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The Olin Library collection supports research and instruction at Cornell, principally in the humanities and social sciences. Its holdings of print, media and electronic resources are managed by two-dozen bibliographers and subject specialists who select materials for the Olin Library stacks, for access over computer networks, and for the Annex Library, located just off central campus. The collection reflects the University curriculum, areas of faculty research, and the Library’s historical strengths. Among especially rich holdings are those of: the central Andean countries; classics; government; history of science; Icelandic studies; linguistics; literary and cultural studies; philosophy, criticism and theory; and United States history.

Olin’s collection of analog materials, nearly 2,000,000 print volumes, 2,000,000 microforms, and 200,000 maps, comprises the University’s largest information resource. Students and scholars praise this collection for its depth and breadth, its completeness, its physical condition and its accessibility.

Researchers in the humanities and social sciences make growing use of digital tools, and scholarship in humanities and social sciences disciplines is increasingly disseminated electronically. While the Library's analog collections continue to grow at a formidable rate, Olin's patrons have worldwide access to an extensive collection of networked electronic resources. The more than 25,000 journals to which the Cornell University Library subscribes in digital form include current and retrospective core titles in the social sciences and humanities.

Olin Library supports the teaching and research needs of the Cornell community by maintaining an intelligent balance of print and digital collections and through creative and flexible approaches to emerging technologies useful for selection and acquisition of print and digital materials. Even as conceptions of “collections” shift, Olin remains committed to long-term preservation of the scholarly record and stability of access in all formats, the historic mission of a research library.

contributing role