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 School for Global Affairs 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 Yale University Library, Area Studies librarians in the Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support have regional/country specific collecting responsibilities 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 School 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:

  • Scholarly monographs (print and online)
  • Scholarly journals (online preferred)
  • Working Papers (online preferred)]
  • Reference materials (online preferred)
  • Government and intergovernmental organization information (via several depository memberships)
    • 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, and Geospatial data resources are purchased in response to patron requests and in consultation with the Data and GIS librarians at Marx Library and other subject librarians as appropriate. Formats collected include CD-ROM, online databases, and datasets that can be housed on a local server. (See the Collection Development Statement for Science and Social Science Data.).
  • Textbooks are generally excluded unless requested by faculty.
  • Publications from several Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs).

Languages collected

Materials collected are primarily in English and Western European languages. Materials in other languages are acquired by the selectors in Area Studies.

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 librarians at Marx Science and Social Science Library, particularly related to data and statistics.
  • The Economic Growth Center collection at Marx Library 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.
  • Area Studies selectors 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).