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 Classification Collecting priority
Philosophy (see also: Philosophy collection policy) B720 - B765 A
Medieval witchcraft BF1569 B
Medieval history (Christianity) (see also: Religion and Theology collection policy) BR250 - BR275 A
Medieval history (civilization) Cb312 - CB356 A
Chivalry CR4509 - CR4513 A
Medieval history (see also: History collection policy) D111 - D203 A
Medieval history (French) DC35 - DC599 A
Medieval customs GT120 - GT128, GT160, GT3520 B
Medieval recreation / leisure GV41 - GV44 C
Medieval economic theory HB78 - HB79 C
Medieval family / women HQ513, HQ1143 A
Medieval cities HT115 B
Medieval state JC109 - JC130 B
Medieval music (see also: Music collection policy) ML170 - ML190 A
Medieval art N5960 - N6320 C
Medieval architecture NA350 - NA489 C
Medieval sculpture NB170 - NB185 C
Medieval painting ND140 - ND141 C
Medieval illumination ND2920 - ND2990 C
Medieval stained glass NK5344 C
Medieval literature (general) (see also: English collection policy) PN661 - PN694 A

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.