Colgate University Libraries Collection Development Policy for Video/DVD

Scope of the Collection

Case Library maintains a large collection videos and DVDs. This collection is used primarily in support of teaching, although faculty and students can also request videos for their research. 


The Colgate University Libraries collects non-print materials in VHS cassette, DVD, and streaming. Whenever possible we will purchase the Blu-ray format.

Selection Criteria

Audiovisual orders are accepted from all current Colgate University faculty.  

Selection Criteria for Videos/AV:

  • Curricular relevance. Highest priority is given to materials that are essential to supporting the curriculum.
  • Purchase price and funding available. Matching funds are sought from academic departments or programs requesting non-print material in an effort to extend the limited library/ITS budget. Expensive videos/DVD should be previewed by the faculty before purchase. Can we afford it and is it worth the price?
  • Anticipated frequency of use. Anticipated number of users and potential broader application?
  • Interdisciplinary nature. Non-print materials useful to several courses or sections will receive higher priority than titles that have a more specialized audience and fewer potential users. Availability of similar material in the collection.
  • Favorable reviews or awards.
  • Reputation of the creator (director, playwright, composer).
  • Reputation of the distributor. Have we been satisfied with titles previously purchase from this source?
  • Quality of technical production.
  • Appropriateness of video presentation. Does other media offer a more effective means of presenting the content?
  • Appropriateness of format. Is the physical format and coding/transmission format supported by Colgate Information Technology Services?
  • Need for (and availability of) public performance and digital transmission rights.
  • Value in documenting social or historical conditions.
  • Inclusion of social, political, or economic themes or viewpoints not presented elsewhere.
  • Popular films will be acquired if they are of lasting interest or of potential use as social documents.
  • Language. The Libraries primarily acquire non-print materials in English or foreign films with subtitles. Foreign language productions without English subtitles will be acquired on a selective basis, usually in response to a specific curriculum-related request from the faculty. Language learning media are not purchased by this department. They are considered the province of the language departments. 

 For Dramatic or Artistic Presentations:

  • Aesthetic or cultural appeal and value.
  • Uniqueness. Is the performance different in meaningful ways from other performances of the same work?
  • Good film adaptations of literary classics. 

 For Documentaries and Other Factual Presentations:

  • Accuracy of information.
  • Authoritativeness.
  • Timeliness of the information.
  • Level of treatment (analytical vs. descriptive).
  • Instructional productions on recreational topics and discipline-specific, “how-to” media will not be collected.


We will not normally order a second copy of titles that are already in the collection or on order. If a title is heavily used and likely to be of lasting significance, a second copy may be purchased. If the media is outdated and can no longer be played and the topic is still of interest we will consider replacing the title with new media assuming such is available.


Gifts of media must comply with the acceptable formats mentioned in this statement and must meet copyright policy requirements. The Libraries reserve the right to refuse any gift that does not fit current collection development policy. The Head of Collections reserves the right to dispose of unwanted materials by sale, sharing, lending, or discarding.

Collection Management

Weeding the collection is a necessary, ongoing process in order to maintain quality, currency, and usefulness of the collection. Weeding criteria include: worn or damaged formats, titles superseded by other formats or versions, and titles that have not been used in the past decade or more.

General Guidelines for Accepting Audio-visual Materials into the Permanent Colgate History Collection in Case Library

Until Colgate University has an archivist and adequate space for archives, materials will be added to the Colgate History collection on a limited basis. The Head of Special Collections will make decisions on what materials are added to this collection in conjunction with the Head of Collection Development.

Materials should be previewed by the Audio-Visual Department to make sure that the sound is audible before consignment to the Colgate history collection.

Materials of the highest importance:

  1. Presidential inaugurations.
  2. Commencements & Baccalaureate events with important speakers.
  3. Lectures or speeches by important speakers or lectures hosted by Colgate centers such as the Center for Ethics and World Societies.
  4. Literary readings by published poets and writers.
  5. Panel discussions or conferences hosted by Colgate faculty.
  6. Concerts given by Colgate faculty, but not concerts by the Colgate Chorus or Orchestra (see section below).
  7. Reminiscences and overviews of college life if historically important.

 Materials that will be accepted only at the discretion of the Head of Special Collections or the Head of Collection Management:

  1. Recordings of college events will be retained if they are likely to have historical significance. Examples might include Martin Luther King Day celebrations or material about the college’s response to national disasters such as 9/11.
  2. Other items if their content and anticipated use is important to the curriculum or known student research topics and they are not duplicated by other materials. Examples might include a concert of Persian music that will continue to be important to students in Core Iran; combined lecture-concerts by the Manhattan String Quartet; or important student conferences on racism, anorexia, or binge drinking (unless these topics fall under the category of general orientation).
  3. Honors ceremonies.
  4. Founder’s Day Convocations.
  5. Graduation activities aside from the main event.
  6. Conferences outside the day-to-day activities of the college.
  7. Dance, music, or theatrical performances by student groups (e.g., Colgate 13, Swinging Gates, Resolutions, Children’s theatre).

Materials that will not be added to the Colgate history collection:

  1. Admissions events.
  2. General on-campus concerts by groups whose recordings are already commercially available will not be collected.
  3. Orientation activities for students including annual programs on hazing, binge drinking, and sexual harassment.
  4. Building dedications.
  5. Memorial services.
  6. Student ceremonies and dinners.
  7. Student carnivals or fairs.
  8. Teleconferences.
  9. Conferences held at Colgate but not directly related to the current curriculum.
  10. Human Resources events.
  11. Sporting events.
  12. Dress rehearsals.

  Policy on selected withdrawal of materials from the Colgate history collection:

  1. Audiovisual materials that are withdrawn from the collection will be offered to the student groups or departments that initiated the recording if such can be identified. 
  2. Audiovisual material that is in poor condition or that contains outdated information will be considered for withdrawal from the collection.
  3. The library generally will not retain items that are no longer playable on commonly available hardware.


Ordering & Renting Videos or DVDs

Orders should be placed using the Film, DVD, Video Request Form. When placing an order, please include as much bibliographic information as possible (author, title, publisher, date, cost, distributor [if different from the publisher], etc.) Unless another format is specified in the request form, all orders are processed as Blu-ray preferred or standard DVD if Blu-Ray is unavailable.

Response time and rush orders

If you need a film more quickly than usual—in particular, if you need it by a certain date—please indicate this in your order request. We will notify you when your rush order arrives.

Acknowledgement of orders

The Acquisitions staff will usually let you know when your order has been placed with a vendor or publisher. (This is especially likely if the order has involved questions or concerns on your part or ours.) We do not generally acknowledge routine orders for non-print materials. If you submit a non-print order and do not hear from us, you can assume that we have placed the order.

Cancelation of long-standing orders

If an order cannot be filled immediately, we will keep trying to fill the order for at least several months. We will notify requestors when canceling longstanding orders.

Reimbursement for purchases by faculty

Individual faculty are sometimes in an especially good position to purchase difficult to acquire materials, especially those that are published abroad. A professor on sabbatical leave in India may have immediate access to materials not available through American library suppliers. Issues of technical format standards and compatibility with existing campus equipment must be considered. Some foreign-produced videos will not run on U.S. equipment. Under these circumstances, we are sometimes able to reimburse faculty for items purchased on behalf of the Library. We strongly suggest that you contact the Media Acquisitions Paraprofessional before making these purchases; otherwise, we cannot guarantee that Colgate will provide reimbursement. Purchases made by individual faculty must include a receipt.

Copyright law

U.S. copyright law permits the circulation of videos to individual library patrons for any type of use, academic or non-academic. It also allows for the public showing of videos to certain groups within the University for course-related purposes. Issues of copyright compliance are sometimes important in determining how videos can be disseminated or networked within the University. Amanda Burgess can assist patrons in identifying the dissemination methods most likely to comply with copyright law. 

Replacement of videos

Lost, missing, or damaged copies will not necessarily be replaced. The need for a replacement copy will be determined on the basis of current curricular needs and budgetary conditions.

Rental of DVD, videos, or film

Please request a rental using the Film, DVD, Video Request Form. Media is rented under a number of circumstances:

• To acquire a public performance license.

•  Faculty anticipate that the title will only be needed once.

•  Media is out of print and thus purchase is not possible.

•  Purchase price is prohibitive.

•  A preview copy is not available and renting is the only option for determining whether or not the media should be purchased. 

Cost sharing is not available from Media Services for rentals; therefore all funds for rentals must be covered by department(s).   

Locating materials in the online catalog

The Colgate Libraries have provided full-level cataloging for all commercially produced video and DVD titles. Events taped at Colgate University receive brief records. 

Most books are cataloged and ready to circulate very soon after receipt. The cataloging of non-print materials usually takes much longer and depends on the cataloging workload and the characteristics of the item (language, format, availability of catalog records from other libraries, etc.).