The English collection serves the needs of faculty and students in the English Department as well as a number of other departments across campus, including those studying comparative literature and children’s literature.

Current areas of collecting

The English selector covers English, American, Canadian and Commonwealth literature and for English language, including rhetoric and Children’s Literature. Covers major periods, figures, genres and critical approaches. Special emphasis is on modern Irish literature, and Canadian and Commonwealth literature.

Research and publishing characteristics

English is considered a pure discipline, with volume relatively high and with average price ranging from low (for separate editions) to medium (for criticism) and high (for collected works, papers, letters, etc.). All types of publication are important, particularly journals, monographs, retrospective materials, some popular materials, archival and manuscript materials, particularly for the historical context of literary works. Literary scholarship is increasingly interdisciplinary.


Primarily in English including transitions of major French Canadian authors and of major European authors as well as a selection of secondary materials in major European languages.

Geographic origin

Canada, U.S., U.K., Australasia, Africa, India, as well as Europe for secondary sources.

Collections in other UBC Libraries/ Areas of overlap

Special Collections: The Colbeck Collection (19th and early 20th century English literature), the T.J. Wise collection, Nineteenth Century Canadian Literature, primary source materials for the history of publishing and fine printing (eg. The work of Gill), B.C. creative writing, a collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century children’s literature, twentieth century Canadian poetry, Burns, Malcolm Lowry.