Scandinavian Studies Collection Policy


subject description and guidelines

  • The collection encompasses: history; literature (fiction, poetry, drama, graphic novels, creative nonfiction, and other forms of belles lettres ) originating in Denmark, Norway, Sweden and to a lesser degree Finland in the post-medieval period; critical, theoretical, and historical writing on Scandinavian literature; scholarship on the history of these languages; scholarly writing on Nordic folklore; biographies of Scandinavian historical and literary figures.


  • The collection is intended to support the general study needs of undergraduates, graduate students, academic staff, and faculty in the College of Arts & Sciences, with particular consideration for the departments of History; German Studies; Theatre, Film & Dance; and Comparative Literature, as well as several related interdisciplinary programs, specifically: Feminist, Gender & Sexuality Studies; the Institute for Comparative Modernities; and the Society for the Humanities.


collection strength

  • Canonical Scandinavian literature and its attendant scholarship are represented at study level, with collection emphasis on the canonical authors. While literary fiction is of primary concern, genres of popular fiction such as mystery are increasingly represented.

collection level

  • study 

geographical guidelines

  • Geographical focus is on Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and, to a lesser degree, Finland and Estonia.

areas of significant geographic coverage

country (self-governing)

  • Denmark 
  • Estonia 
  • Finland 
  • Greenland 
  • Norway 
  • Sweden

language guidelines

  • Primary texts are mostly in the Scandinavian languages, but our holdings of secondary works include all major European languages.


  • English 
  • French 
  • German 

chronological guidelines

  • The collection spans Scandinavian-language works of literature from the post-medieval through contemporary periods.


  • Generally excluded publication formats include textbooks (if designated as such by the publisher); broadsides and chapbooks (with rare exceptions); publications in non-European languages; self-published or vanity press books (unless the author has a direct connection with Cornell); and non-Cornell theses and dissertations (with rare exceptions).

material types

  • Newly acquired material may be in either physical (book, serial, microform, CD-ROM) or virtual (e-journal, database) format. Audiovisual material (DVD, VHS, CD-ROM) includes stage performances, readings of poetry and fiction, documentaries relevant to the study of Scaninavian-language literature and theater. For new serial subscriptions the default mode is electronic access only (if available) unless physical issues present visual content better suited for research or the physical format is specifically requested by faculty and graduate students.


housed in

  • Carl A. Kroch Library 
  • Library Annex 
  • Olin Library 

special collections or noteworthy resources in the field

  • Efforts are made to complement the collection strengths of the Fiske Icelandic collection in the Olin Library and Division of Rare and Manuscripts Collection.

related library subject collection


academic department

  • Comparative Literature (COM L) 
  • German Studies (GERST) 
  • Performing and Media Arts (PMA) 

graduate field/program

  • Feminist, Gender, & Sexuality Studies 
  • Medieval Studies 

academic unit

  • Society for the Humanities 


  • History (HIST) 


library contact

  • Stevens, Patrick Joseph -  Curator of the Fiske Icelandic Collection (RMC); Judaica Studies Selector (Olin)