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Collection Development and Acquisitions

Collection Development

The policies and guidelines for building NLM’s collection are described in the Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine. The Manual is reviewed and updated periodically to reflect emerging changes in health care and advances in medical research. NLM coordinates its collection development policies and retention practices with those of the Library of Congress (LC) and the National Agricultural Library (NAL).

Collection Development Manual of the National Library of Medicine (CDM), 4th edition (2004)

Joint Collection Development Policy Statements:

Additional Collection Development and Selection Related Resources        see also the FAQ: Journal Selection for MEDLINE® Indexing at NLM


NLM selects and acquires modern print and nonprint monographs and serials from every country and in any language. The Library selects, orders, and acquires publications from a wide variety of acquisitions sources, including domestic and foreign vendors, publishers, and producers; approval plan arrangements; exchange agreements; the Library of Congress overseas acquisitions programs; and selected gifts. Each year NLM receives, reviews, and processes approximately 25,000 monographic items for possible addition to the NLM collections; and acquires, licenses and processes over 22,000 print, nonprint and electronic serial titles.

Last updated: 20 February 2008
First published: 29 January 2004
Metadata| Permanence level: Permanence Not Guaranteed