Core Collections

These six unique databases contain librarian-selected book recommendations to assist librarians doing collection development and weeding. With documented selection criteria, four recommendation levels and unparalleled credibility, the Core Collections databases help librarians do their jobs better, faster and with more confidence.

Learn More About the Core Collections Databases:

These collections contain information such as ISBN, price, awards, best lists and book review excerpts for recommended titles.

Gain access to the print versions.

Available Packages:

H.W. Wilson Core Collections 5-pack (includes access to dedicated Core Collections Complete interface):

  • Fiction Core Collection
  • Nonfiction Core Collection
  • Children's Core Collection
  • Middle & Junior High Core Collection
  • Senior High Core Collection

H.W. Wilson Core Collections 3-pack:

  • Children’s Core Collection
  • Middle & Junior High Core Collection
  • Senior High Core Collection

Core Collections Testimonials:

"An essential selection and readers' advisory tool for most academic and public libraries." – American Reference Books Annual

"Should be found somewhere in every school district as a core resource for collection building. Highly recommended." – Teacher Librarian

"The 'Mother of all Selection Tools', otherwise known as Wilson's Core Collections." – School Library Journal

Recommended to librarians and libraries at all levels. Easy to use, economical and time-saving for librarians and paraprofessionals working on collection development.


Expert Recommendations

Founded in 1909 by H.W. Wilson Company, the Core Collections have been helping librarians build and maintain well-rounded collections of the most highly recommended books for more than 100 years. The Core Collections have earned respect and recognition within the library market as the only collection development tools with clear recommendation levels and documented selection criteria.

Recommendation levels are assigned by the Core Collections editors — librarians with experience in collection development, cataloging, digital content management, metadata and readers’ advisory — and an advisory committee of exalted public, academic and school librarians who are experts in their fields, many of whom have served terms on committees for American Library Association awards such as the Newbery, the Caldecott and the Printz.

Online Editions

The online database editions of Core Collections, powered by EBSCOhost, contain titles at all recommendation levels and allow advanced search and sorting capabilities as well as links to full-text reviews. “Similar Books” and “Other Books by This Author” suggestions link directly to related titles in the Core Collections product. Starred reviews, awards and industry best lists are also included when available.

Core Collections databases include Lexile® Measures to further assist librarians in selecting books that meet the needs and interests of all readers.

Core Collections Complete

Packages of multiple Core Collections products are available, and subscribers of the Core Collections database 5-pack will have access to Core Collections Complete. This dedicated, colorful interface allows librarians to do the following:

  • Search all five collections at once
  • Browse award-winning books
  • See recently added books every time you log in
  • Get ideas for book displays and book lists
  • Easily access the Core Collections selection policy