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Technical Services Division (TSD)

Collection Development and Acquisitions


Collection Development

The policies and guidelines for building NLM’s collection are described in the Collection Development Guidelines of the National Library of Medicine. The Guidelines are 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).

Additional Collection Development and Selection Related Resources



NLM selects and acquires materials 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. NLM subscribes to approximately 16,000 unique serial titles, of which over 5,200 are indexed for MEDLINE.


Last Reviewed: September 23, 2022