English-language materials comprise the majority of the collection, but materials in other major, western-European languages are regularly added as well, when appropriate. An effort is made to include in the collection general encyclopedias from the major western-European countries. Reference sources in non-western languages are added only selectively.
Materials treating all geographical areas included in the University's curriculum and research parameters are sought for the collection. The tendency is for these to focus on the Americas, Europe, and Africa but works with an international, comparative focus are also selected as regular components of the collection. Works concentrating on other or highly specialized or localized geographical areas are considered selectively.