Collections Librarian : Jen Bartle x3757

The collection development policy for Comparative Literature guides the development and management of materials relating to comparative literature in the Wellesley College Library. This policy is for the use by the Wellesley community and the Comparative Literature collections librarian. Faculty and students are encouraged to provide recommendations for library materials.

General purpose of the collection

The structured individual Comparative Literature major draws support from many areas of the Library collections. The study of comparative literature at Wellesley College emphasizes nineteenth- and twentieth-century novels, short stories and drama from Africa, America, England, France, Germany, Latin American, and Russia; and a variety of Classical and medieval literature. Chinese, Italian, Japanese, Scandinavian literature and the literature of other countries or regions are used selectively. Generally, all foreign-language literature is read in English translation.

Comparative literature majors may concentrate on literary history and theory, particular genres, linguistics, or the theory and practice of translation. Specific courses address such topics as literature and medicine, literature and sexuality, women's writing, and the relations between politics and literature.

Core comparative literature collections

Collection development for Comparative Literature is the responsibility of the faculty from and collections librarians for the individual literary studies departments; each collection reflects the interests and curriculum of the department and supports the present and anticipated instructional and basic research needs of the Wellesley College students and faculty.

The reference collection for Comparative Literature follows the general subject parameters of the circulating collection, providing resources generally on authors and literatures from all relevant periods and genres, with an emphasis on the 19th and 20th centuries. The collection includes, but is not limited to, encyclopedias, biographical and subject-specific dictionaries, regional literature guides, (e.g. Latin American Literature and Its Times ), some compilations of criticism, and indexing and abstracting databases for periodical articles and reviews. Research guides and bibliographies are collected very selectively; these bibliographies would be collected primarily for major authors, periods, genres, or regions. Reference works may be acquired in print or online, with online generally preferred when available. English is the preferred language for reference works. Reference materials are selected by the Research and Instruction Group librarian for English, who may collaborate with the collections librarian for English.

For more detailed descriptions of the collections and of the scope of coverage of current collecting activities in each, consult the following related collection development policies:

English: The English faculty and collections librarian take primary responsibility for general literary history and theory, and selects American and English literature and related critical works, biographies and memoirs, and cultural studies.

Africana Studies

Classical Studies

East Asian Languages & Cultures

French & French Cultural Studies

German & German Studies (includes Dutch and Scandinavian literature)

Italian Studies

Medieval/Renaissance Studies

Middle Eastern Studies and Arabic language

Russian & Russian Area Studies


    Secondary related subjects & interdisiplinary relationships 

    In addition to the literary-studies guidelines listed above, the following the following subjects may contain materials supporting the study of Comparative Literature:


    Jewish Studies



    Theatre Studies