The literature and linguistic components of the Germanic collection may cover the period from the advent of written Gothic (4th century, A.D.) to the present, but emphasis is given to developments from 1750 to the present.
The geographic scope for primary materials includes wherever German culture has developed, especially Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, and countries in which German culture has flourished in exile. The geographic scope for secondary materials includes wherever German literary and philological scholarship has flourished, especially Germany, Austria and Switzerland, but also significantly in the United States, Canada, Britain, France, Italy, Scandinavia, Spain and Russia.
The language scope for primary works is predominantly New High German. Other works in its historically related forms (Gothic, Old Saxon, Low German, Old High German, Middle High German, Yiddish and others) may be included. The language scope for secondary works is primarily German, English and French. Titles in other languages may be acquired if they are very important contributions. Translations from German into English are acquired either as required by course work offered or as general reading material for the Undergraduate Library.
Electronic and print monographs and serials, facsimiles, as well as microforms and videos are included in the collection. In unusual circumstances dissertations and antiquarian titles may be acquired.
Materials in the German language unrelated to the subjects of language or literature are not within the scope of the German language and literature collection, but may be acquired by other librarians for other collections.
Government documents, first editions per se, manuscripts, translations into German (unless not available in English), textbooks, workbooks, and juvenile materials are generally excluded.