Collection Development Policy - Literatures & Literary Criticism

SOAS Library
  • Context
  • Collection
  • Coverage
  • E-Resources
  • Future


1. The Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies (CCLPS)

The CCLPS promotes the disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies in relation to Africa, Asia and the Middle East.

The mission of the CCLPS is therefore to promote research on non-European cultures and literatures in the disciplines of Comparative Literature, Cultural Studies and Postcolonial Studies, with the aim of having an impact on the debates and of eventually reinvigorating and pioneering certain dimensions of the disciplines.

The Centre offers MSc and MPhil/PhD programmes. It has 41 members and 27.5 FTE students, including 24.5 taught postgraduates and 3 research students.

For more information see:


3. History

The Library has actively built up collections on Literatures & Literary Criticism relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East within its regional collections
  • The Library has supported course reading lists and selectively purchased material on general, cross-regional or global aspects and on the discipline of Literature & Literary Criticism Studies.

4. Languages

The Library collects material in:

  • Some European languages, especially English, for general, cross-regional or global aspects and for the discipline
  • Also the languages of Asia, Africa and the Middle East for regional publications
  • For more details see the General Collection Development Policy

5. Classification

Material on general, cross-regional or global aspects on the discipline of Literatures and Literary Criticism are classified using Dewey Decimal Classification. All books are prefixed using the following:

  • All main books are prefixed “A”
  • Large books are prefixed "LA"
  • Reference books are prefixed "Ref A"
  • Large reference books are prefixed "L Ref A"

Material relating to Asia, Africa and the Middle East are mostly classified using the Dewey Decimal Classification (with various letter prefixes), but in some regional collections alternative classification schemes are in use [see specific regions for details].


Within the School, the Library supports the teaching and research needs of:

The Library aims to collect materials to a teaching level for all courses taught by the Centre for Cultural, Literary and Postcolonial Studies. It will also collect teaching level material that falls within the discipline of literature studies and literary criticism to support other courses taught at SOAS.


The collection aims to collect material to a research level for all the subject areas detailed in section 8 below :

8. Detailed Structure

The main subject areas of collecting for Literatures and Literary Criticism in Africa, China, Japan, Korea, South Asia, South East Asia and the Middle East are detailed below (based on the Conspectus Level). For details on the Conspectus Level see Collection Development Policy .

  • Literature (Belles-lettres) and rhetoric
  • Philosophy and theory
  • Rhetoric and collections
  • History, description, critical appraisal
    • Poetry, History and criticism
    • Drama, History and criticism
    • Fiction, History and criticism
    • History and criticism of essays, speech, letters, humour and satire,
    • Literature for and by specific kinds of persons
    • Literature displaying specific features
    • Orientalism in literature
    • Black and Asian writing in Britain
    • Post-colonial literatures

For details on the following subject areas see the relevant Subject Statements:


9. Major Databases

General Databases
  • Access World News
  • Anthrosource
  • Bibliography of Asian studies: linguistics
  • Cambridge Books Online (e-books)
  • Cambridge Journals Online
  • BBC Monitoring Library
  • Dawsonera (e-books)
  • EBSCOhost
  • Index Islamicus
  • InformaWorld
  • IngentaConnect
  • International Bibliography of the Social Sciences(IBSS)
  • ISI Web of Science/Knowledge
  • Linguistics and Language Behaviour Abstracts (LLBA)
  • Linguistics proceedings directory
  • OCLC FirstSearch
  • Oxford Journals Online
  • Oxford Reference Online
  • Periodicals Archive Online
  • Project MUSE
  • ScienceDirect
  • Wiley InterScience
  • Zetoc
Regional Databases
  • Africa Wide
  • Bibliography of Asian Studies
  • Brill Online (Encyclopaedia of Islam etc.)
  • China Academic Journals
  • Chinese Studies Online
  • Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) Daily Reports, 1974-1996
  • Indiastat
  • Korean-studies Information Service System
  • Middle Eastern and Central Asian Studies
  • Nikkei Telecom 21
  • Oxford Islamic Studies
  • Taiwan Electronic Periodical Services

10. Online Subject Guide

For more information and online resources see the Subject Guide for Literatures

For regional specific databases see Subject Statements

For other databases SOAS subscribes to see A-Z databases list


11. Trends for the Future

Move towards more online full-text resources where possible and appropriate:

  • As the national collection for Asian, African and Middle Eastern studies the Library retains one endeavours to provide electronic access to these materials (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.), where available
  • For subjects of a theoretical, general or non-regional nature the electronic version (e-journals, databases, e-books &c.) is favoured