German Language & Literature


A. Purpose and Program Description

The Libraries seek to support research in both the linguistic and literary aspects of German, Dutch, Swedish and Yiddish, including the teaching of basic and advanced language skills, grammar and syntax, the history of the language, Germanic philology, as well as a detailed study of major authors and their most significant literary masterpieces. It supports the needs of undergraduate, MA/MS and Ph.D. students, the teaching faculty, post-docs, and researchers.

Changes in user population in the past five years include new and expanding interest in the areas of semiotics, women’s studies, literature into film, and the literary aspects of recent German unification.

Areas of established specialization are especially strong in 19th and early 20th century primary and secondary materials, many of which are unique and even rare. This includes complete runs of virtually all important serial materials and an outstanding collection of 19th century dissertations and Habilitationesschriften. German philology and the history of the language are especially strong. Complete sets of collected works, especially definitive editions, are collected. Through coverage of the various aspects of the Germanic languages -- their history, grammar, phonetics, morphology, syntax, rhetoric, style, composition lexicography and philology--are maintained.

B. General Selection Guidelines (see classed analysis for detailed statement)

Overall, the Libraries’ existing collection and collecting goal for German Language in Literature are at the research level while its current acquisitions commitment, based upon available resources, is at the study and teaching level.

C. Specific Delimitations

  1. Formats collected: We collect annuals, monographs, periodicals, reference tools and scholarly series extensively and CD-Roms and other electronic tools, newspapers, and dissertations selectively. Audio-visual materials, maps and textbooks are excluded.
  2. Imprint Dates Collected: We collect current publications extensively and 20th, 19th, and earlier centuries selectively.
  3. Chronological Focus: We collect materials focusing on current, 20th, 19th, and earlier century topics extensively.
  4. Languages Collected: We collect German, Dutch, Swedish (selectively), and English extensively. Western European languages are collected selectively, and all other languages are excluded.
  5. Place of Publication: We collect materials published in Germany, Austria, Switzerland (German-speaking areas), The Netherlands, and North America extensively, Western European languages selectively, and all other languages selectively.