Since its foundation in 1734, Göttingen State and University Library has been collecting books and other materials from and relating to Britain and its colonies, as Georg August, Duke of Hanover, the founder of Göttingen University, also ruled Great Britain in personal union as King George II. As one of the principal research libraries of the Enlightenment, Göttingen Library acquired a large variety of accounts of voyages of discovery and travel writings in a period of time which coincided with the French and British colonization of Canada. Among the earliest Canadiana are a first edition of Louis Armand, Baron de Lahontan's famous travelogue Nouveaux Voyages De Mr. Le Baron De Lahontan, Dans L'Amerique Septentrionale (1703) as well as German and English translations.
Over the years, the library was able to further extend its collection of Canadiana which encompasses historical and contemporary primary sources as well as scholarly publications on Canadian history, culture, literature, folklore, politics, natural history and geography. The collection features books, journals, maps and mircroforms as well as digitized copies of historical documents.
After World War II, SUB Göttingen was tasked by the German Research Foundation (DFG) to collect primary sources and scholarly literature pertaining to North America (Canada and the United States) as part of its Special Subject Collections Programme. This resulted in a substantial collection of contemporary German and international research literature comprised of both books and journals. The collection of primary literature contains editions of historical sources (both in print and on microform) as well as editions of anglophone literary texts representative of a large variety of genres: Volumes of contemporary poetry, novels, anthologies of short stories, regional and non-fiction writing as well as literary magazines.