About the Collections

The collections of the University of Texas Libraries are the result of over 130 years of continuing commitment by librarians, faculty, students, and private donors to build one of the great library collections of the world. As part of the flagship institution of the University of Texas System, the University of Texas Libraries supports diverse undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral academic programs with varying teaching and research needs. 

The excellence of any library is a testament to the people and institutions that have nurtured and supported it. The library collections at the University of Texas are a true collaborative effort. They are the foundation upon which a student's education is built and form the cornerstone of university research efforts. Critical to the shaping of the Libraries’ collections are the subject specialist liaison librarians.  In the collection development policies you will find summary information about the scope of content collected by discipline. You might also wish to view the Research Guides by subject for recommended resources with which to begin your research.   We encourage you to contact us with suggestions for additions to the collection via the Suggest a Purchase form, or speak with your subject specialist liaison.

The University of Texas Libraries collects material in all formats in support of the University's teaching and research mission. Primary emphasis is on acquiring current materials, with a special emphasis on increasing access to online scholarly resources.  The Libraries seek the most effective and economical methods possible for its collection acquisitions, licensing, and contracting procedures.  This includes active participation in the UT System Digital Library, through which content is licensed on behalf of the UT System, as well as utilization of a variety of emerging business models for connecting our readers to content both locally and at the System level.

As an internationally recognized research library, the University of Texas Libraries had historically devoted most of its collecting activities to acquiring current monographs and serials published in paper format. The emphasis has now shifted to providing access to scholarly research materials online. When scholarly materials are published in multiple formats, the Libraries will usually acquire material in one format only in order to efficiently steward the University's financial resources. Online access is preferred when it is determined to best meet the needs of the Libraries users. There are instances, however, when other formats may be more effective, of higher quality, a better value, or best meet the behavioral characteristics of the University of Texas Libraries' users. The Libraries acquire print, microforms, and other non-digital formats when these are determined to best serve the needs of the University of Texas faculty, staff, and students. 

The University of Texas Libraries develops its collections and plans information access strategies according to policies based on a continuing analysis of the University's evolving academic programs, research interests, and user needs. In light of these policies, the University of Texas Libraries acquires or provides access to a wide variety of resources in formats ranging from manuscripts to digital online content, in many languages and scripts, supporting inquiry in all areas of knowledge. 

The UT Libraries purchase and make available materials that represent a wide variety of viewpoints.  Selection of materials may involve resources which could be considered controversial by some individuals or groups.  These materials are acquired to support approved teaching and research programs of the University and to represent all aspects of controversial issues, as well as the diverse needs of the University community.  The acquisition of, or access to, such material does not imply approval or endorsement of the content by the UT Libraries. For more information, see the American Library Association's Bill of Rights.