In 1980, the German Department's 5th St. Louis Symposium on German Literature focused on the topic of contemporary German literature since 1965. In the course of the preparation of the conference, it became obvious that contemporary German literature was poorly represented at North American university and college libraries.
To remedy this situation, Paul Michael Lützeler, director of the Max Kade Center for Contemporary German Literature in the German Department, built in cooperation with Olin Library the largest American collection of contemporary German literature since 1985
Every year Olin Library catalogs the new publications, incorporating them into the general collection. One of the important aspects of this cooperative work is the commented annual bibliography (Editor: Brian Vetruba, MISt, MA), which is published online, ensuring that a wide audience can familiarize itself with the newest publication.