Library collections

Collection Services

The Collection Services division in the Concordia University Libraries manages and coordinates the selection, acquisition, cataloguing, and processing of materials in all formats in support of teaching and research. The division administers the Libraries' collections budgets and collection development policies and works with consortia in Quebec and Canada to ensure access to a wide range of electronic resources.

Collection Services, which is based in the Webster Library on the downtown Sir George Williams campus, also supports Concordia's Subject Librarians—specialists who select materials in specific disciplines, act as faculty and departmental liaisons, and deliver reference and instruction sessions to students and library users.

Use the links to the left to learn more about the library's collections, electronic resources, Spectrum (the institutional repository), copyright, and how to support the Libraries.

Library Collections

As reported to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries for the 2011-12 academic year, members of the Concordia community have access to over 1.9 million print and electronic books, 72,500 print and online journals, 129,000 government documents, 3,900 musical scores, 62,000 sound recordings, films, videos, and more.

The Concordia University Libraries collect print and electronic books, journals, databases, and materials in many other formats to support current undergraduate and graduate programs in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, as well as the professional faculties and an increasing number of innovative multidisciplinary programs.

Library collections are housed in the Vanier Library on the Loyola campus in west end Montreal and the Webster Library on the Sir George Williams campus. Generally, collections are located on the same campus as the faculties or departments they support, or on the campus where the majority of teaching in that subject area takes place. Collection and item locations are always given in CLUES, the Libraries' online catalogue. The Media Collections and Interlibrary Loan unit is located at the Webster Library. Special Collections are located at the Vanier Library.

Over the past several years, more and more scholarly materials have become available electronically. As a result, the Concordia Libraries, like most academic libraries in North America, now spend a significant portion of the annual collections budget in acquiring and maintaining access to online journals, databases, and books. A move from print to online journals and other resources where the Libraries have perpetual access or a reliable online archive speaks to a desire to avoid print and online duplication, as well as a need to manage resources, staff time, and library space. Moreover, library users increasingly expect comprehensive electronic collections to support them in their classes, assignments, teaching, and research.

In 2011-12, the Libraries' operating collections budget for print and online books, journals and other serials, and databases as reported to the Canadian Association of Research Libraries was $4,472,698 CDN. A significant portion of the budget contributes to consortial purchases of important or expensive electronic resources.

Electronic Resources

The Concordia Libraries offer access to thousands of licensed electronic resources to support teaching, learning, and research. Electronic resources are acquired directly by the Libraries or licensed collectively through consortial partners like CRKN and BCI. While most electronic resources can be accessed remotely via IP authentication and the Concordia VPN tool, a small number are available only on designated computer workstations in the Webster or Vanier Libraries.

Electronic resources are generally governed by license agreements that restrict use to current Concordia students, faculty, and staff. These agreements also outline what users are permitted to do in a particular resource and with the documents or data they retrieve. It is important that library users familiarize themselves with the General Conditions of Use. The license terms for each resource may vary depending on the provider.


Spectrum is Concordia University's open access institutional repository that centralizes access and preserves the research created at Concordia. By depositing their work in Spectrum, Concordia scholars provide free and immediate access to their work and increase the visibility of both their own research and the University's intellectual output. Open access leads to the increased research profile and impact of scholars by bringing about greater levels of readership and citation of their publications. Spectrum editors can be contacted


The University's Policy on Copyright Compliance states that: "The necessity of complying with the Copyright Act is not open to question. In addition to any legal responsibility, however, it can be argued that the ethical obligation to respect intellectual property rights is greater in an academic community than elsewhere. The University is thus unconditionally committed to full compliance with the Copyright Act."

The Concordia Libraries have prepared a copyright guide to assist faculty and students in making their own decisions based on a better understanding of their rights and responsibilities. This guide mostly addresses copyright in the context of research and education. It does not aim to provide final answers as to what can and cannot be legally done according to the Copyright Act.


The Libraries welcome gifts of books and other materials that contribute to the growth and development of the collections. For more information on the kinds of items we may accept, consult the Libraries' gifts-in-kind policy. or contact Karen Jensen, Interim Associate University Librarian for Collection Services.

To learn more about other ways of giving to the Libraries visit Concordia University Advancement Services.

page last updated on: Monday 27 July 2015
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