Collection Management Policy for the Arab World Documentation Unit
Thesis or dissertation
The University of Exeter’s Arab World Documentation Unit, formerly known as the Gulf Documentation Unit, has undergone major changes in the course of the past two years. Its relocation to new premises, the broadened remit to cover all Arab countries, and the transfer of its management from the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies to the University Library all meant that the Unit’s unwritten mission and goals, as well as its organisational structure, needed to be re-evaluated and reformulated. This study seeks to provide a framework for the formulation of a written collection management policy and a mission statement for AWDU, in order to define a consistent practise for future systematic maintenance and management of the collection. This is achieved by examining the Unit’s collections, services and facilities through selected elements of the collection management policy. A user-centred evaluation of the AWDU collections and services is conducted through a survey of two major user groups, the faculty and students of IAIS. 57% of the faculty and 21% of the students responded to the questionnaires. In order to understand the role of the Documentation Unit on the local and national levels, its history and development are documented, and the motives and reasons behind its establishment are examined in the context of Arabic and Middle Eastern studies in the UK.