The Reading Room’s collections have been significantly bolstered by the generous donations of prominent professors over the years. Such origins for many of our books attest to the high level of resources we can provide. Due to physical space limitations, the RRR collection policy must be highly selective. Our collection specifically supports the research interests of affiliated faculty and graduate students. In general, priority is given to primary authors’ works from the medieval period to present in their original languages. Resources on literary texts and criticism, and literary theory and history, can be found in English as well.


The Asian Languages and Literature collection consists of books and periodicals in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Mongolian, Tibetan and Indian. Topics include classical and modern literature, art history, Buddhism and religion.



The French collection focuses on French and Francophone authors and encompasses a rich selection of works on French literature from Medieval French to the 21st century, as well as new publications of works by Francophone authors, comparative literature, women’s studies, and cinema. The collection of works on literary and critical theory is strong and sought after by many graduate students.



The German Language and Literature Collection, the largest collection in the room, consists mainly of works of the German-speaking peoples. However, a small section is devoted to the Dutch-speaking peoples as well. The German collection is not only of great interest to faculty and students from the German Department but also those from comparative literature, Western European, Africana, and Jewish studies.



The Italian collection’s development policy is limited geographically to works from Italy. The Italian collection has strong coverage of the Medieval and Renaissance periods. This includes a relatively broad collection of Dante, Petrarch and Boccaccio. In the past few years, the collection’s development focus has shifted to more modern interests including works by women writers and contemporary literature.



The Scandinavian Collection includes books on literature, linguistics, folklore, and history in Danish, Finnish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Swedish.



A final section of the collection is devoted to the scholarship of the Medieval and Renaissance eras. This enables scholars to access material on literature, art, history, music, and religion of European and Mediterranean civilizations of those eras.



Recent Purchases