The PCL Reference fund collects general reference materials for the entire University community with particular emphasis on the subject areas traditionally held in Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) (humanities, social sciences, history, business, education, and those subdisciplines of the arts and sciences that are not primarily supported by the University Of Texas Libraries’ branch collections). As such the fund supports teaching, learning, and research through the doctoral level in all the covered subject areas with special attention given to all types of dictionaries, encyclopedias, handbooks, guidebooks, chronologies, atlases, biographical and industry sources, and ongoing commercial and governmental statistical publications. New areas of research, and interdisciplinary areas are emphasized. Aspects of campus life not covered by other funds such as scholarships, applying to graduate school, and employment information are also considered.
English is the primary language of the collection. There are no chronological or geographical limitations.
For both monographic and periodical publications, printed format materials are collected when that is the only option, electronic format materials are preferred in almost all situations. Traditional print resources such as directories, bibliographies, indexes and abstracts, and other lists of sources are being de-emphasized in favor of online databases.
The PCL Reference fund subject specialist works very closely with all other subject specialists collecting materials for PCL. Individual decisions on format and level of access are often made in collaboration with other subject specialists. Purchases of expensive materials, particularly databases, are often made jointly with other subject specialists.