Policy Last Updated: August 23, 2022

Subject: History


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 Greg Sennema in consultation with various History faculty members.


To support teaching, study and research up to the Honours B.A. level, and, as part of a joint program with Waterloo and Guelph, to the M.A. and Ph.D. levels. As program offerings generally reflect faculty areas of competence, the collection also supports faculty research interests.


  • Language: Generally all modern languages studied at Laurier, with emphasis on English for secondary literature
  • Place of Publication: No limitations.
  • Dates of Publication: Emphasis of ongoing purchases is on current publications.
  • Chronological Periods: Coverage is from the Middle Ages onwards.
  • Geographical Areas: Generally worldwide, with emphasis on Canadian, European, American, and Military history, and the history of International Relations. The histories of Africa, China and the Middle East have been recently introduced.
  • Publishers: works from scholarly and academic publishers are emphasized

Types, formats, and readership of materials collected

  • Materials with academic-level readership are selected, as well as primary source materials, at least in facsimile, are purchased
  • 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 textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, juvenile works, works by vanity presses, reprints 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
Intellectual and social history (Canada, US, Europe) AZ502 - AZ516; AZ600 - AZ607 A
Religion: period to 1914; post-1914 BL98 - BL99 A
Social and cultural history CB A
Diplomatics, archives CD C
History (general), world wars, Europe (general) D1 - D34; D95 - D2009 A
Historiography, research, methodology / aids   A
Philosophy of history   B
Political history, including diplomatics   A
Fascism, Holocaust D726.5; D804.3; D810.J4 A
Great Britain (England & Wales) DA1 - DA745 A
Scotland DA750 - DA890 C
Ireland DA900 - DA945 B
Liechtenstein DB891 - DB894 C
Hungary DB921 - 926; DB931 - 958.6 A
Bohemia, Czechoslovakia, Slovakia DB2000 - DB3150 A
France (1450 to present) DC35 - DC559 A
Germany (1450 to present) DD84 - DD89; DD175 - DD454 A
Greece, modern DF701 - DF951 C
Italy, modern DG401 - DG825 A
Belgium DH503 - DH692 B
Russia (Russian empire [1450-1914]) DK70 - DK264.8 B
Soviet period DK265 - DK293 A
Poland DK4010 - DK4800 A
Sweden DL701 - DL829 B
Spain DP56 - DP66; DP160.9 - DP272.4 B
Portugal DP535 - DP557; DP620 - DP682 B
Switzerland DQ51 - DQ210 C
Romania DR215 - DR269.6 A
Yugoslavia DR1231 - DR1258; DR1266 - DR1313.8 A
Middle East (generally, post - 1914) DS62.8 - DS62.9 A
Afghanistan DS354.9 - DS357.6; DS359 - DS371.3 A
India DS401 - DS486.8 A
Burma DS527 - DS530.9; DS541 - DS553.7 A
Indochina DS554 - DS55; DS556.487 - DS559.916 A
Malay Peninsula DS595.8 - DS595.9 C
East Indies DS634 - DS644 A
China DS701 - DS799.9 A
Japan DS801 - DS897 A
Korea DS901 - DS937 A
Africa, Egypt DT17 - DT154 A
Southern Africa DT1001 - DT3415 B
West Africa DT470 - DT671 A
Australia, New Zealand, Oceania DU C
United States E11 - E905 A
United States: state, regional history F1 - F975 C
Latin America (general) F1409.6 - F1419 B
West Indies FC1601 - FC1623 A
Canada FC A
Economic history, modern HC51 - HC60.5 A
Social history, social movements HN13 - HN19 A
Social movements - 20th century HM881 A
Political extremism - 20th century HN49.R33 - 981 A
Social history - Great Britain (1760 - 1945) HN385; HT653.G7 A
Gender history HQ1121 - HQ1123; HQ1150 - HQ1155 A
Terrorism HV6430 - HV6433 A
Socialism - Europe HX236 - HX375.7 A
Fascism JC481 A
International relations JX1315 - JX1395; JZ; KZ A
Science and technology, 19th and 20th centuries Q125 - Q143 A
Wars, military history U1 - U102 A
Naval science history V1 - V103 A
Bibliography of bibliography Z6201 - Z6209 C

Related programs and support

Consortial purchases with the Ontario Council of University Libraries, and on a national level, are pursued.

The library’s Archives and Special Collections section houses various fonds and collections, including some items relating to Sir Wilfrid Laurier and William Lyon Mackenzie King. The library is also the caretaker of the archives of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada.