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#24, Fall, 1994

Biblio-Notes (ISSN 1076-8947) is published twice a year by the Literatures in English Section (formerly, English and American Literature Section) of the Association of College and Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. Paper subscriptions are free to members of the section.

Editor: Scott Stebelman, Gelman Library, George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Copyright © 1994 by the American Library Association.

News from the Chair

The EALS Bylaws, so ably drafted by Tim Shipe, were discussed at the section June 27th business meeting in Miami. Though the number of attendees was small, discussion was lively, ranging from philosophical issues such as changing the name of the section to reflect the wider universe of literature written in English to the more mundane question of the duties of the immediate past chair. As a result of these deliberations, several sections of the draft published in Biblio-Notes #23 have been changed. Members wishing the current draft of the EALS Bylaws should or call me at (510) 642-0956.

To facilitate gathering the widest possible input from members, the proposed bylaws will be a topic for discussion at the Midwinter general meeting on February 5th. The Bylaws Committee, consisting of Rob Melton, Madeleine Copp, Michaelyn Burnette and chaired by EALS Vice-Chair/Chair Elect Shipe, will then meet to shape the final version. EALS members wishing to attend the Bylaws Committee meeting should check the midwinter program for time and place. After the Bylaws Committee has fin-ished its work, the Bylaws go to the Constitution and Bylaws Committee of ACRL and then to ACRL Board of Directors for consideration.

As a Victorianist, I have some (diminishing) faith in tradition, and it's traditional for the elected leader of this group to ask its members for program ideas. What would you like to discuss at Midwinter and Annual? Here's your chance to shape the program. Ideas eagerly accepted at the above email address or telephone number.

While we're on the subject of member contributions, let's give a hearty thanks to William Baker for overseeing the transformation of a discussion group into a section and for planning EALS' first program. A loud hurrah also to Scott Stebelman for editing Biblio-Notes and twisting arms and otherwise gently persuading people to run for EALS offices. Tim Shipe deserves our gratitude for drafting the bylaws. Thanks to you all.

Michaelyn Burnette



This is the last issue of Biblio-Notes that will be mailed to all names on our old Discussion Group List. To keep receiving issues of the newsletter, you must be a member of the English and American Literature Section. Please remember to check the appropriate box the next time you renew your ALA membership.


Building Author Collections: Brownson Revisited by Rob Melton

Each of you undoubtedly has an article or book relating to collection development that you return to repeatedly, perhaps because you find yourself skeptical of its premises but always provoked by them. Mine is Charles Brownson's chapter on Contemporary Literature in English and American Literature: Sources and Strategies for Collection Development (Chicago: ALA, 1987), which I re-read whenever I am either required or feel it necessary to revise my collection development statement and/or conspectus. Brownson's argument is that we should largely abandon attempts to build our collections of contemporary literature with much regard to quality, but rather devote our efforts to the creation of as representative a collection as possible. He then discusses strategies and provides a still useful list of selection tools for doing so. On the topic of "tools," Brownson argues that those for contemporary literature "should not be used in the same way as tools for older literatures. They are actually more like the wood from which the doghouse is built than the hammer and saw used to build it. The crucial, and limiting, question is not whether the wood is pine or fir, but the design of the doghouse." (p. 107)

After a summer of a stimulating professional development--ALA Conference, a course at Rare Book School at UVa, a day at UVa's Electronic Text Center, and an intensive workshop devoted to humanities resources on the Internet included--I returned to the Kansas dogdays to find a smaller budget for English, a scaled-back approval plan, inflation estimates higher than last year's, and a strategic planning document in place which de-emphasizes acquisition of anything not known to be of immediate need or interest to identifiable Libraries clientele: in short, a budgetary doghouse such as I haven't yet experienced. So I return to Brownson's essay with hope for guidance.

The issue that Brownson's essay doesn't address head-on it seems to me is: How does one define, either for a conspectus or for one's own working definitions, terms such as "research-", "advanced study-", and "study-level" collections in a field in which a fixed (or even fluid) canon has not been sufficiently set? Can we really ignore whatever guidelines of "taste" are available to us (e.g. book reviews, citation frequency, circulation data) as we deploy scarcer resources to satisfy known or at least the more predictable research needs? Is a library that seeks to be reasonably comprehensive in its collection of, let's say, 350 carefully selected contemporary English-language authors, including the bulk of the original manu-scripts and ephemeral publications of three or four of them, more or less of a research collec-tion of contemporary literature than one which uses the same allocation of resources to buy much more broadly from the available published literature but with little attempt to acquire comprehensively (including manuscript and other rare sources) in any area?

These questions are not just rhetorical in my case. Until this year, I had the available resources to do both--i.e., to acquire the mono-graphic publications of 350 living authors comprehensively, along with the manuscripts of four of them, and to buy representatively and rather widely, using many of the strategies and tools Brownson suggests, from the output of less-recognized authors and presses. I even fought (successfully) some members of my institution's English Department who wanted me to cancel all "little" magazines (especially the non-academic ones) before canceling a single scholarly journal.

This year--and perhaps permanently--the design of my doghouse must be considerably scaled back. One way or another, I can no longer buy as much contemporary literature as in the past and still acquire the necessary scholarly publications in all other fields of English language and literature. So, do I abandon or at least trim the Authors List? Keep the Authors List intact and reduce the others? Stop buying the papers of one or two of "our" authors? Cancel more journals and literary magazines? A little of each? Does my institution's strategic planning initiatives, and budget allocation procedures largely based on them, leave me much choice? Are they at odds with the goal of contributing to an overall national effort to collect contemporary literature comprehensively? "The selection of contemporary literature for library collections is notably vexing and controversial:" so began Brownson's essay. Eight years of the budgetary difficulties we've litanized, not to mention issues of ownership vs. access, electronic texts, strategic planning, and TQM, haven't changed that; and I predict that many future EALS programs and discussions may be fruitfully devoted to this topic. I for one would welcome it, would welcome your private dialogues with me, and will continue to visit Brownson's metaphorical doghouse for mental chew-toys.

Rob Melton ( is Bibliographer for English & American Literature, Theater and Film at the University of Kansas Libraries, Lawrence.


Make Way for Electronic Texts
by Susanna Bartmann Pathak

The odds are great that full-text electronic resources are coming soon to a library near you. Like the inevitability of the irrepressible Lucia (a. k. a. Mrs. Emmeline Lucas ) becoming the social intelligence center of her little English village in E. F. Benson's delightful novel (Make Way for Lucia), libraries will have to stand and deliver electronic texts or find themselves out of the loop.

Many of us working in the humanities want to deliver full text resources like the OED, the ENGLISH POETRY FULL-TEXT DATABASE, the works of Locke, Hume and other philosophers, and of course, portraits from the National Gallery Collection, London. To be honest, acquiring these databases (once you get over the sticker shock and decipher the licensing agreements) is the easy part. In fact, we had acquired the OED2 on CD-ROM and many of the PASTMASTERS philosophy texts in our library long before we had an electronic text center. The OED was installed on a workstation in General Reference, its virtues know only to a few lucky adventurers who happened to chose it from a menu of mostly bibliographic databases. The PASTMASTERS fared even worse as they were installed on a machine in a "back room" where only a privileged few were taken by the one librarian who knew how to search it. We had two laserdiscs as well, I discovered, one on Italian culture and another on German Painters, which could be accessed at a lone workstation "under the clock" in the middle of the General Reference department. Again, I never actually saw anyone using these laserdiscs, and as a literature librarian, I did not know what scholarly purpose they would serve.

The proverbial lightening bolt about electronic texts struck me in late 1992 when I read the announcement about the opening of the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. I first read the announcement on the internet on SHARP-L (Society for the History of Authorship, Reading & Publishing) but soon my inbox contained the same announcement from other lists which colleagues had seen and forwarded to me. What seemed remarkable to me about UVA's center was what its creation signified to the academic community: a library had made a commitment to provide a place where electronic texts, librarians and patrons could come together to discover the transforming potential of a growing array of rich and complex tools. I forwarded the announcement to our department head and to someone in the library's development office with the not-too-cunning but sincere observation that "We should have one of these places."

To argue effectively for creating a place for electronic texts in your library, you must believe that all e-texts are not created equal. Your conversion will be brought about rapidly by exposure to one or two databases. Education yourself about hypermedia products like PERSEUS and textual analysis software like WORDCRUNCHER. Find out what types of research questions can be asked of an electronic Kant or the Dartmouth Dante Project. Get a group of colleagues together and visit a center in your region. When a group from our reference department visited the Electronic Text Center at UVA, we were joined by a networking specialist and a representative from the JHU Press. It is important to your systems people and computing center staff as you are developing plans for a center.

You will want to get support from as many faculty as you can, but realize in creating a center you are creating an environment which will be both experimental and in constant flux. You and your colleagues who are charged with developing the library's collections already know many of the special interests of faculty and students in your departments so won't waste too much of your valuable time touting the virtures of the library of the future by work instead to make it visible and tangible. If the mission of your library is not only to acquire resources but to make them accessible and to help patrons use them, then the rational for creating a suitable and institutionally correct environment for electronic texts is at hand.

Our library being heavily involved in a strategic planning process, it was just two months later that I found myself sitting around a table with colleagues who, like me, were known to be in some way turned on by technology and willing to speculate about the library of the future. We discussed ways we could aggressively pursue electronic resources and how we could effectively arrange services. We realized we would be acquiring more full text resources but we wondered what our role was in teaching patrons how to use them or in helping them with electronic texts. When I wrote a proposal for the center, I was guided by two principles: 1) We needed new place [sic] for special resources like the electronic OED, PASTMASTERS, and others we would undoubtedly be acquiring 2) The place was to be in the library.

I described our future center as a laboratory--like environment set up to facilitate the use of electronic text and image databases acquired to support scholarly research and course-related study. I proposed that the humanities librarians who chose electronic resources be involved in educating their constituents about their poten-tial. I proposed that graduate students be hired to staff the center during open hours and that they assist my colleagues and I in the teaching mission of the center and in publicizing its resources on our campus. I also stresses [sic] the collaborative potential of the center and how it would function as a test site for electronic tools being developed at JHU and elsewhere.

Though rather far from the center I was imagining, a site for the center was offered by the director and we took it. The place for our center turned out to be a large, glass fronted room one floor below the main level (where reference and information services are located). It seemed rather telling that to make way for the Electronic Text & Imaging Center, a huge collection of microfilm would be moved to some "back room," a displacement which mercifully proved to have no political consequences. The Center would share the site with a new Electronic Classroom. This turned out to be a dynamic and efficient way to share space and equipment and underscored the teaching mission of the Center.

Once startup money for machines and furniture was approved (it was absolutely "scraped together" out of end-of-year funds which are traditionally used for equipment) it was time to catch up to what we were putting in place. E-texts in the abstract can sound like so much glitz and glamour to library staff and administrators that you will need to do some explaining. I imagined Gilda Radner's bespeckled and slightly askew character, Miss Emily Litella (Saturday Night Live) asking, "What's all this fuss about electronic texts?" I wrote a three page answer to that question which our depart- ment head sent to other department heads and administrators to let them know what our new enterprise was all about. The questions I posed and answered were very basic: What are electronic texts? What does one do with an electronic text? Why put them in the library? How will databases be chosen for the center? How will it operate? Who is responsible for it?

The Electronic Text & Imaging Center at the Eisenhower Library opened in the Fall of 1993 with less than half a dozen databases available on two workstations. I hired and trained five humanities graduate students (more than a dozen applied for the positions) each of whom worked one three hour shift each weekday afternoon. Our beginnings were very modest and that turned out to be for the best. Had we offered too much too soon we would have been done in by technical problems and lack of expertise. As we added more resources we learned even more, for nearly every new database had a different interface and inevitably posed new technical problems.

While I worked to coordinate the Center and its services and worked with others to develop it, responsibility for the Center's research and teaching functions is shared. The five librarians who work in the humanities disciplines are responsible for learning how to use the databases according to their language and subject expertise. For each database we offer, at least two librarians who have agreed to learn how to use it are available to help patrons seeking information or wanting to search it. The Graduate Student Assistants have the task of reading all the documentation, putting the databases to the test, and writing concise user guides.

We track all patrons who use the Electronic Text & Imaging Center by recording their name, department, database used, and their research goal. Our log of Center activity shows that most of the databases were used by faculty or students from more than one department. I doubt we could have predicted that the PATROLGIA LATINA DATABASE would be so heavily by used by the art history department or that the most enthusiastic user of the ENGLISH POETRY FULL TEXT DATABASE would be a music professor writing a history of the term "orchestra" in the 19th century. We could not have imagined that engineering students would want to investigate how PERSEUS operates nor that a film studies professor would ask us to acquire THE HALDEMAN DIARIES on CD-ROM. So when publicizing your center, think in broad terms about users and the transdisciplinary nature of so much of their research.

This Fall we offer more than twenty databases in the Center and will bring up three databases on the campus network. Several collaborative projects are underway with JHU departments and with the JHU Press and more are in the works. The Center is open approximately twenty hours per week and the librarians are available at other times to demonstrate resources to individuals and groups by appointment.

Though just a year old, we are currently in the process of analyzing the Electronic Text & Imaging Center and projecting where it could go, how it will be staffed, and what resources and services it might offer. It is a vital and complex place which demands unprecedented amounts of cooperation and collaboration within the library to make it work. It will remain in transition for some time to come I think, as it evolves toward an unpredictable but compelling future.

Susanna Bartmann Pathak, Resource Services Librarian for English, German, Comparative Literatures & Film Studies, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, The Johns Hopkins University, PATHAK@MILTON.MSE.JHU.EDU, (410) 516-6876


Recent Studies of Interest to English and American Literature Librarians
by Scott Stebelman

The following selective bibliography will be the first of an ongoing series published in Biblio-Notes. Its purpose is to bring important studies--in areas such as collection development, teaching, reference work, and bibliographic control--to the attention of our members. Salient omissions should be sent to the editor.

Title enrichment phrases, noted in parentheses, are taken for the most part from the databases used in the literature search. Citations limited to the period 1993-94.

Anderson, Kristine J. "The Terms of Literary Theory: Locating Definitions." RQ 33 (Fall '93): 22-8. (sources for definitions of theoretical terms)

Bates, Marcia J. et al. "An Analysis of Search Terminology Used by Humanities Scholars: the Getty Online Searching Project Report Number 1." The Library Quarterly 63 (1993): 1-39.

Brockman, William S. "Series of Static, Semistatic And Peripatetic Intellectual Dialogues: Serials Devoted to James Joyce." Serials Review 19 (1993): 35-42+. (bibliographical essay)

Cassell, Kay A. "Small Literary Presses." (profiles of six presses) Collection Building 12 (1993): 79-80.

Chu, Clara M. "The Scholarly Process and the Nature of the Information Needs of the Literary Critic: A Descriptive Model." DAI 54 (1993): 353. Univ. of Western Ontario.

Cogan, Sarah. "The Internet for Scholars in the Humanities." Michigan Academician 25 (1993): 179-89.

Cool, Colleen. "Information Retrieval as Symbolic Interaction: Examples from Humanities Scholars." American Society for Information Science. Annual Meeting {56th: 1993:Columbus, Ohio). Medford, New Jersey: Learned Information, 1993: 274-77.

Cronin, Blaise et al. "The Norms of Acknowledgement in Four Humanities and Social Sciences Disciplines." Journal of Documentation 49 (1993): 29-43. (data derived from four high-ranking)

Ellis, Steven R. "Electronic Text, the Humanities and the Library." (CETH) New Jersey Libraries 26 (1993): 26-8.

Franklin, Phyllis. "Pay the Piper: Creating and Maintaining the MLA International Bibliography." New Technologies and New Directions. Meckler, 1993: 41-9.

------. "Scholars, Librarians, and the Future of Primary Records." College & Research Libraries 54 (1993): 397-406.

Futas, Elizabeth. "Collection Development of Genre Literature." Collection Building 12 (1993): 39-44.

Gaunt, Marianne. "Center for Electronic Texts in the Humanities." Information Technology and Libraries 13 (1994): 7-13. (established jointly by Princeton University and Rutgers University in 1991).

Glazier, Loss Pequeno. "Internet Resources for English and American Literature." College & Research Libraries News 55 (1994): 417-22.

Gray, Carolyn M. "Building Electronic Bridges between Scholars and Information: New Roles for Librarians." Designing Information: New Roles for Librarians. Urbana-Champaign: Graduate School of Lib. & Information Science, University of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign, 1993: 19-33. (Gesher Project developed by Brandeis University and DEC Cambridge Research Lab investigates scholars' information needs.)

Greenberg, Douglas. "Get Out of The Way If You Can't Lend a Hand:.the Changing Mature [sic? Nature?] of Scholarship and the Significance of Special Collections. Journal of Library Administration 19 (1993): 83-98.

------. "You Can't Always Get What You Want: Technology, Scholarship, and Democracy." New Technologies and New Directions. Westport, CT: Meckler, 1993: 11-25. (access to electronic information in the humanities; reprinted from EDUCOM Review My/Je '92).

Gregorian, V. "Technology, Scholarship and the Humanities: The Implications of Electronic Information." Leonardo 27 (1994): 129-33.

Herubel, Jean-Pierre V. M. and Anne L. Buchanan. "Citation Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences: a Selective and Annotated Bibliography." Collection Management 18 (1994): 89-137.

Hockey, Susan. "Developing Access to Electronic Texts in the Humanities." Computers in Libraries 13 (1993): 41 -3.

Hoogcarspel, Annelies. "The Rutgers Inventory of Machine-readable Texts in the Humanities: Cataloging and Access." Information Technology and Libraries 13 (1994): 27-34.

The Humanities and the Library. Ed. Nena Couch and Nancy Allen. 2nd ed. Chicago: American Library Association, 1993.

"Humanities Scholars Urged to Influence New Information Technologies." American Society for Information Science. Bulletin Oct n.1, 20 (1993): 2-3.

Jones, William Goodrich. "Leaner and Meaner: Special Collections, Librarians, and Humanists at the End of the Century." R are Books & Manuscripts Librarianship 8 (1993): 80-91. (humanists' use of special collections; presented at the Preconference Institute on Mainstream or Margin)

Kirsop, Wallace. "One Humanities View of the E-library." Australian Academic & Research Libraries 24 (1993): 9-13.

Klemperer, Katharina. "Electronic Texts." Information Technology and Libraries 13 (1994): 6-49.

Lowry, Anita Kay. "Electronic Texts in the Humanities: a Selected Bibliography." Information Technology and Libraries 13 (1994): 43-9.

Mohr, Deborah A. "Subject Access to Individual Works of Literature and Folklore: an Update." Colorado Libraries 19 (1993): 52-3.

Olsen, Jan. Electronic Journal Literature: Implications for Scholars. Westport, CT: Mecklermedia, 1994.

Oram, Richard W. "The New Literary Scholarship, the Contextual Point of View, and the Use of Special Collections." Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship 8 (1993): 9-16.

Overbeck, Lois More. "Researching Literary Manuscripts: a Scholar's Perspective." The American Archivist 56 (1993): 62-9.

Pandit, Idrisa. "Informal Communication in the Humanities: A Qualitative Inquiry." DAI 53 (1993): 2143A. Univ. of Illinois, Urbana.

Ream, Dan. "The University of Virginia's Electronic Text Center: an Interview with David Seaman." Virginia Librarian 39 (Apr./May/June 1993): 6-11.

"RLG's American Lit Project Funded by NEH" Wilson Library Bulletin 67 (May '93): 20.

Schofer, Yvonne and Barbara Richards. "Little Magazine Interview Index (1992-1993)" Serials Review 19 no. 4 (1993):27-42+.

Seaman, David. "The Electronic Text Center: a Humanities Computing Initiative at the University of Virginia." The Electronic Library 11 (1993): 195-9.

------. "A Library and Apparatus of Every Kind": the Electronic Text Center at the University of Virginia. Information Technology and Libraries 13 (Mar. '94): 15-19.

Seaman, Donna." Info briefs: Technology Scholarship, and the Humanities: the Implications of Electronic Information." American Libraries 24 (1993): 870.

Siegfried, Susan L. et al. "A Profile of End-user Searching Behavior by Humanities Scholars: the Getty Online Searching Project Report No. 2. Journal of the American Society for Information Science 44 (1993): 273-91.

Spin, A. and M. Leatherbury. "Name Authority Files and Humanities Database Searching." Online & CD ROM Review 18 (1994): 143-48.

Stebelman, Scott. "Teaching Electronic Communication Skills to Graduate Students." Computers and the Humanities 29 (1994): 129-31. (based on the author's teaching of the English research methods course)

Strickland, Stephanie. "Electronic Publishing, Poetry and Culture(d) Wars." Small Press 12 (1994): 112-13.

Terbille, Charles I. "Cheaper Than college?! CD-ROM Sources in the Humanities: a Crash Course." CD-ROM World 8 (June '93): 55-61.

Thompson, Gordon W. "Sequenced Research Assignments for the Undergraduate Literature Student". Bibliographic Instruction in Practice. Ann Arbor: Pierian Press, 1993: 41 -50. (at Earlham College)

Tibbo, Helen R. Abstracting, Information Retrieval and the Humanities: Providing Access to Historical Literature. ACRL publications in librarianship. Chicago: American Lib. Assn., 1993.

Wells, Corri Elizabeth. "Toward a Poetics for Collecting Poetry by Women." Collection Building 12(1993): 54-9.(bibliographical essay)


Biblio-Notes (ISSN 1076-8947) is published twice a year by the English and American Literature Section of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association, 50 E. Huron Street, Chicago, Illinois 60611; 800.545-2433 ext. 2519. Copies are free to members.

Editor: Scott Stebelman, Gelman, Library, George Washington University, 2130 H Street NW, Washington, D.C. 20052, 202/994-6049,

Chair, 1994-95: Michaelyn Burnette, 390 Library Annex, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, 510/642-0956;

Chair, 1995-96: Timothy Shipe, University Libraries, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA; 319/335-5824; ©American Library Association 1994

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