Spanish and Portugese Literature Collection Development Policy

Bobst Library, New York University
Angela Carreño, Librarian for Spanish and Portugese Literature


The collection supports WSUC and GSAS programs in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American literatures, languages, and civilization through the doctoral level. Emphasis is on literature and language. Civilization is interpreted here as including broader cultural works affecting the study of literature.

The collection also supports course work and research in the following programs: Literature in Translation minor, Latin American and Caribbean Studies, Comparative Literature, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Bilingual Education (School of Continuing Education).

Library materials for the NYU in Spain program are provided by the Department.


  1. Language

    The collection consists principally of literary texts and criticism in Spanish, Portuguese and English. Early literature of Spain and Portugal in Galician and Catalan is also acquired. Critical works in French, Italian, and German, and literary texts in English translation are acquired regularly. Literature in Basque and indigenous languages of Latin America are excluded.

  2. Geographical Areas

    Coverage includes Spain, Portugal, Lusophone Africa, Brazil, Mexico, and Spanish-speaking Central America and the Caribbean (including Caribbean literature of the United States). Emphasis is on major literary figures, movements, genres, and themes in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American literature.

  3. Chronological Periods

    Coverage of Spanish and Portuguese literature is from the medieval period to the present. Coverage of Latin American literature is from the conquest to the present. Emphasis is on Spanish literature of all periods, and Latin American literature of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Types of Materials

  1. Included

    Monographs, monographic series, serials, proceedings, facsimiles, reprints, microforms, a limited number of basic language texts and instructional materials, including language tapes acquired by the language lab.

  2. Excluded

    Dissertations, manuscripts, ephemera, maps, textbooks.

Strengths & Weaknesses of the Collection

The collection's strengths lie in the following areas: Golden Age literature, 19th- and 20th-century Spanish and Latin American literature and contemporary Brazilian poetry and fiction (due largely to the donations by Prof. Wilson Martins). Special Collections contains rare editions of Cervantes' Don Quixote, including the 1605 Valencia edition, the 1607 Brussels edition, and several important editions in English, French, and Italian. Microform holdings include Spanish drama of the Golden Age: Comedia Collection of the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, and the Biblioteca de obras puertorriquenas compiled by Gonzalo Velazquez.

Collecting efforts emphasize works in major series (e.g., Biblioteca Romanica Hispanica, Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles), the acquisition of multiple copies of works in heavy demand, the filling of gaps in major primary and secondary sources, and the systematic identification and replacement of missing or worn volumes of standard works.

Other Resources

The New York Public Library's collection of Spanish, Portuguese, and Latin American journals and newspapers is very strong. The Hispanic Society of America has extensive coverage of Ibero-American literature and culture and is particularly useful for early printed books and manuscripts. The libraries of the Centro de Estudios Puertorriquenos and the Center for Cuban Studies are strong in the literatures and cultures of, respectively, Puerto Rico and Cuba.

Subjects & Collecting Levels

LC Class Subject ECS CCI DES
PC4001-4977 Spanish language B B B
PQ6001-7061 Spanish literature
Before 1500 B C C
16th & 17th centuries B C C
18th & 19th centuries B C C
20th century B C C
PC3801-3976 Catalan lang. & lit. A B B
PC5001-5448 Portuguese language A B B
PQ9001-9470 Portuguese literature
To 1700 B C C
Since 1700 B C C
PQ9900-9909 Lusophone African lit. A B B
PQ7100-8549, 9500-9699 (all countries) Latin American literature
To 19th century B C C
19th & 20th centuries B C C
Brazil B C C
Criticism and theory B C C
PQ7071-7079 Spanish lit. of the U.S. A B B
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