bibliography of all cookbooks on New Orleans food, a book on cuisine in the city, and an oral history of New Orleans food.
Unique primary materials, in the form of local women's diaries, letters, memoirs, photographic collections and other ephemera are scattered throughout the various historic collections of the area, including the Historic New Orleans Collection, the New Orleans Public Library Louisiana Collection, and the archival and manuscript collections of the various universities in the metro area.
Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty may borrow materials from Loyola's main library through reciprocal agreements. Graduate students and faculty may borrow materials at other New Orleans area academic libraries through the CALL consortium and at other academic libraries throughout the state through the LALINC consortium. Faculty may in many cases secure temporary borrowing library privileges outside the state through OCLC.
We have four endowed funds for the Vorhoff Library and Newcomb Archives. The General Library Endowed Account supports acquisition and improvements. The DesPres Fund allows for the purchase of books on women in the arts. The Newcomb Authors Fund allows for the purchase of books by people who attended or taught within Newcomb College. The Newcomb Archives fund supports improvements to the Archives.
We recognize the great need to have more endowed funds. Currently, the General Fund allows for $4,000 to be spent; the other funds are limited to less than $1,00 per year.
Principal Sources of Supply
We buy books through bookstores offering discounts (of ten to twenty percent). We buy periodicals directly from publishers. We are now working on a cooperative project with Howard Tilton that would allow purchases through Blackwell, which in turn, would allow us to avoid duplicate buying and at the same time, acquire more books that we feel meet our collection focus.
Standard academic bibliographic tools such as Choice, Booklist, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Review of Books, and Publisher's Weekly are consulted regularly. In addition, Women's Studies catalogs from major trade and university presses committed to feminist scholarship are reviewed. It is predicted that we will soon see publishing venues specializing in the scholarly output of the stand-alone Women's Studies departments and programs, where a distinct body of research is emerging.
In addition there are helpful reviewing sources that one can refer to online, such as