The European Studies Collection serves the general curricular needs of the students and faculty of Michigan State University. This includes the core faculty of the European and Russian Center as well as faculty and student research needs in diverse departments such as History, Political Science, James Madison College, Economics, Sociology and any other department with international research interests in Europe. Overall, for curriculum support, the collection focuses on the needs of undergraduate students, although some areas would support Masters level research.
European Studies is a fairly new defined area of collecting, reflecting geo-political changes in Europe with the fall of the Soviet Union and the rise of the European Union. By the late 1990s, a surge of scholarly interest and research in this area made the creation of a fund covering all of Europe a necessity, since none of the funds covering individual countries or regions could adequately meet the demand for publications on Europe as a whole.
Collecting strength is in the current political and social situation in Europe as a whole. MSU Libraries is a European Union depository library and thus has extensive holdings in this area going back to the 1970s. The collection emphasizes works on the European Union and on the transition of countries into the European Union. Foreign policy, economics, social issues (migration, public health) and security studies are all emphasized.
Literature and history of Europe as a whole is also collected, but most works published in these areas have a narrow research focus to one or two countries or regions. Such works would be collected by the bibliographers for those respective countries: for example, a general history of Scandinavia would fall under the responsibility of the Northern European bibliographer; literature of the Balkans would come under the purview of the Slavic studies bibliographer. Comparative studies of multiple areas would be purchased by the European Studies bibliographer.