Collection Development Statement

Last updated July 2020


The collection supports the research and teaching of faculty and students in the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature at Johns Hopkins University. Founded in 1966 as the Humanities Center, the Department of Comparative Thought and Literature was reconstituted under its present name in 2018 to reflect the Department’s “ongoing commitment to serious interdisciplinary study, with a focus on questions at the intersection of literature, philosophy, and aesthetics” ( Because interests vary widely in Comparative Thought and Literature, collection development is undertaken in close consultation with faculty and students in the Department, together with their colleagues in related departments (see “Collaborations” below).

Departments/disciplines/programs subject areas supported

The Department of Comparative Thought and Literature offers the PhD. Though no major or minor are currently offered, undergraduates may undertake interdisciplinary research with the affiliated Honors Program in the Humanities.

Formats Selected

Formats collected generally:

  • Monographs (print and electronic)
  • Collected editions (print and electronic)
  • Edited volumes, including conference proceedings and Festschriften (print and electronic)
  • Serials (electronic preferred)
  • Databases
  • Rare and archival materials
  • Audiovisual materials

Formats collected selectively or by request:

  • Commentaries
  • Dictionaries
  • Dissertations
  • Microforms
  • Textbooks
  • Translations

Languages Collected

Materials are collected in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese, Korean, and Russian.

Chronological or geographical focus

Materials from Europe (including Russia) and North America are acquired generally, while materials from East Asia are acquired more selectively.  The chronological focus is contemporary, but works concerning the following specialties since the end of antiquity from the regions specified are also collected:

  • Aesthetics
  • The Avant-garde
  • Comparative literature
  • Law and literature
  • Literary criticism
  • Modernism
  • Literary theory
  • Philosophy
  • Psychoanalysis


  • East Asian Studies
  • Film and Media Studies
  • History
  • History of Art
  • Honors Program in the Humanities
  • Modern Languages and Literatures
  • Philosophy

Subject Librarian

Mackenzie S. Zalin, PhD, MSLS
Librarian for Modern Languages and Literatures & Comparative Thought and Literature
(410) 516-0215