Subject Librarian: Liorah Golomb, Assistant Professor, Reference and Humanities Librarian
Phone: 978-5077
Policy created: December 30, 2003 Policy updated June 16, 2004

Purpose    Scope   Summary     Subjects Excluded   Related Collections   Related Policies
Related Evaluations    Other Factors   Appendix A   Appendix B

  1. Purpose of Collection
    1. Program Information

      German is one of the languages taught within the Modern Languages and Literatures department here at WSU.  Until his retirement in June 2004, Dr. Dieter Saalmann handled the mainly undergraduate level language courses with a few literature classes thrown in.  These courses include elementary German, Intermediary German, Continuing German, German conversation, Culture of Contemporary Germany and Advanced German conversation.

      Dr. Saalmann’s area of interest covered nineteenth and twentieth century German literature.  This could change depending upon the MCLL department’s next hire.

      The students taking German are from a variety of disciplines across the WSU campus including history, the humanities, fine arts, physical sciences and social sciences.


    2. Collection Description

      The German collection consists of paper books, some journals, database coverage and a little electronic book coverage.

      Due to our collaboration with Dr. Saalmann, the Libraries’ book holdings in this regard are heavily weighted between 1720 and the present.  When checked against The Cambridge History of German Literature, that part of the collection is strong, holding 50 percent of the titles listed in the bibliography.  However, the other eras of German literature contain sparse holdings at best.  For ancient and medieval, the WSU Libraries had 10-15 percent of the core titles.  That number jumps to 20 percent for the Enlightenment.

      The libraries tend not to collect conference proceedings, essay collections or dissertations as German is an undergraduate program.  However, these items would be available through Interlibrary Loan or for purchase as funds and departmental collecting priorities permit.

      Our journal holdings in this regard are not as strong as they could be.  Interdisciplinary journals as well as those literary journals in English provide the bulk of our coverage.  We do have a few German language journals but recent budget cuts have taken their toll on those items.  The collections on hand include the Zeitschrift fur Deutsche Philologie and the Zeitschrift fur Germanistik.  However, as a careful search of the MLA Bibliography’s title list reveals, our collection lacks major research titles and even many core journals, forcing researchers to resort to Interlibrary Loan for most of their materials.

      Our database coverage centers around English titles.  The MLA Bibliography provides our only bibliographic listing of German scholarship.  Any full text access will be in English and that comes from JSTOR, Project Muse, Wilson Web Humanities and a small amount in InfoTrac Expanded Academic.

      In terms of electronic books, we do not have very many texts in this regard.  NetLibrary does not focus on this area.  Fortunately, in terms of history and academic works, the ACLS Humanities E-Book may provide some assistance in this regard.

      For more information on our holdings, please refer to the attached “German Languages and Literatures Collection Analysis”.

    3. Anticipated Trends

      As with other areas within the Humanities, two items will drive our collecting efforts for German:  access and budgets.

      The balance between print and electronic media may help to bridge several gaps in the future.  Certainly, in terms of electronic journals, we could stand to benefit if publishers provide affordable foreign language journal packages here in the United States.  Even so, German journals would rank beneath Spanish and French in this regard due to the MCLL’s priorities vis-ŕ-vis faculty research and credit hour production.  The same can be said for German monographs and source materials.  Fortunately, the interdisciplinary coverage in JSTOR and Project Muse does assist in bridging this gap.  However, we will need to watch this divide carefully, due to both shifting budgets and the introduction of new e-book, e-journal and database packages on the market.  Certainly, the addition of the ACLS Humanities E-Book shortens the gap a bit, albeit again, with more English titles.  If WSU acquires JSTOR’s Arts and Humanities II and III packages, this coverage would improve greatly again.

      With German, due to the collaboration between Dr. Saalmann and the liaison librarians, we have strong collections in some regards and spotty areas in others.  Given the budgetary situation and priorities both for the MCLL department and the Libraries as a whole, this activity needs to be monitored carefully.  Dr. Saalmann requested a great deal for his subject area of expertise but not for the rest of the collection.  (There are a couple of courses in the Undergraduate Catalog for those areas.)  This trend could be troublesome for the collection when the next faculty member is hired.  However it should be noted that the upcoming hire provides an opportunity to possibly develop other pieces of this collection.  Also, since German literature does touch on other subject areas across campus, we do need to keep minimal works (in translation) available for patron use as well.  These areas include history, philosophy, religion, fine arts, English, the physical sciences and the social sciences. These issues are concerns for the German CD area.
  2. Scope of Coverage
  1. Chronological Focus

For German literature, the primary chronological area has been nineteenth and twentieth century German literature.  This focus could change depending upon the next German faculty member’s research interests.

Other areas can be collected depending upon available budgetary resources; the importance of the analyzed work(s) within the scope of German literary history in general and the quality of the scholarship in that work.  In any event, that activity would never exceed C2 or D Levels as explained in Appendix B

  1. Geographic Focus

    The primary geographic foci are Germany and Austria.  Again, these could change depending upon the new faculty member’s research interests and teaching load.
  2. Formats and Materials Collected

    For German literature, the collecting efforts include printed works both in English and German.  The following formats are collected:  books, journals and serials.  As noted above, when the appropriate opportunity arises to investigate electronic access for German language journals and electronic works, we will do so.
  3.  Formats and Materials Not Collected

    Although the focus will primarily be on those formats and materials noted in Section 3 above, other formats will be considered according to the relevance to the overall major and department (MCLL), courses of study, areas of faculty research/teaching, and overall continuity of the collection.  As I said in Section 3, such endeavors will be subject to availability, overall collecting priorities and budgetary constraints.
  4. Publication/Imprint Dates

    Most purchases will be recently published works although out of print works will also be considered.  Retrospective projects conducted between faculty members and the subject librarians will be considered as well depending upon available budget, collection priorities, the time involved and the project scope.
  5. Place of Publication

    All academic publishers’ works are considered.  However, some publishers’ works will tend to be purchased more than others.  For German, Camden House and Peter Lang are the top publishers.  In all cases, the work’s overall quality not just the publisher or its reputation will determine a purchase.
  6.  Languages Collected

    Works in this field are collected in both English and German.  All secondary works (unless requested by the faculty members) are collected in English.  Primary sources can be collected in other languages.  However again, foreign language sources will be collected in translation whenever possible.  If a faculty member requests that a source be acquired in the original language, every effort will be made to get the work as permitted by availability and available funds.
  1.  Summary of Subjects Collected and Collecting Levels

 These are the areas collected in German Literature:

Subject LC Class Current Strength of Holdings
Old High German Lang/Lit. PF E
Old Saxon Lang/Lit PF E
German Lang-Mid. High  PF E
German Lang-Early Modern PF E
German Lang-Dialects PF D
German Lit-History PT D
Collections of German Lit PT D
German Literature 1050-1500 PT E
German Literature 1500-1700 PT E
German Literature 1700-1860 PT C2
German Literature 1860-1960 PT B
German Literature 1961- PT C1
German Literature-Hist of Folk  [i] PT C1
German Literature-Provincial PT D
Ger. Literature-Austria PT C2
Ger. Literature-Switzerland PT C2
Ger. Literature-Czech/Russia PT D
Ger. Literature-Outside of Eur. PT D
Ger. Literature-Low Ger. Lit. PT D
Ger. Literature-Pop. Lit PT D
[i] These ratings are mostly accounting for the nineteenth and twentieth century emphases in this collection.


  1. Subjects Excluded

    There are no excluded subjects.  Although some may only be collected at a minimal (re: level as spelled out in Appendix B.
  2. Related Collections and Cooperative Efforts

    Any German literature collecting effort should interact with those from the other MCLL subject areas for budgetary reasons.  Other subjects affected are: history, English literature, Philosophy, Religion and other Humanities areas.

  3. Related Collection Development Policies

    Any German literature CD Policy should interact with those from the other MCLL subject areas for budgetary reasons.  This occurs due to all foreign languages being under the same fund code (FLN2D).  In addition, comparative literature affects German and can be considered as well.   Other subjects affected are: history, English literature, Philosophy, Religion and other Humanities areas.


  4. Related Collection Evaluations

    See E and F above.


  5. Other Factors

    Access to German literature sources (largely in English language interdisciplinary sources) is available through Project Muse and JSTOR.  Bibliographic citations can be found in the MLA Bibliography and Humanities Index (WilsonWeb) .

Appendix A—Specific Subjects Collected (with Collecting Levels)

LC Line Divisions, Categories and Subjects Collection & Language Codes
Class Number CL AC GL PC
PF3801-3991 LLL188 Old High German Language & Literature E   D  
PF3992-4000 LLL189 Old Saxon Language & Literature  E   D  
PF4043-4350 LLL190 German Language - Middle High German E   D  
PF4501-4596 LLL191 German Language - Early Modern E   D  
PF5000-5844 LLL192 German Language - German Dialects D   D  
PT1-4899 LLL193 German Literature D   D  
PT1-871 LLL194 German Literature - History & Criticism D   C2  
PT1100-1485 LLL195 collections of German Literature D   D  
PT1501-1695 LLL196 German Literature - 1050-1450/1500 E   D  
PT1501-1695 LLL197 German Literature - 1500-ca. 1700 E   D  
PT1701-1797 LLL198 German Literature - 1700-ca. 1860/70 C2   C2  
PT1799-2592 LLL199 German Literature - 1860/70-1960 B   B  
PT2600-2659 LLL200 German Literature - 1961 C1   C1  
PT2660-2688 LLL201 German Literature - History & Criticism of Folk D   D  
PT2881-951 LLL202 German Literature - Provincial & Local in Germany D   D  
PT3701-3807 LLL203 German Literature - Austria C2   C2  
PT3810-3829 LLL204 German Literature Switzerland C2   C2  
PT3860-3878 LLL205 German Literature - Czechoslovakia & Russia E   D  
PT2830-3858 LLL206 German Literature - Outside of Europe D   D  
PT3900-3971 LLL207 German Literature - Low German Literature D   D  
PT4801-4897 LLL208 German Literature - Popular Literature D   D  


Appendix B—Explanation of Collecting Levels and Codes



[1] Please see German Language and Literature Collection Analysis for more information.
[2] These ratings are mostly accounting for the nineteenth and twentieth century emphases in this collection.