Containing primarily monographs, off-prints, and photocopies of articles authored or edited by individuals employed at ISU at the time of publication, the Faculty Collection has served as a showcase of the University's scholarly or creative work since 1964. Individual books written or edited by ISU employees, if reasonably priced, are purchased both for the Faculty Collection and the appropriate collection outside Special Collections.
Books containing significant contributions to monographs, such as several chapters or groundbreaking treatments, of which an ISU employee is identified as the principal author or editor, may be purchased also. Ordinarily, however, unless the book is edited or written by an ISU employee, they are not purchased for the Faculty Collection. If donated, such items will be placed in the Faculty Collection or, when the donor prefers, another location outside the department.
Other materials not normally purchased for the Faculty Collection are expensive multivolume sets or series not already collected by the Library. If acquired, such materials are generally placed in the appropriate area outside the Faculty Collection, e.g., the Reference Collection or the Main Library. Regardless of where an item is placed, indication of faculty, administrator, or a staff contribution is made in online catalog records. Rather than in the Faculty Collection, most media items are placed in other areas or collections outside Special Collections.
Occasionally, a book or photocopied article written by a past employee of ISU during his tenure is donated and added to the cataloged or uncataloged holdings of the Faculty Collection. Monographs of such gifts are cataloged, while the photocopies are added to boxes arranged alphabetically by the name of the faculty member. Therefore, the earliest imprints found in the collection predate 1964, with a few having been printed in the last century.
Currently, the collection contains approximately 1,000 books and more than 1,250 articles. Off-prints and photocopies kept in folders and containers, necessitating an examination of materials kept in cartons to see if a particular item is held.
An annual Authors and Artists Reception honors authors or editors of monographs and individuals recommended for inclusion because of their efforts in visual or performance arts, including music and theater.