The History collection supports teaching, learning and research through the Ph.D. level in all aspects of History including political, economic, diplomatic, military social, cultural, and intellectual.

The collections specifically support graduate study in the History Department in 12 major doctoral fields: Africa, Atlantic history, East Asia, early modern Europe, history of science, technology & medicine, Latin America, medieval Europe, Middle East, modern Europe, South Asia, United States, cross-area thematic

The collections also support teaching learning and research in other departments.

Courses in ancient history, archaeology and paleography are taught in the departments of Classics, Anthropology, and Art. Courses in American cultural and intellectual history comprise much of the curriculum of the American Civilization and American Studies programs.

Area and Global Studies programs, such as those administered by the Institute for Latin American Studies, rely heavily on the history collections for their course offerings.

English is the most commonly collected language, with French, German, Russian, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian acquired when appropriate. Spanish and Portuguese materials originating related to Latin America and generally located in the Benson Latin American Collection are more intensely collected than materials in the same languages originating in Spain or Portugal. Works published in other languages ordinarily are purchased in English translation unless otherwise requested, except for materials arriving on the Library of Congress Cooperative Acquisitions Programs and many materials purchased for the Global Studies collections.

There are no limitations by time period or geographical location.   There is an emphasis on current books. In retrospective buying, generally speaking, no preference is given to original printings over reprints.

Juvenile materials and introductory textbooks purchased selectively (see Textbook and Curriculum policy).

Electronic and print format materials are collected to meet the needs of users.  Periodicals and products of mainstream U.S. publishers are collected in electronic format, when available. 

Primary source materials are collected in all formats.  Reference materials are collected extensively as will the transactions and proceedings of conferences and society publications. Theses and dissertations from other institutions are acquired primarily as part of the ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database, but may also be published in print.  Revised dissertations are purchased based on subject criteria.  Online formats and Microforms are purchased as an alternative to hard copy depending on content, price and availability. Expensive databases including digitized microform collections will be purchased as funds permit, but for the most part such purchases are possible only using funds allotted for a special purpose or on endowed library funds.

These guidelines are written with the main collection in mind. History students and faculty, however, have wide-ranging interests, and there are numerous collections both on and off the campus that supplement the holdings of the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL).

Within The University of Texas Libraries, the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History and the Benson Latin American Collection have pre-eminent history collections for the regions included in their collecting profiles. The collections of East Asian, European (including French, Germanic, Italian and Iberian Studies), Hebrew/Jewish Studies, Slavic and East European, South Asian, Middle East and International Relations and Global Studies holdings include History materials in both English and in key vernacular languages.  The extensive historical census collections of the Population Research Center are located in PCL and CDL.

The Harry Ransom Center contains numerous collections of great value to Historians. Areas of strength include 20th century radicalism, World War I, the Spanish Civil War, the Queen Anne period in English History, 18th and 19th century England and Colonial America. The collection of medieval materials and early printed books in original and facsimile and the History of science collection are outstanding. Separate HRC collections of interest include the Photography Collection and the Grattan Collection of Southwest Pacificana.

Campus libraries outside the University of Texas Libraries system with collections of interest are the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library (archives and oral History material relating to the Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, and Johnson administrations), and the Tarlton Law Library (Jamail Center for Legal Research).

Other resources in Austin include the Genealogical Libraries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, the Texas State Library (archives, state history, and documents), the Legislative Reference Library (State Legislative Archives and History), the library of the Presbyterian Seminary, the Episcopal Seminary of the Southwest Library which contains the national archives of the Episcopal Church, the Catholic Archives of Texas, and the Austin History Center at the Public Library.

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Materials collected across many LC ranges to cover history topics.