General policies and principles for the Library's collections are stated in the General Collection Development Policy.  

Purpose of the Collection

The Spanish and Portuguese literature and languages collection supports the programs of instruction and research offered by the UCSB Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The policy seeks primarily to support the department's curriculum through the doctoral level, and faculty and graduate student research and scholarship. The department awards the degrees of B.A. in Spanish or Portuguese, and PhD, with specializations in the areas of Spanish and Latin American Literature, Portuguese and Brazilian Literature, and Iberian Linguistics, with optional emphases on Translation Studies, Feminist Studies, Medieval Studies and Applied Linguistics.

Subject Parameters

Literature, including novels and short-stories, poetry, drama, essays and chronicles; Literary history and criticism; Spanish and Portuguese linguistics and philology; Medieval Iberian Studies; Translation Studies. 


Library of Congress classifications PC, PH5001-5490, PQ.

Geographical Coverage

The geographic focus of the collection is the Iberian Peninsula and the Americas.  Literatures in Spanish or Portuguese from outside of those areas are collected selectively. Important literary criticism and critical editions are often published in North America, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Materials produced by Spanish-speakers in the United States is selected in consultation with the specialist for Chicana and Chicano Studies.


The Library acquires original works in Spanish, Portuguese, and the best available English translations. The library selectively acquires works in Galician, Catalan, and Basque. Indigenous language materials are preferred in bilingual editions. Literary criticism and linguistic studies are acquired in any language, although Spanish, Portuguese and English are preferred. Literary criticism is usually only purchased in the original language of publication, but sometimes duplicate copies translated into English are acquired.

Chronological Limits/Period Coverage

There is no chronological limit on the time period but emphasis is placed on Medieval, Golden Age, the Colonial period in the Americas, late-19th century, 20th century and 21st century.

Publication Dates

Most publications acquired are published in the 20th and 21st centuries. Earlier works are usually acquired in facsimile format or preferably as digital archives. Occasionally an original pre-twentieth-century work will be selected in consultation Special Collections.

Types of Materials Collected

The library collects monographs, reference tools, audio-visual materials, periodicals, and scholarly series. Conference proceedings are acquired selectively. Dissertations are only acquired on demand. Textbooks are generally not acquired. The Library maintains a university press plan to automatically acquire recent imprints from major Anglo-American university presses. Relevant university press books, trade books, and small and alternative press books published in Latin American and Iberian countries are also acquired.  In recent years digitized collections of Spanish and Portuguese primary sources has been emphasized for purchase and electronic archives of literary and cultural magazines, historical newspapers, and pamphlets have been acquired when possible.


A large percentage of content is exclusively published in print. However reference tools, periodicals, edited volumes and anthologies are actively preferred in electronic format. 

Systemwide and Other Resources

UCSB collections serving the Spanish and Portuguese department benefit heavily from the library’s participation in serials and research databases that are licensed by UC’s California Digital Library and funded by the UC campuses. In addition, the Library participates in Calafia: The California Cooperative Latin American Collection Development Group, a partnership between the University of California Libraries, Stanford and the University of Southern California. Through investment in the North Mexican State Materials agreement the Library is responsible for collecting materials published in the state of Nuevo Leon. Along with the companion South Mexican State Materials agreement, this collaborative approach allows our libraries to build extensive networked collections and make accessible Mexican publications to our users at a more efficient costs per library. Through its membership in the Center for Research Libraries (CRL), the library provides access to millions of print and digital archival documents and other materials from around the world that are otherwise difficult to obtain and preserve.

Related Collection Development Policies

Subject librarian: Ryan Lynch
Policy Last Updated: May 2015