Nomination Process

Nominations will be accepted and processed as follows:

  • June–January: Nominations are accepted online until midnight on January 31.
  • February–March: CRL’s  Collection and Services Policy Committee reviews all eligible applications.
  • April:  Awardees and their nominators are notified. Primary Source Awards are announced during CRL’s Council of Voting Members Annual Meeting and announced in FOCUS.


Projects or scholarly products must have been initiated or completed within two years of the submission deadline.

Nominators or nominated persons are asked to provide a summary plus detailed documentation of the research, activities, methodologies, facilitated processes, etc., cited in the nomination. Persons nominated for the awards must be library staff, faculty members (includes adjunct faculty, instructors, graduate assistants), or administrators within the community of CRL libraries. Self-nominations are welcome.

Nominations remain eligible for consideration for two nomination cycles. Runner-up entries are automatically entered for the following year’s selection process.

Review and Evaluation

The Collections and Services Policy Committee, which is comprised of nine individuals from CRL institutions and chaired by a CRL board member, reviews all the eligible applications for the Primary Source Awards. Members of the committee have  expertise in collection development, technology, bibliography, and access services. Committee members must recuse themselves if nominees from their institution are under consideration for an award.

Committee members review projects by using an online criteria-based questionnaire for each category. Preference may be given to primary source materials from resource-sharing organizations or community-developed collections. The project in each category with the highest aggregate score  becomes the awardee. 

Award Announcements

The Primary Source Awardees and their nominators will be announced as part of the CRL Council of Voting Members Annual Meeting, and will be notified prior to the meeting. The awardees will also be recognized through other appropriate CRL events and CRL media.