The Germanic collections provide resources for a variety of research areas and disciplines, in formats ranging from books, manuscripts, ephemera, microfilm, data files, and online services, to research support and supplementary information on the use of those collections. With a central emphasis on language, literature, and history, the collections focus primarily on the culture, society, and politics of Germany, Austria, and German-speaking Switzerland. The geographic scope of the collections also includes the Netherlands, the Flemish-speaking areas of Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden, Norway, and Iceland.
The Germanic studies collections serve a wide range of programs and institutes, such as the Department of German Studies, the Department of History, the Department of Comparative Literature, the Center for Medieval and Early Modern Studies, and the Stanford Humanities Center, as well as scholars in other departments and research centers in the humanities and social sciences. Germanic materials also play a significant role in disciplines within the scope of other bibliographers, notably the Department of Theater + Performance Studies, Philosophy, and Religious Studies.