German Language & Literature Collection Library Subject Collection uri icon

subject description and guidelines

  • Cornell University Library maintains a major collection in German-language literature and literary studies, including dramatic literature and scholarship on German-language theater and film. Contemporary German belles lettres, as well as critical editions of past German literature are acquired near-comprehensively, with less emphasis on the German-language literature of Austria, Switzerland, and elsewhere. The Library acquires the major German- and English-language critical works on German-language literature, theater, and film of all historical periods, as well as scholarly treatments of the philosophical, social, historical, and intellectual milieus in which these cultural products took shape. Works in other European languages are collected to a lesser extent. Critical theory as it pertains to German literary and cultural studies is intensively acquired.

    Strong holdings in linguistics relating to the German language are complemented by materials in Germanic linguistics acquired in connection with the Library’s Icelandic collection and the collections in Netherlandic and Scandinavian studies.


  • The primary users of materials in the collection are Cornell faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and undergraduate majors in German Studies. Cornell is a leading center for German Studies nationally and internationally and Cornell scholars have played a central role over the past three decades in redefining the field along interdisciplinary, cultural studies lines. In addition to the members of the Department of German Studies, there are a number of key faculty members with active research interests in German Studies in the Departments of Architecture, Government, History, Linguistics, Music, and Philosophy; several are affiliated with Cornell’s transdisciplinary and cross-departmental Graduate Field of Germanic Studies. Since 1992, Cornell has maintained the Institute for German Cultural Studies, which frequently brings visiting scholars to campus who represent and important constituency of the collection in German language and literature.