General Collection Policy


We acquire, process, catalog, preserve, and digitize primary sources and published materials, many of which are unique, to support the teaching, research, and scholarly mission of Washington State University. We describe our collections in detail on our website, and link to digitized and partially digitized collections. Our collections are dynamic and we expand them over time. We maintain the “collective memory” of WSU in the form of the university archives, which is partly mandated by the Washington State Code and includes WSU’s inactive records of permanent, legal, historical, and/or administrative value.


Primary Sources – culture and history:

  • Pacific Northwest
  • Eastern Washington
  • The Palouse and surrounding areas

Printed Collections:

  • Modernist British Literature
  • Bloomsbury Group
  • Virginia Woolf
  • Hogarth Press
  • Washington imprints (territorial and state)
  • Western Americana
  • Veterinary Medicine
  • Angling
  • Wildlife and outdoor recreation


  • Languages: most collections are in English; some collections contain little or no English or are a mixture of languages
  • Time periods: ancient to modern time periods are represented
  • Geography: emphasis on North America, although other regions are represented
  • Types of materials: all forms, genres, and formats (print, manuscripts, aural, and graphic)

We do not collect juvenile materials, or most textbooks and secondary materials, or extensive runs of literary journals.


Our collections of unique primary source materials and printed collections present a research strength used with other resources in the Libraries’ general collections.

We mainly add to existing collections to strengthen our major areas of collecting in scope.

We acquire our resources by gift and purchase, and may decline gifts based on staffing, space, and other concerns.

revised February 2019, updated language December 2021