Policy Last Updated: August 1, 2007

Subject: German


The Collection Development policy is used as a guide to shape relevant collections and to ensure consistency in collection development. The decision to purchase library materials is primarily the responsibility of the Collections Librarian in consultation with faculty in the Department.

This policy has been developed by John McCallum, the Collections Librarian, in cooperation with and endorsed by Alexandra Zimmermann, the Department Faculty Library Liaison and the Department Chair.


  • To support teaching, study and research up to the Honours level, as well as to support faculty research
  • In 2007, a proposal for a Master’s program in Languages, Discourses and Cultures will probably raise the level of emphasis in certain areas


  • Language: Standard High German is predominant, other German dialects and Germanic languages are included for linguistic interests (e.g. Pennsylvania Dutch, Yiddish). Important works on German language, literature and culture written in English or in any other Western world language, are relevant as well as their translation into German. English translations of works by writers from the German speaking world will be charged to the German Section’s fund if said writers are studied in translation in a course offered by the Department. Otherwise, translations will be charged to the library’s General Fund.
  • Chronological Period: Works with focus on the 20th century and the contemporary period are emphasized. Emphasis is placed on recently published works.
  • Geographical Areas: Mainly Germany, Austria, Switzerland, North America and Europe, but also any place in the world, where important works of German language, literature and culture are produced.

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Materials with academic-level readership are selected
  • Web-based formats for reference sources, journals and indexing sources are preferred. Print and microform are considered for reason of cost, availability, expected use or long term access.
  • Single copies of books in print formats are generally selected. Web-based formats are selected on a title by title basis, especially if the title is of interest to users at multiple Laurier campuses. Duplication of print across Laurier campuses is generally avoided.
  • Excluded types include videos/films, computer software, textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, reprints (not purchased if already available at U. of W. or U. of Guelph) and partial contents (eg. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books).

Subjects collected and collecting priorities

Collecting priorities are categorized into 3 levels:

A - highest emphasis
The collection includes major published materials required to support the core teaching and research at the highest degree level offered by the Department.
B - secondary emphasis
The collection includes a selection of materials to complement the discipline as a whole, although it may not be a primary focus for courses.
C - selective emphasis
Materials, including reference materials and basic journals and indexes are collected to introduce and define an area.
Subjects collected Classification Collecting priority
Literature (mainly, but not exclusively 20th century and contemporary novels) PT1 - PT48997 A
Language PF3001 - PF5999 B
General linguistics P1 - P410 B
Computer assisted language learning P53.28 B
Didactics and pedagogy (with German emphasis) LB1025 - LB1050.7 A
German culture and civilization DD60 - DD68 A
Austrian civilization and intellectual life DB30 A
Swiss civilization and intellectual life DQ36 - DQ37 A
Germans in America E184.G3 A
Germans in Canada FC106.G3 A
German cinema PN1993.5.A83 A
Austrian cinema PN1993.5.A83 A
Swiss cinema PN1993.5.S9 A
Jewish culture and intellectual life DS112 - DS113 B
Jewish diaspora DS129 - DS151 B
Jewish literature PH5001 - PJ5060 B
Judeo-German PJ5120 - PJ5192 B
Holocaust literature PN56.H55; PN56.3.J4 B
Women, feminism, gender (with German emphasis) HQ1621 - HQ1627 A
(Inter)cultural theory HM101; HM621; HM1211 B

Related programs and support

Consortial purchases with the TriUniversity Group of Libraries (Guelph, Waterloo, Laurier university libraries), with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on a national level, are pursued.