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Medieval Studies

Policy Last Updated: February 7, 2020

Subject: Medieval Studies


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, the Collections Librarian, in cooperation with and endorsed by Dr. Chris Nighman, the Program Coordinator.


Medieval studies is a broad category of study that examines cultural materials from the era c. 500-1500 AD. The Library collection supports teaching, study, and research at the undergraduate degree level, especially in support of current courses. Areas of interest include myths, philosophy, history, heroic stories, theology, combat, fine arts, language, military history, manuscripts, literature, politics, music, economics, calligraphy, urban studies, architecture, language history, images, philosophy of science, cultural studies, gender studies, and many other areas and disciplines. Medieval studies also include courses in medievalism, that is, the study of the representations of medieval cultures in modern or contemporary cultures.


  • Language: works written or translated into English are preferred
  • Place of Publication: priority is given to materials published in North America and the United Kingdom
  • Dates of Publication: emphasis is placed on recently published works
  • Chronological Period: focus is on the period from c. 100-1500 AD and on medievalism in contemporary works
  • Geographical Areas: priority is given to works with a focus on Western culture
  • Publishers: scholarly trade and university publishers are given priority

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.
  • Excluded types include textbooks, abridgements, study aids, limited editions, works by vanity presses, reprints and partial contents (eg. single issues of journals, electronic versions of single chapters of books).
  • Manuscript materials may also be selected

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


Collecting priority

Philosophy (see also: Philosophy collection policy)

B720 - B765


Medieval witchcraft



Medieval history (Christianity) (see also: Religion and Theology collection policy)

BR250 - BR275


Medieval history (civilization)

Cb312 - CB356



CR4509 - CR4513


Medieval history (see also: History collection policy)

D111 - D203


Medieval history (French)

DC35 - DC599


Medieval customs

GT120 - GT128, GT160, GT3520


Medieval recreation / leisure

GV41 - GV44


Medieval economic theory

HB78 - HB79


Medieval family / women

HQ513, HQ1143


Medieval cities



Medieval state

JC109 - JC130


Medieval music (see also: Music collection policy)

ML170 - ML190


Medieval art

N5960 - N6320


Medieval architecture

NA350 - NA489


Medieval sculpture

NB170 - NB185


Medieval painting

ND140 - ND141


Medieval illumination

ND2920 - ND2990


Medieval stained glass



Medieval literature (general) (see also: English collection policy)

PN661 - PN694


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.

As noted, related materials are also purchased by other departments and programs, such as Philosophy, Religion and Culture, History, Music, English, Language and Literatures.

The University of Waterloo also offers a program in Medieval Studies.

Page Owner: Meredith Fischer

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Last Updated: January 9, 2024 11:41am