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Collection management

Stock editing

An important part of managing our collection is stock editing, which involves relegating material to stack or store, or withdrawing it from stock if appropriate.

Why do we stock edit?

We stock edit to ensure optimal use of space, giving priority on the open shelves to heavily-used material. Equally, we aim to ensure that, where possible, our most important heritage and legacy collections are housed in our most sophisticated storage facilities, with ideal temperature and humidity controls.

We carry out a regular programme of stock editing, reviewing heavily used teaching materials annually and other collections as necessary. The approach we take depends on a collection's status as heritage, legacy, self-renewing or finite, as defined in the Collections Strategy (PDF).

Consultation with Schools

We consult individual Schools about any significant stock editing which affects their collections, and are careful to consider interdisciplinary use of collections.

We list major stock editing currently planned or underway here to make it visible to the whole University.

Withdrawal and disposal of stock

Sometimes we withdraw items from stock. Reasons may include:

  • Textbooks and reference works have been superseded by new editions.
  • We’ve replaced multiple paper copies with an ebook
  • Items are damaged beyond repair and do not merit replacement
  • The material is no longer relevant to the University's research or teaching.
  • We’ve replaced or migrated obsolete A/V formats to new formats to for digital preservation.
  • Print copies of journals have been withdrawn from stock using the UK Research Reserve scheme where we have guaranteed access to the electronic backfile.

Items withdrawn from stock but in good physical condition may be offered to other libraries through nationally agreed collaborative collection management procedures if appropriate. Failing that, monographs are passed to second-hand book dealers where possible.

Withdrawn journals and damaged books that we are unable to send elsewhere are disposed of in an environmentally responsible way.