The library's mission is to support the research needs of scholarship inside and outside Academia Sinica, and particularly the needs of faculty from the five institutes mentioned above.
Therefore, the library's collections concentrate on the humanities and social sciences, especially on the disciplines related to sociology, Taiwan history, linguistics, politics, and law. Holdings now number over 280,000 volumes, primarily in Chinese, English and Japanese, and include 140,000 Eastern languages books, 100,000 Western languages books, 1,072 titles of current journals, 35,000 bound journals, 4,000 reels of microfilm, 4,000 maps, and 3,600 pieces of audiovisual materials.
Current acquisitions are focused on important materials related to the research emphases of each institute. Materials of related subfields are also acquired. All formats, including both Chinese and foreign languages, are collected as appropriate. Areas of active acquisition are:
Sociology: labour studies, ethnic relations, gender studies, sociology of education, sociology of religion, knowledge-based economy, and materials on Taiwan studies.
Taiwan History: all fields on research of Taiwan history from pre-history to post World War II. Both academic publications in Japanese and historical documents on colonial history are the core of the collection. Special collections: primary sources of property, estate, and household records from the Qing dynasty and the colonial period.
Linguistics: phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics, historical linguistics, lexicology or phraseology, pragmatics, and dialectology.
Political Science: comparative politics, international relations, cross-Taiwan Strait relations, methodology and quantitative methods, and political theory, with geographic scope focused on Taiwan, mainland China, East Asia, and Europe.
Law: constitutional structure; individual rights; administrative regulations; administrative dispute resolution; law and science; jurisprudence; social transformation; legal development in China, Hong Kong, and Macau; judiciary systems; judicial behaviour; and legislative studies.