The Library holds an extensive collection in the field of international economics and trade. It was historically built up by two institutions, which merged in 2008. The library of the Graduate Institute of International Studies (IUHEI, founded in 1927) collected books dealing with international economics, trade and finance. The library of the Graduate Institute of Development Studies (IUED, founded in 1961) collected books on the economy of developing countries.
The main subject areas are based on the teaching and research fields of the Institute's academic departments, most notably the international economics and the political science departments. They take also into account the needs of the interdisciplinary masters.