Comparative Literature



Jane Marie Pinzino


Coordinator for Scholarly Resources, Humanities

Librarian Phone Number

(504) 247-1560

Librarian Email

Program Description

Though not a formal department or program, collection development in Comparative Literature is of vital interest to faculty, graduate students and undergraduates in numerous disciplines. The faculty of all language and literature departments in particular, the Anthropology and Theatre/Dance Departments, as well as the Jewish Studies, Cultural Studies, Women's Studies, Medieval Studies, and the Studies in Africa and African Diaspora Programs are interested in various facets of world literature publication--whether in evolving critical theories or approaches to literature, translation theories, world literature itself in translation, the evolution of languages and literary history, or the scholarly apparatus accompanying these pursuits. Literary publications worldwide, focusing on pre-Classical periods through the post-colonial studies of the postmodern age, generate scholarly, critical interest among faculty and students; because not all these materials are represented by Tulane's established departments and programs, collecting them necessitates careful, widespread Comparative Literature coverage, attention, and support.


Focus in Comparative Literature collecting is first on literary theory materials applicable to all languages and literatures, and materials that do not fall under the purview of Tulane's departments and programs, with secondary attention on works in translation (normally excluded by language departments) and works on translation theory. Works on deconstruction, ancient Semitic texts, Old Norse sagas, late medieval Latin texts, the literature of Renaissance humanism, ancient folk tales, legends and literature, and semiotic studies of Oriental pictographs are but a few examples of materials sought; emanating from worldwide sources, and not exclusive to a particular department, they are representative of the world's literature and scholarship. Works in translation from all languages, especially those from Europe, the Near East, the Far East, and Africa, are actively sought, though translations from languages without formal representation anywhere in the curriculum may be considered selectively. Comparative Literature collecting excludes "pop culture" (mystery, science fiction, fantasy, romance) prose and poetry, children's literature unless part of a collected author's canon, and inspirational literature.


Monographs, monographic series, serials, reference works, conference proceedings, media (including software or visual items) and recordings are regularly sought; excluded are most anthologies, textbooks, dissertations, manuscripts, maps, and most collections of previously published materials.


To broaden accessibility, journals are sought online when this format is available. Print may be cancelled to reduce costs when ownership of the online version is assured. Online access that requires additional costs with a print subscription will be sought selectively within the amount budgeted for Comparative Literature journals. Monographs and other types are generally purchased as printed text though other formats are considered, including digital files (online or CD), audio cassette tapes, and video tapes.


All languages, but primarily Western European, are collected--with particular emphasis on English language translations.

Chronological Period

Collection emphasis dates from the inception of language and literature to the present.

Imprint Date

Preference is given to items published within the last two or three years; out-of-print materials are sought, generally, to replace lost materials considered indispensable to the collection, or upon faculty request.

Geographical Considerations

No geographic considerations apply.

Related Collections

Cooperative Resources

The Howard-Tilton Memorial Library is one of 14 members of a cooperative consortium of southern research libraries called KUDZU, which includes a shared online catalog. Loan requests through this system receive priority processing and expedited two-day delivery. The library is also a member of the cooperative Center for Research Libraries (CRL) in Chicago, through which we may borrow a wide range of rare materials for our users. Undergraduate students, graduate students, and faculty may borrow materials directly from the main library nearby at Loyola University of New Orleans through a reciprocal agreement called TU/LU. Graduate students and faculty may borrow materials at other New Orleans area academic libraries, and at other academic libraries throughout the state, through the LALINC consortium. For more information about cooperative borrowing privileges inquire at the library's Check-Out Desk.

Supply Sources

Most North American and European approval plans (YBP, Coutts, Touzot, Casalini, Puvill, and Harrassowitz) supply primary and critical materials according to profiles established for each vendor, supplemented by standing and firm orders worldwide for monographic series and supplemental monographs.

Endowed Funds

No endowed funds are specifically provided for comparative literature.

Selection Tools

In addition to World Literature Today, vendor slips, and brochures from major European publishing houses (Nihoff, deGruyter, Rodopi, Curzon, Methuen, Brill), particular attention is given to faculty requests from Tulane's language and literature departments.