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Approximately 29,000 serial titles are currently received, but the actual holdings however include another 170,000 titles that have ceased publication or to which we have cancelled our subscription.

Broadly speaking, our current acquisition policy is to acquire all material likely to be used by research, industry and higher education (undergraduate level and above), regardless of subject or language.

As the policy is so comprehensive, it is more useful to mention some categories that are not acquired. Recreational publications containing very few substantial articles or journals containing raw data only are not taken, neither are ephemera, nor minority publications. Maps, most foreign standards, trade literature, patents and newspapers are held in other parts of the British Library and we have access to them.