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University Libraries collects and makes accessible materials that meet the teaching and research needs of the University. Penn State University Libraries' collections include vast numbers of print volumes, online resources, films in DVD and streaming formats, maps, and archival materials.

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Statement on Potentially Harmful Content


Collection Development Statement (June 2023)

At Penn State Libraries, we will prioritize as follows:

  • Acquire resources essential for Penn State students and faculty in support of the University’s mission to discover and disseminate knowledge, and to protect the freedom of inquiry through research, teaching, and learning.
  • Respond to the evolving nature of scholarly dissemination and discovery/acquisition of materials including, but not limited to, resources such as datasets, streaming content, monographs, journals.
  • Apply a “One Penn State” shared collection approach, striving to reduce duplication, prioritize multi-user electronic access, and cost-share when possible while recognizing the unique, local needs of all Penn State campus locations.
  • Dedicate ourselves to curating equitable and accessible collections in service of our diverse learning community by striving to build intentional collections that recognize, value, and embrace the varied experiences and multiple identities within our community.
  • Work with consortial partners to leverage our purchasing power to license and subscribe to content valued by the Penn State community of users.
  • Support and promote open access initiatives and encourage the utilization of open educational resources.
  • Acquire items of historical significance while centering the voices of marginalized communities and build on our areas of distinction for Penn State and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Provide access to materials (when possible) to alumni, local and visiting researchers, and members of the public in accordance with the university’s Land Grant mission.

Deselection Projects

As announced in October 2021, the Penn State University Libraries is deselecting materials in preparation for our Engineering Library to move into the new Engineering Collaborative Research and Education (ECoRE) Building. currently under construction. In West and Central Pattee, the deselection process is aimed at creating space in the stacks which are nearing capacity. University Libraries faculty and staff are assessing, deselecting and relocating shelved collections. More information is available in our Deselection of Library Materials FAQ.

Subject Strengths

University Libraries has collections covering a wide range of disciplines. The Libraries have focused on building strong collections in Pennsylvania-related topics such as Anabaptist, Amish, Quaker, and Mennonite religions, German Americana, history of the Civil War, mining, nuclear power, mycology and Mushroom production, Chocolate and Cocoa, and Agriculture. In addition to collections with a Pennsylvania focus, the Libraries also has prominent collections in the history of Art Education, history of labor and industry, and popular culture. The collections are curated by librarians with expertise in their given subject areas, and they monitor publishing trends and collaborate with colleagues external to Penn State to build our collections.  


Digital Collections

The University Libraries' Digital Collections cover a wide range of subject areas, including agriculture, the Civil War era, geology and geography of Pennsylvania, labor history, Pennsylvania history, Penn State history, and political activism. Many of these collections were digitized from holdings in the Special Collections Library.

If you have concerns about the inclusion of an item in the Digital Collections hosted by the University Libraries, please contact

Moreover, Pennsylvania newspapers digitized as part of the National Digital Newspaper Program and other Pennsylvania titles digitized local efforts are available. Check back often as new titles are scheduled to be added.


Special Collections Library

The Eberly Family Special Collections Library at Penn State, located in Paterno Library at University Park,  is home to more than 200,000 printed volumes, more than 25 million archival records and manuscripts, and another million photographs, maps, prints, and audio-visual items. We offer primary source materials for a diverse community of researchers, who range from K-12 and Penn State students, as well as scholars around the world.  We collect a variety of subject disciplines, a sampling of which includes Utopian literature, science fiction, labor organization and representation, and local Centre County history. We are also home to Penn State University Archives.

Browse finding aids 



Donor support is critical to the sustainability and growth of our impressive collections. By making a gift to University Libraries, you help to ensure our mission to inspire intellectual discovery and learning through robust information resources and academic collaborations. Your gift demonstrates commitment to our future and to our leadership in the delivery and preservation of library collections, and will continue to give for generations to come.

Make a gift to the Libraries.

Unsolicited Gifts

The Penn State University Libraries generally do not accept book donations and unsolicited gifts. Please see Guideline UL-ADG08 Unsolicited Gifts at Penn State Libraries.