Collection Classes (C# Programming Guide)

The .NET Framework provides specialized classes for data storage and retrieval. These classes provide support for stacks, queues, lists, and hash tables. Most collection classes implement the same interfaces, and these interfaces may be inherited to create new collection classes that fit more specialized data storage needs.


Applications that target version 2.0 and later of the .NET Framework should use the generic collection classes in the System.Collections.Generic namespace, which provide more type-safety and efficiency than their non-generic counterparts.

ArrayList list = new ArrayList();

Collection Classes Overview

Collection Classes have the following properties

  • Collection classes are defined as part of the System.Collections or System.Collections.Generic namespace.

  • Most collection classes derive from the interfaces ICollection, IComparer, IEnumerable, IList, IDictionary, and IDictionaryEnumerator and their generic equivalents.

  • Generic collection classes provide increased type-safety and in some cases can provide better performance, especially when they store value types. For more information, see Benefits of Generics (C# Programming Guide).

See Also


C# Programming Guide


Arrays (C# Programming Guide)

Other Resources

Collections Best Practices