International Relations


The collection’s primary function is to support research and teaching programs in international relations, international affairs, and international studies at Yale University. The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale encourages and coordinates teaching and research in these fields. The MacMillan Center offers seven undergraduate majors (six focused on world regions) and three regionally-focused master’s degree programs. It also has numerous interdisciplinary faculty councils, centers, committees, and programs. The Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, which opened in Fall 2010, is the home of the university’s master’s degree in Global Affairs (prior to Fall 2013, the M.A. in International Relations) and undergraduate major in Global Affairs.

“International relations,” “international affairs,” and “international studies” are terms with distinctive disciplinary definitions. For the purposes of this collection development statement, “international relations” is interpreted broadly, but intersects most closely with political science. “Area studies,” which is also encompassed at the MacMillan Center, is more broadly interdisciplinary. Within the Yale Libraries, area studies collection development is the responsibility of the International Collections librarians (collecting from the countries in their regions of responsibility) and of all selectors responsible for relevant disciplines (history, art, sociology, economics, political science, etc.). “Area studies” is therefore not included in this collection development policy statement as either a subset or an intersection with international relations.

All aspects of international relations are represented in the Yale Library’s collection, including theory and research methodology; diplomacy; international, intergovernmental, and nongovernmental organizations; and peace, conflict, and security.

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

Departments and Programs

  • MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies
  • Jackson Institute for Global Affairs
  • Department of Political Science

Because the study of international relations can have cross-disciplinary implications, these collections also offer support for research and teaching in the Department of History, the Department of Economics, the Law School, the School of Management, and the other graduate and professional schools.

Formats collected

Formats and materials acquired generally

  • Academic and trade press monographs are acquired in print or electronic formats.
  • Online-only journals are preferred; print subscriptions are initiated or continued when an online edition is not available, not stable, or not adequate.
  • Yale Library has a strong historical collection of working papers supporting international relations. Currently, access to the majority of working papers is provided online only.
  • Electronic reference materials, including indexing and abstracting databases, statistical publications and databases, news resources, yearbooks, and encyclopedias, are almost always preferred to their print counterparts.
  • Print reference materials are acquired when an online version is not available, not stable, or not adequate.
  • Government and intergovernmental organization information:
    • Yale Library collects publications through the depository programs of the U.S. federal government, Canadian federal government, United Nations, European Union, and Food & Agriculture Organization. (See the Collection Development Statement for Government Documents and Information.)
    • Publications from other national governments are acquired by the selectors for those countries.

Materials acquired selectively or by request

  • DVDs are acquired very selectively, primarily in response to faculty demand.
  • Microform supporting international relations is primarily acquired on demand.
  • Datasets and other numeric data resource: formats collected include CD-ROM, online databases, and datasets that can be housed on a local server.
  • Textbooks are generally excluded unless requested by faculty.
  • The Center for Science and Social Science Information selectively acquires publications from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, and other IGOs.

Languages collected

Materials collected are primarily in English and Western European languages. Materials in other languages are acquired by the selectors in International Collections and Research Services.

Chronological and geographical focus

In terms of publication dates, current materials are emphasized, with earlier materials purchased to replace damaged or lost copies of significant works, or in response to faculty or student requests.

In terms of time periods covered in the materials themselves, the collection’s focus is largely contemporary, but without firm chronological boundaries. Materials that have a more distinctly historical approach are typically collected by selectors in Sterling Memorial Library.

The collection is international in scope. No geographic areas are excluded, although the greatest emphasis is placed on the countries and regions that are relevant to research and curricular needs.

Collaborations within Yale

  • There is frequent communication and collaboration among selectors at the Center for Science and Social Science Information (CSSSI), particularly related to data and statistics.
  • The CSSSI’s Economic Growth Center collection includes statistical data, including national censuses, from developing and developed countries around the world.
  • The Law Library acquires international relations materials and has particularly strong human rights collections.
  • The International Collections all acquire material on international relations for their respective regions: African Collection, East Asia Collection, Judaica Collection, Latin America Collection, Near East Collection, Slavic and East European Collection, Southeast Asia Collection, and the South Asia Collection. 
  • Journals in international relations at the Sterling Memorial Library are either not in English, are region-specific, or are heavily interdisciplinary in areas beyond the social sciences (e.g., history).

Subject Librarian: 

Kenya Flash
Librarian, Pol. Sci., Global Affairs & Gov. Info.
Center for Science and Social Science Information
(203) 432-3309