Anglo-American Literature and Comparative Literature
Clientele: Cornell's English Department offers courses about genres (utopias, folklore, detective story) as well as traditional courses about specific authors and chronological periods. The departments of English and Comparative Literature emphasize the history and analysis of critical theory (e.g., feminism, semiotics) as related to popular culture as well as the canon. The collection serves other departments, including Theatre Arts, Linguistics, the Society for the Humanities, Women's Studies, and African Studies and Research.
Existing collection ECS 4 Lang W
The current collection covers all British, U. S., Australian and Canadian literatures and language, plus basic English-language titles from the Pacific Islands. Historically, Anglo-American literature was collected at a research level with 4+ strength in the Medieval and 18th century portions of the collection. Major exceptions to level 4 coverage have been Celtic language and literature, journalism, and Australian and Canadian literature; some areas of these holdings are at a research level, but overall they support a level 3 (instructional) level.
Current collection CCI 4 Lang W
Primary texts, bibliographies, and secondary criticism--in that order--are all necessary to maintain the collection at a 4 level. Primary texts are mostly in English, but our holdings of secondary works represent all major European languages. As the purchasing power of funding declines, we have bought fewer critical works in foreign languages. However, a special effort is made to acquire all scholarly titles treating themes and motifs in literature, and journals devoted to the works of individual authors . Titles from selected small presses are received on blanket order .
Subjects covered: LC classifications: PR, PS, PB, PE, PN, NX, GR
In addition to Anglo-American literature, the selector for the collection covers all general and comparative literature: theatre, film, television, genres, motifs. Folklore as a discipline, plus Anglo-American folklore, is also considered part of this collection.
Geographical information: Subject concentration is the English-speaking world. However, area bibliographers and curators for Africa, Latin America, and South Asia also purchase English-language literary works . 2/3 of imprints are Anglo-American,1/3 foreign.
Exclusions: Vanity press titles are not acquired. Theses generally are not purchased, but some titles are ordered to meet local needs. The few broadsides acquired are housed in the Department of Rare Books.
Notes: Specialized genres: Certain types of literature are not classified separately but are found under author in the general fiction/belles-lettres section. Collecting policy varies widely among these genres:
--African-American literature: 4
--Children's literature: Bibliography: 4 Texts: 2
--Comic books, strips: 2 (mostly anthologies)
--Detective stories: Bibliography: 4 Texts: 3
--Historical fiction: 1
--Romance fiction: 1
--Science fiction: bibliography: 4 Texts: 2
--Women's literature: 4