Strauss-Wisneski Collection Policy

Collection Overview

The Florence G. Strauss-Leonard A. Wisneski Indigenous & Integrative Health Collection (Strauss-Wisneski Collection) includes books, journals, databases, and other information resources in print, digital and multi-media format related to integrative whole-person health practices and indigenous, culturally based therapies from around the world. Often distinct from and sometimes at odds with conventional Western approaches to medicine, the resources in this collection provide an opportunity to learn about different healing traditions, philosophies and attitudes toward health and disease.

Selection and Acquisitions Responsibilities

Responsibilities for the selection and acquisition of resources for the Strauss-Wisneski Collection rest primarily with the Special Collections Librarian. Strauss Committee members serve as subject experts and advise on acquisitions for the collection. Some responsibilities, such as database and e-journal licensing, may be managed by additional Strauss Library Collection Management staff.

The Strauss Library’s urges its primary users to also provide suggestions for the collection. Recommendations are reviewed for their adherence to the guidelines outlined in this document and should be approved by the Special Collections Librarian.

Primary Users

The Strauss Library, and more specifically the Strauss-Wisneski Collection, defines its primary users as the students, staff, and faculty currently enrolled or employed at the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, employees of UC Health, retired health sciences faculty, health sciences faculty paid by affiliates (National Jewish, VAMC, Denver Health, etc.), CU Regents members, and CU Medicine employees (formerly University Physicians, Inc.). Although outside the scope of the Strauss Library, the Strauss-Wisneski Collection also identifies the students, staff, and faculty of the UC Denver campus as its primary users.

Collection Scope

The Strauss Wisneski Collection includes scholarly resources, and to a much lesser extent consumer health materials, published primarily in the English language related to integrative and whole health practices, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), indigenous healing traditions, and alternative therapies from around the world. Seminal works in these fields that are published in other languages are also within the scope of the collection.

Most complementary health approaches, as defined by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), are classified into four subgroups, and fall within the scope of the Strauss-Wisneski Collection:

  • Nutritional (e.g., special diets, dietary supplements, herbs, and probiotics)
  • Psychological (e.g., mindfulness)
  • Physical (e.g., massage, spinal manipulation)
  • Combinations such as psychological and physical (e.g., yoga, tai chi, acupuncture, dance, or art therapies) or psychological and nutritional (e.g., mindful eating)

Complementary approaches that don’t fit into these four subgroups are also considered within the scope of the collection and include:

  • Practices of traditional and indigenous healers
  • Ayurvedic medicine
  • Traditional Chinese medicine
  • Traditional Tibetan medicine
  • Homeopathy
  • Naturopathy
  • Functional medicine

The Strauss-Wisneski Collection attempts aims to collect extensively and be one of the most comprehensive collections in the country for providing information on:

  • Cannabis and Cannabinoids (as related to Health and Wellness)
  • Psychedelic and Sacred Plant Medicine
  • Dietary and Supplements
  • Whole Health Care

The types of resources collected for the Strauss-Wisneski Collection include:

  • Scholarly works that describe, analyze, or evaluate the delivery, safety, or efficacy of complementary and alternative systems, practices, or products.
  • Official guidelines or policies for the use of indigenous and integrative therapies or products.
  • Authoritative works on the education, training, and certification of indigenous and integrative medicine practitioners.
  • Primary source materials and contemporary works that document the history of global indigenous healing practices.

Per the Strauss-Wisneski Gift Agreement, excess funds may be spent on consumer health and popular literature materials related to the field of social medicine “which pursues an understanding of how social and economic conditions impact health, disease, and the practice of medicine while promoting conditions in which this understanding can lead to a healthier society”.

Collection Levels

The Strauss-Wisneski Collection is considered a Research Level collection as defined by the Research Libraries Group Conspectus. It collects source materials required for dissertations and independent research, important reference works, a wide selection of specialized monographs, as well as an extensive collection of journals and major indexing and abstracting services (i.e., databases) in the field. Older material is retained for historical research. This level of collecting represents an ideal that will be pursued.

Selection Criteria

The selection of new resources for the Strauss-Wisneski Collection involves several considerations:

  • Relevance of material to the library’s primary users’ curricular, instructional, clinical, and research needs
  • Importance of the subject matter to the collection
  • Enduring scholarly value
  • Quality and accuracy of the material presented
  • Reputation of the author(s), creator(s), publisher, and/or producer
  • Representative of diverse and inclusive perspectives
  • Appropriate collections levels
  • Strength of present holdings in the same or similar subject areas
  • Currency and timeliness
  • Global geographic scope
  • Language
  • Suitability of format for content
  • Accessibility and usability of format
  • Cost
  • Availability and accessibility of materials in peer institutions
  • Anticipated level of use based on use statistics for similar titles

Collection Maintenance

The Strauss-Wisneski Collection is a living, changing entity. As physical items and electronic subscriptions are added, others are reviewed for their ongoing value and sometimes withdrawn from the collection or not renewed. Care is taken to replace or retain resources that have enduring value to the library’s primary users. Decisions are influenced by patterns of use, the capacity of the physical space and the holdings of other libraries and collections that may specialize in similar subject matter. The Special Collections Librarian, in collaboration with the Strauss Committee and other Strauss Health Sciences Library staff, is responsible for the maintenance and review of the collection to maintain its vitality and usefulness to the CU Anschutz and larger communities.

Fund Allocation

The Strauss-Wisneski Collection is supported by a generous endowment from Henry L. and Joan T. Strauss in memory of Florence G Strauss. Additional support is provided via financial and material contributions from the Strauss Health Sciences Library, Strauss Committee members, including Dr. Leonard A. Wisneski who made a generous donation of print materials in 2009, and other donors. Funds have been allocated for the acquisition of resources in multiple formats including print monographs, eBooks, print and electronic journals, database subscriptions, and audio-visual materials. 


The Strauss Library welcomes and encourages gifts in support of the Strauss-Wisneski Collection. Gifts of money and physical materials contribute to the collection’s development. Modest gifts are appreciated, as are bequests, endowments, and larger contributions. 

In preparation for receiving gifts, donors are required to provide a list of materials including the titles, descriptions, publication dates, and general condition of the items. If gifts are accepted, upon receipt the Strauss Library becomes the owner of the material and, as such, reserves the right to determine its retention, location, cataloging treatment, and other considerations related to its use, maintenance, or removal. 

The Strauss Library encourages donors to consider, for their own interest, obtaining an appraisal of their gifts for income tax purposes. Such appraisals are the responsibility of the donor and should be made, if possible, before the gifts are transferred to the library to establish their fair market value.