President Letters

Dear CRL Library Director,
CRL was founded over 60 years ago to acquire and make accessible collections for advanced research and teaching. For the past six decades specialists from many of your libraries have been working together to identify common interests and to build shared research collections around those interests.  The brief timeline below lists the activities through which specialists and staff at your library can continue to shape and benefit from the CRL enterprise this year. 
In our drive to expand access to source materials, we rarely acknowledge the essential public good generated by the underlying preservation efforts.  By participating in CRL your library helps ensure the survival of important historical and cultural evidence from the major world regions.  In the past year, for example, area studies groups working under the CRL Global Resources umbrella:
  • Preserved an important collection of pamphlets, magazines, handbills, and other ephemera from the Iranian opposition to the regime of Muhammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (Shah of Iran 1941-1979)
  • Completed a major microfilming project that preserved colonial-era newspapers and other political materials in the National Library of Vietnam.   
  • Subsidized and completed microfilming and cataloging of over 200 Congolese and Zimbabwean newspapers, documenting the violence and conflict of the last two decades in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the tumultuous regime of Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe.
  • Preserved a unique body of political pamphlets ephemera from Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, assembled by the distinguished Library of Congress Middle East specialist George N. Atiyeh. 
Many of these historical materials would certainly be lost were it not for the efforts of the special interest groups working with CRL Global Resources.  While the projects these groups undertake are self-funded, CRL provides vital coordination and administrative, logistical and financial management support. 
In recent years CRL began to digitize collection materials to support scholarly research and projects at your libraries.  This now includes systematically digitizing foreign newspapers for the World Newspaper Archive, and working with the Law Library Microform Consortium to digitize and preserve primary legal and governmental publications.
This work is in the great tradition of Western research libraries, which play an indispensible role in the survival of the world’s historical record.  I would like to thank your library and your library staff for helping sustain that tradition through your efforts and through your support for CRL. 

Bernard F. Reilly
President, Center for Research Libraries
CRL Timeline 2010-2011 
October 13, 2010:  Access and Collections Webinar. This 60-minute webinar introduces librarians, library staff, and faculty to CRL resources, programs and services.
October 14:  Global Resources Breakfast Briefing is a report to ARL library directors on CRL partnerships; expansion of digital access to international news, legal, and governmental information; assessments of digital repositories; and support for print archiving in North America.
October 21-22, 2010:  Global Resources Forum -- Global Water 2010 and Beyond, sponsored by CRL and the Greater Western Library Alliance, is a forum for librarians, scholars, and archivists on data and documentation relating to water, the environment and public policy, in Denver, CO.  Attendees must register in advance of the forum. 
November 3:   The Radically Different Future of Collection Development is a pre-conference held in conjunction with the Charleston Conference.  Co-sponsored by CRL and the University of Utah, the event explores the future of collection development in a radically disrupted information environment. Attendance is free for representatives of CRL libraries.
January 31, 2011:  Primary Source Awards Program deadline for nominations for annual CRL awards recognizing research and teaching faculty, librarians and library staff, graduate students, and others within the CRL community for the creative use of primary source materials in research, teaching, and access.
January 19, 2011:  Webinar on Water Resources provides information and discussion on data and documentation on water, the environment and public policy, based on presentations at the October 21-22 Global Water forum. 
February 19, 2011:  Webinar Update on Print and Digital Archiving in North America
March 9, 2011:  Webinar on CRL Resources for Medieval Studies introduces librarians, library staff, and faculty to CRL collections and digital resources for humanities research on medieval Europe.
April 22, 2011:  Annual Meeting of the CRL Council of Voting Members will once again be a Web event. It will include the regular CRL business meeting followed by a forum on CRL digitization, archiving and collection-building services. Details will be available in December.
May 11, 2011:  Access and Collections Webinar. This 60-minute webinar introduces library staff and faculty to the broad scope of CRL resources, programs and services.
July 13, 2011:  Webinar on News Preservation and Access surveys CRL news collections, major news databases, and the challenges of preserving online news.
August 10, 2011:  Webinar on CRL Resources for Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies surveys CRL collections and digital resources for study of the language, culture and history of the Middle East and the Islamic world.