Reference Books Archive

The Center for Research Libraries and the Committee on Institutional Cooperation worked together to determine the costs and issues related to establishing an archive of reference books. In general, because only the current print sources of certain reference titles are used to provide service at university libraries, the superseded editions of these works are often sent to the general or circulating collection. Users and librarians consult these editions infrequently, usually only for special research projects.

CRL coordinates the Reference Books Archive Project as part of its strategic plan to provide a framework for cooperative preservation of artifactual materials, since the information in these older general reference books is not included in electronic reference sources. CRL also seeks to provide its members with options in their use of stack space locally.

Titles and Editions Held by CRL

Librarians in Committee on Institutional Cooperation institutions selected 25 reference book titles to archive in the initial phase of this project. All of the titles in CRL’s Reference Books Archive Project collection can be found in CRL’s catalog. The catalog record for each title provides information about the exact titles, the extent of their publication, and the range of holdings at CRL.

The chart below lists all titles held by CRL and includes their dates of publication and dates of the title still needed to complete CRL’s holdings.

To obtain information from materials in the Reference Books Archive Collection and how to borrow these materials, contact CRL’s Access Services Department for a photocopy of pages, the answer to a ready-reference question that requires using one of the volumes in the project, or the loan of one or more volumes in the project collection. Contact information: Access Initiatives Department, the Center for Research Libraries, 6050 South Kenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637-2804 USA; (773) 955-4545 ext.313 or 314; Fax: (773) 955-4339

Terms of Loan

The terms of loan will be the same as for other CRL original print materials, with the following changes to ensure the integrity of the collection and the concurrent need to provide information from it:

  • Any volume or volumes borrowed must be used within the library.
  • If CRL receives reference questions that require making a photocopy from the volume(s) out on loan or responding to a ready-reference question from the volume(s), CRL will contact the borrowing library and ask that the photocopy be made and sent directly to the requestor or that the requestor be contacted with the answer to the question.

Contact with questions or to deposit materials to this collection: Jazmyn Taylor, Archivist in Residence, Center for Research Libraries; (773) 955-4545 ext.328; Fax: (773) 955-4339