The Princeton University Library’s collections are rich and diverse, with more than 7 million printed works, 5 million manuscripts, and 2 million non-print items including archival materials, maps, and coins. Extensive digital holdings are represented by primary sources, data, images, electronic databases, music and audio files, and video. Princeton’s collections grow and develop through acquisitions, gifts to the Library, and cooperative collection development programs with other research institutions and consortia such as Borrow Direct, NERL (NorthEast Research Libraries), CRL (Center for Research Libraries) and VALE (NJ Libraries Consortium).
Fifty-three librarians are responsible for building the Library’s material and digital collections. These subject specialists work closely with faculty, students, other librarians at Princeton, and other research institutions to carefully shape Princeton’s collections to meet current and future teaching and research needs. These specialists develop collections in the humanities, social sciences, sciences, technology, area studies and rare books and special collections.
Collection Development Policies
These documents describe how subject collections are developed and how each collection supports the University’s teaching and research needs in these areas. They are constantly evolving and are based on an ongoing dialogue with faculty and students. The Policies also explore subtle and dramatic differences in collecting level, formats, languages and other criteria among collections at Princeton and with cooperative collecting programs with other research institutions.
Recent Acquisitions Highlights
Princeton’s acquisitions and gifts include singularly important titles and collections, both print and digital. Recently acquired electronic resources, including digital collections, are highlighted in the Databases section of the library website.
Collection Development Department Staff
While most subject specialists administratively report to many Library departments, Collection Development is responsible for coordinating and directing collection building, allocating funds to facilitate acquisitions and developing cooperative collections programs with other institutions. Questions regarding collecting at Princeton may be directed to David Magier AUL for Collection Development, or Patricia Gaspari-Bridges, Assistant University Librarian. Tracie Emanuel, Administrative Assistant to the AUL, leads the department’s staff in coordinating Gifts Processing for the Library, assisting all selectors in evaluating collections for damaged and missing titles, and providing acquisitions support for the twelve selectors who report to this department.
Princeton University Library welcomes gifts of books, manuscripts, and other materials that are deemed to be within the scope of its collection. Gifts are accepted which meet the collecting guidelines established to support the University's teaching and research or to add core material of scholarly research interest. We are deeply grateful to all of our donors, who for more than two and a half centuries have generously given books and other library materials to Princeton University.
Recommend a title
If you are a member of the Princeton University community and have a valid Princeton Net ID and password, you may use the Central Authentication System (CAS) to Recommend a Subscription or Purchase.
Friends of the Library
The Friends of the Princeton University Library play a vital role in supporting the acquisitions and operations of the Library, while enjoying regular programs and unique opportunities to participate in special events. The Friends welcome all members of the community who have an interest in books, libraries, manuscripts, and the graphic arts. See the Friends' website for more information on the Friends of the Princeton University Library and how to become a member.