The Yale University Library Linguistics collection is primarily housed in Sterling Memorial Library. Areas under active collection development include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics, sign language linguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, computational and mathematical linguistics, language acquisition, field linguistics and language documentation, historical linguistics, and linguistic variation.

Users of the collection may be undergraduates, graduate students, faculty, staff researchers, and other members of the Yale community.

Departments/disciplines/programs/subject areas supported

  • Department of Linguistics

Interdisciplinary research supported by the university includes neurolinguistics, psycholinguistics, computational linguistics, and sign languages. Because linguistics has cross-disciplinary implications and a long history of documenting the grammars and linguistic features of languages around the world, these collections are used in teaching and learning across the university and by members of the Yale community who are active in language preservation and revitalization. Beginning in 2018, the Linguistics Department started an American Sign Language program, which continues to this date.

Formats collected


  • Academic and trade press monographs are acquired in print or electronic formats.
  • Maps and textbooks are generally excluded unless requested by faculty.


  • Online-only subscriptions are preferred; print subscriptions are initiated or continued when an online edition is not available, not stable, or not adequate.

Reference materials

  • Electronic reference materials, including indexing and abstracting databases, dictionaries, 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.

Audiovisual materials

  • DVDs and streaming content are acquired very selectively, primarily in response to faculty demand.


  • Yale Library has extensive microform holdings supporting linguistics. However, due to the increasing conversion of microform collections to digital formats and the interlibrary loan availability of microform sets from the Center for Research Libraries, microform supporting linguistics is now acquired on demand only.

Other formats

  • Yale Library supports research enabled by vital tools in other formats such as data collections, linguistic corpora, software, research papers, and specifications, primarily in response to researcher requests.

Languages collected

As a social science area, the Linguistics collection includes materials in English and other languages provided that linguistics or language documentation are the focus. DASHRS (Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support) librarians collect material about the major languages of specific world regions as part of their broader collection development goals, both alone and collaboratively, and such content includes linguistic aspects. While the Linguistics collection includes sociolinguistics, some collections (such as Political Science, Sociology, and Psychology) collect some interdisciplinary materials. Please see our topic-based and regional area collection development statements for more details.

Chronological and geographical focus

The Linguistics collection emphasizes language documentation and linguistic research around the world, often contemporary, but occasionally historical. Most materials in the collection are published in North America, Australia, and Western Europe. Yale’s Area Studies librarians collect material about languages from specific world regions. Please see regional area collection development statements for more details.

Most active collection development focuses on in-print, current materials. Currently, several active research groups in the department are focused on English grammatical diversity in North America; indigenous Australian languages; Blackfoot; and American Sign Language respectively. Out-of-print materials are occasionally purchased to replace damaged or lost copies of significant works or in response to faculty or student requests.

Collaborations within Yale

  • Collaborations with DASHRS (Department of Area Studies and Humanities Research Support), the Music Library, the Divinity Library, Bass Library and other Yale units on collections materials of interest to linguistics research, including historical newspapers, pamphlets, scholarly editions, journals, databases, textual data, and linguistic corpora.
  • Collaboration with other Marx selectors, especially in cross-disciplinary areas like sociolinguistics, neurolinguistics, and psycholinguistics.

Subject Librarian

Kayleigh Bohemier
Science Research Support Librarian
Marx Science and Social Science Library
(203) 432-9519