Prehistoric through contemporary periods are covered.
Primary collecting emphasis is on North America (including Canada, Central America, Mexico and the United States), Africa, China, Melanesia and Micronesia, the Near East, Oceania, South and Southeast Asia and the Soviet Union. Lesser emphasis is given to other areas of the world — Western Europe, Scandinavia, and South America — although basic works are collected which cover the entire geographic range of human culture.
Primary collecting emphasis is on English and English language translations. Materials in French and Spanish are acquired selectively. Works in the vernacular languages of other areas such as South and Southeast Asia, China, the Near East are included in the collection through the efforts of the area studies selectors.
Books, e-books, e-serials, audio, video, microforms, and research databases are included in the collection
Materials of a purely popular nature, workbooks, and photographic essays are generally not collected. Textbooks may be purchased on a selective basis.