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Collection Policies

Collection Policies by Subject

Germanic Studies




The German Studies collection supports teaching and research conducted by faculty affiliated with the Department of German Studies, a vital center for the exploration of German literature, culture, and language. The department is home to three important journals in German Studies: The Journal of Austrian Studies, the Celan Jahrbuch, and Focus on German Studies.

Faculty members of the Department of German Studies teach and publish in a variety of areas, including Film, Visual Culture, and Media Studies, Early Modern German graphic and literary studies, Nineteenth, twentieth, and twenty-first century German literature, Austrian Studies, Cultural Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, German-Jewish Studies, Disability Studies, History of Science, and Pedagogy.

Departments and users served.  The German Studies collection serves students and faculty in the German Studies Department (see profiles at, as well as faculty and students in areas such as European Studies, Film and Media Studies, Judaic Studies, Languages, and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.

Students and faculty in UC Blue Ash and Clermont College also make use of the German Studies collection, as do students in other Ohio universities and colleges through OhioLINK.

Quantitative information:

Degrees granted

·         Undergraduate Major, Minor and 4+1:, Study Abroad options (  and special courses for participants in the University's International Co-op Program are available.

·         Graduate and Doctoral: M.A., PhD, and 4:1,

Both M.A. and Ph.D. programs have foci on Film and Media Studies, Austrian Studies, Gender and Sexuality Studies, German-Jewish Studies, Disability Studies, History of Science, and Postcolonial Studies.


The emphasis of the collection is on German language, literature, film, and culture of German-speaking countries of Europe, as well as of the German element in the United States. Germanic languages and literatures other than German are covered at the basic information level.

Location. The collections supporting study and teaching in German Studies are mainly housed in the Langsam Library. Less commonly used German materials are located in Southwest Depository (SWORD). Rare books and special items, the German-Americana collection, and some special collections are housed at the Archives and Rare Books (ARB) Library.

Other collections supporting the program.  Materials from various other collections, for example, Education, Gender and Sexuality Studies, History, Judaic Studies, Language, the College Conservatory of Music (CCM) Library and Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), are relevant to the needs of the faculty and graduate and doctoral students of the Department of German Studies.

The German Studies collection is also supported by the combined collections of the colleges and universities in Ohio through OhioLINK.

Collection History.

The German collection began with the opening of the General Library in McMicken Hall, which was also the location of the Department of French and German, which is first listed in 1875.

The collection began to grow substantially after the opening of the Van Wormer Library in 1898, and especially after the creation of the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in 1900. Continued growth and development came about as the result of the establishment of the Hillebrand Fund in 1908, and the gift of several private libraries to the University from members of the community. The collection was housed in Van Wormer until 1930, in the Blegen Library from 1930 to 1978, and since that time at the Langsam Library. 

In recent years a comprehensive collection of German film and German film periodicals on microfilm has been developed.

The collection has benefited from the Taft Fund as well as gifts of library materials from faculty, students, and members of the community for many years. Historically, the German collection has been considered the best in the region, and even one of the major collections nationally, and is one of the major areas of strength in the holdings of the University Libraries. 

General Level of Collecting. Collection building using the budget allocation for German Studies is conducted at basic through advanced undergraduate and graduate.  The areas of the German studies collection that enjoy the added support of complimentary disciplines are collected at undergraduate through research levels.


Call numbers. The German Languages and Literatures Collection is located in Langsam Library on 600 East in the subclasses PF and PT, according to the Library of Congress Classification. .  Audio materials and films are primarily located in Langsam Media and are classified according to the medium, subject, and genre. The microfilm collection is also located in Langsam Library.

Current and retrospective collecting.  Most materials purchased are current imprints.  Because of the historical nature of the study of literature and related fields, non-current imprints are also collected, including out-of-print materials.  Older materials are occasionally purchased to replace missing items or to fill gaps in an author's work. 

Time period collected. The collection covers all historical periods.

Levels and Treatments.   The German Studies collection contains works suitable for upper division students, graduate students, and faculty research. 

Languages. Most materials for German Studies are collected in German.  English translations of selected literary texts and English-language scholarly works are also acquired.

Types of resources.  The library materials acquired most often are monographs, series, society publications, and journals. Many journals and selected books and reference sources are available online. The book and serial collection has been strongly supplemented by microfilm collections, including German Books Before 1601, German Baroque Literature Collection, German and Austrian Drama in the Houghton Library, Harvard University, Anti-Nationalsozialistische deutsche Exil-literatur, 1933-1945, Bibliotheca Palatina, and historic German film periodicals. In recent years a comprehensive collection of German film has been developed.

Geographical areas.  The emphasis of the collection is on the German language and German and Austrian literature and film. 

Funding and grants

The German studies collection is mainly supported by the library’s general funds.  Some funding is drawn from the Hillebrand Fund and successful applications have been made to the Taft Fund.

Acquisition process

·         Approval plans:  The German Studies collection participates in the approval plan supplied by Harassowitz and GOBI.

·         Firm orders:  Firm orders for German Studies are selected from a variety of sources including Harassowitz notification slips, direct mail brochures, publisher catalogs, book reviewing publications, and faculty requests.

·         Standing orders:  The German Studies collection maintains standing orders for periodicals and selected serials.

·         Document suppliers:  The German Studies collection relies on direct patron access through OhioLINK and the library's Interlibrary Loan Department for access to items that are not in our collections, are in circulation, or are missing from the collection.

·         Special vendors:  The German Studies collection relies on the Acquisition Department to determine if a special vendor is needed to acquire requested materials.

·         Unique sources:  The University's Archives and Rare Books Department holds rare books and special items, the German-Americana collection, and some special collections, such as the Jerry Glenn collection of Paul Celan materials, Alfred Gong papers, etc. Bibliotheca Palatina on microfilm is owned by fewer than 20 libraries in the U.S.


Olga Hart, Bibliographer

German Studies

July 2014

University of Cincinnati Libraries

PO Box 210033 Cincinnati, Ohio 45221-0033

Phone: 513-556-1424

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