Fall 2006


Message from the Chair

Dear Colleagues and Friends:

You all know the (supposedly Chinese) expression “may you live in interesting times.” I’m afraid this message comes to you a bit late from one of these “interesting times.” An earthquake on the Big Island knocked us off the power grid for a while. Life here has returned to normal, except for catching up with the backlog of e-mails, correcting papers, and duties such as sending you this report.

As my first report as Chair, it is a pleasure to recognize at least a few of the people who’ve made a difference for our library history community. We all thank Christine Pawley for her excellent performance as chair, which she did while transitioning to her new position at the University of Wisconsin.  Christine will be replacing Jean Preer as Past Chair. As you all know, Jean did so much to re-align LHRT governance and awards.

We’ve also had some changes with our ALA Staff Liaison. Denise Davis was a big help in getting things done for us at ALA headquarters, and will be missed. I am thrilled that Letitia Earvin will be her replacement following her promotion. Many of us have worked with Letitia on LHRT business, so we are familiar with her professionalism, and appreciate this seamless transition.

I’d also like to thank everyone who has helped with our award committees, the newsletter, website, and programs. I’d like to thank Jim Carmichael for volunteering to help Tom Glynn and Ed Goedeken with the newsletter. Thanks also to Charley Seavey for his years of service as editor until this issue.  It is a cliché, but we really could not do this without you.  I should add that this summer I worked with Executive Board and liaisons to revisit some of our appointments. These are listed on our updated homepage. I’d also like to thank Steven Sowards sowards@pilot.msu.edu for doing his usual excellent job with the Nominating Committee. Please contact him if you are interested in running for a position.

Our programs for the Annual Conference in Washington DC are shaping up nicely. Our Second LHRT Edward G. Holley Lecture will explore “Library Policies of American Occupation” with a special speaker -- University of Tokyo Professor Akira Nemoto. I also tried to secure MIT Pulitzer Prize winning historian John Dower, but am working on an alternative speaker due to a schedule conflict.

As Chair Elect, Mary Niles Maack decided that this year’s Research Forum will not issue a call for papers, but instead will be, “Washington, the Nation and the World: Papers in Honor of John Y.  Cole,” featuring respected speakers Jane Aikin, Maurvene D. Williams, Donald G. Davis, Jr. and Jonathan Rose.  I would not be surprised if Bernadette Lear is working on another tour of one of Washington’s exciting libraries.

Mary and I regret that we don’t have a call for papers this year in order to encourage new research. However, we hope to resume the traditional research forum at the following conference. In the meantime I hope that you will also start working on papers that for the Library History Seminar XII in 2010. The Executive Board had a difficult time deciding between three truly excellent proposals (still online at http://libraryhistoryseminar.blogspot.com/), but selected one from the University of Wisconsin. I’m sure that Professor Louise Robbins and Christine Pawley will be giving us more details as we come closer.

I should mention that Oak Knoll Books now has copies available of Libraries & Culture: Historical Essays Honoring the Legacy of Donald G. Davis Jr., edited by Cheryl Knott Malone, Hermina G. B. Anghelescu, & John Mark Tucker (Washington, DC: Library of Congress, Center for the Book, 2006; $25).

Our membership numbers are strong, which show me continued support for library history. I hope that we can continue to help this with continued Publicity & Outreach efforts. Over the summer I revised our pamphlet, created a new logo, and revised our homepage. I hope we can continue to do more. If time allows, my other agenda as Chair will be for the LHRT to do more to strengthen library history as part of professional education for the 21st century. I will look forward to discussing this with you at Midwinter. Judging by the recent traffic on our e-mail list, we might also have some interesting discussion on libraries as a physical place.  I’ll look forward to discussing all this at our Midwinter meeting in Seattle. As a reminder, these meetings are open to the public, so I hope to see you there.

Yours with Aloha,


Andrew B. Wertheimer

Note From the Editors:
This issue marks a partial change in editorship.  Charley Seavey is retiring after 35 years in libraryland.  Tom Glynn remains on board, and Jim Carmichael picks up as co-editor with the next issue of the Newsletter.  Jim, we are sure, will bring his own unmistakable style to the proceedings.

Conference Report

Education and the Culture of Print in Modern America - A Conference of the Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America, Madison, Wisconsin, September 29-30, 2006.

Great Wisconsin weather and availability of beer in the student union greeted attendees at the two day conference.  The Center for the History of Print Culture (about which more below) rounded up thirty-six papers presented in 12 sessions, along with two keynote addresses, and a luncheon speech.  The keynotes were on the title of the conference by Adam R. Nelson of the University of Wisconsin, and “Bleeding Saints, Troubled Angels and Dying Children: The Imaginative World of Catholic Periodicals for Young People in the 20th Century,” by Robert A. Orsi of the Harvard Divinity School.

Carl Kaestle of Brown University spoke at lunch on “Print Culture and Education in a Time of Rapid Social Change: Examples from A History of the Book in America” Said book being part of the five-volume effort sponsored by the American Antiquarian Society.

It is outside the possibilities of this newsletter to describe all thirty-six papers.  However, as a generalization I would venture that the conference was extremely successful in presenting an interesting mix of papers on the topic. The content went well beyond chronology and delved into explanation and the cultural relevance and impact of the various topics.  A full list of papers is available at slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~printcul/index.htm

A published proceeding is in the works and I recommend it for anybody interested in any aspect of the topic at hand.

The Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America

I am sure that a portion of the readership is familiar with the Center.  However with the conference report above, and the appointment of Christine Pawley (next column, and who needs no introduction to the readers of the Newsletter) as second director, the Center has come of age and seems likely to be with us for the foreseeable future.  A brief note of the Center’s history and mission seem appropriate.  The following statement on history is drawn from the Center’s website at   http://slisweb.lis.wisc.edu/~printcul/


The Center, a joint program of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Wisconsin Historical Society, was approved in 1992 following several years of discussions between the founding co-directors, Wayne Wiegand and James Danky, and Carl Kaestle, the first Chair of the Advisory Board.  Wiegand, then a Professor in the School of Library and Information Studies and now of Florida State University, and Danky, Newspapers and Periodicals Librarian for the State Historical Society, and Kaestle, then Professor of History and Educational Policy Studies and now of Brown University, were part of a national conversation about reading, writing, and publishing. This conversation grew out of a sense that the traditional history of the book was too limited as it did not account for the reader as well as the larger social processes of texts.  In planning for the Center several key decisions were reached, each aimed at creating an important national identity for the programs we hoped to mount. Because the American Antiquarian Society, sponsors of A History of the Book in America Program, limits its collections to the period before 1875, we determined that our Center would concentrate on the period after 1875.   While the Center occasionally hosts lectures that focus on earlier centuries or other continents, we knew our expertise lay in studying the ways American culture produced and consumed texts. Lastly, we emphasized our interest in all forms by using the then-new term “print culture”.

 Carl Kaestle, Jim Danky, Wayne Wiegand

The Center hosted successful national conferences in 1995, 1997, 1999 (in conjunction with SHARP, the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing,) 2004, and finally the conference reported on above.

The Center has also started a series of publications in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin Press.  There are currently five volumes in print, with more planned.

In what may well be a unique situation Ph.D. students in all disciplines at Wisconsin can declare a minor in print culture as part of their studies.  The minor is multi-disciplinary and focuses on eleven faculty associated with the Center.

Wisconsin Library School Celebrates 100 years

Attendees at the Print Culture Conference also had the opportunity to participate in the centennial celebration of the School of Library and Information Studies (as it is now) known for much of its existence simply as the Wisconsin Library School.  When the School was created formal schooling for librarianship was not yet 20 years old, and part-time training, summer institutes, and the old fashioned apprenticeship model were all still employed to produce librarians for the growing field.  There were only six such schools in existence, most existing in public or university libraries. In 1906 there were no standards, little agreement on curriculum, wildly varying admissions standards, and virtually no oversight by any professional organization. By the time the Wisconsin Library School became the last of its kind to move completely onto a university campus in 1938 all of that would be changed. 

The celebration got underway on Friday, September 29th, with a reception at the Pyle Center on the Wisconsin Campus.  Saturday events included a mass of librarians in the audience at the broadcast of Michael Feldman’s “Whad’ ya Know” radio show from the exquisite Frank Lloyd Wright designed Monona Terrace in downtown Madison. The alternative to Feldman was the 1956 Bette Davis film Storm Center – widely regarded as Hollywood’s first effort to counter the prevailing tide of McCarthyism.

The festivities continued with a truly elegant sit-down lunch at the Pyle Center with commentary on the history of the School from Emeritus Professor Charles Bunge, a “state of the school” report from current director Louise Robbins, and words of encouragement from Dean Gary Sandefur of the College of Letters and Science.
 Being Wisconsin, the day concluded with a beer tasting extravaganza at the Great Dane Pub and Brewery just off of Madison’s storied Capitol Square.

For the full story of one of our oldest library schools a centennial history Tradition and Vision: Library and Information Studies at the University of Wisconsin, A Centennial History is available for $35 from the School.  A good read, I am sure.

Reflections on Three Leading Library Historians

ALISE Historical Perspective SIG
Program for the Annual Conference, Washington, DC, 2007. 
(See the calendar, elsewhere in this issue.)

During the last half of the twentieth century library history emerged as a distinct subfield within LIS, and the era of amateur institutional histories gradually gave way to studies based on doctoral research. One of the early pioneers in defining the  social history of the field was Jesse Shera  (b. 1903)  whose dissertation was later published IN 1949 as  Foundations of the American Public Library—a work that marked a major turning point in  historical research on libraries. This panel will explore and analyze Shera’s historical writings and will discuss the contributions of Edward Gailon Holley (b. 1927) and David Kaser. (b. 1924), two important library historians a generation younger than Shera.

All  three men have left a body of important research and other writings on history,  and all three also participated in the contemporary development of LIS through their work in professional associations,  administration (two were deans),  and consulting.   A brief historiography of Shera’s work will be presented by Stasa Milojevic, a doctoral student at UCLA.  She will be followed by two senior scholars:  Robert S. Martin, former director of IMLS,  who studied with Edward Holley at UNC Chapel Hill  and John V. Richardson, Associate, Dean of the UCLA Graduate Division, whose advisor at Indiana University was David Kaser.  The goal of this program is to explore the research contributions of these three historians and thus reclaim a neglected aspect of our intellectual history.

The session will be 2-3 p.m., Tuesday, January 16th at the ALISE Conference, Grand Hyatt Hotel, Seattle, WA.  A bit early for ALA midwinter regulars, but not to be missed by the educators in the crowd.

LHRT Program, Summer, 2007

Washington, DC, the Nation and the World: Papers in Honor of John Y. Cole
The final schedule, and paper titles, will be in the spring Newsletter.  As of this writing the participants and general subjects are as follows:

Jane Aikin, Acting Director, Division of Research Programs at the National Endowment for the Humanities, and co-author of the Encyclopedia of the Library of Congress will speak on the history and historiography of the Library of Congress.

Maurvene D. Williams, Program Officer, Library of Congress Center for the Book will present a short historical overview of the state Centers for the Book.

Donald G. Davis, Jr., Professor Emeritus of Library History, University of Texas, Austin and editor emeritus of Libraries & Culture will speak on international trends or issues in library history.
Jonathan Rose, Professor, Department of History Drew University (Coeditor, of the journal, Book History and of the forthcoming Blackwell Companion to the History of the Book) will give a brief general talk on trends in book history.

Library History Round Table
Executive Committee
ALA Annual Meeting—New Orleans
254 Morial Convention Center
June 25, 2006

Attendance: Steering Committee: David Hovde, Melanie Kimball, Bernadette Lear, Christine Pawley (Chair), Ken Potts, Allison Sutton, Andrew Wertheimer. Denise Davis (ALA Liaison).

Committee Members:  Mary Niles Maack, Charley Seavey, Steven Sowards, Tom Bolze.

Visitors: David Gracy, Christine Jenkins, Mark McCallen, Jennifer Burek Pierce, Louise Robbins, Loriene Roy, Barry Seaver, Fred Stielow, Mark Tucker, Barbara Walden, Wayne Wiegand.

Absent: Jean Preer, Suzanne Stauffer

I.  Welcome and Introductions, Approval of the Minutes of Midwinter Meeting, January 22, 2006

The meeting was called to order at 8:00 a.m. by Christine Pawley, Chair, and began with introductions by those present.  The minutes for the Mid-winter Meeting in San Antonio, January 2006 were approved with minor changes for misspellings.

II. Chair’s Report

A.  By-laws: Christine Pawley stated that the by-law changed passed in the election just held.  Once again, Jean Preer and Ken Potts’ hard work on the by-laws was acknowledged and commended. 

B.  Elections: Congratulations go to Mary Niles Maack, elected as chair-elect and Bernadette Lear, elected as Secretary-Treasurer elect. 

C:  Newsletter: Tom Glyn and Jim Carmichael are now the editors of the LHRT Newsletter.  Material for future issues should be sent to Jim.

III. Treasurer’s Report

Melanie Kimball presented the Treasurer's Report for the Fiscal Year to date.  The report was accepted unanimously.

IV. Research/Forum/Awards

Andrew Wertheimer announced that there was no award given for the Winsor prize this year as the entries did not match the standards set for the award.  Neither the Gleason nor the Dain Awards are scheduled to be given this year.

V.  Ad Hoc Committee on Library Outreach

Bernadette Lear said that the Outreach Committee sent out over 200 new member letters and that membership is up.  A survey of members stated that they would like more “how to” conference programs and more articles on library history in professional magazines.  At the moment LHRT is seen as somewhat more geared toward academics.  For the Annual Conference there will be a walking tour of the Hubbel Library, Louisiana Division.  She is looking for someone who knows Seattle in order to set up a historical library tour at the next Midwinter meeting.  Andrew revised the LHRT brochure.  Denise will put up a PDF version of the brochure on the website so members may make their own copies at will.

Some ideas to publicize LHRT more: Louise Robbins suggested that trivia quizzes on library history go in American Libraries.  Loriene Roy suggested that the LHRT website have a section called “This day in library history” on the front page.  The LHRT of the California Library Association did a calendar on library history.

Joy Kingsolver will be working on the website along with Letitia Ervin.  Bernadette mentioned that she will post some discussion questions to the LHRT listserv in order to get some discussion going.

VI.  New Business

A.  Library History Seminar XII:  Three proposals to host were received from the University at Wisconsin-Madison, Ball State University, and the University of Texas at Austin.  Andrew passed out copies of the written proposals.  This was followed by informal verbal presentations by Louise Robbins of UW Madison and David Gracy of UT Austin.  Later in the meeting, Wayne Wiegand arrived and did an informal presentation for Ball State.  Mark Tucker pointed out how much things have changed as we have choices to make regarding venue and in the past it was difficult to find one place willing to host the Seminar.  This may well be due to the success of last year’s LHS XI at the University of Illinois.  The Executive Committee will consider the proposals and meet virtually to make a final decision.  The decisions will be made by July 25, 2006.

B.  Loriene Roy:  ALA President-elect Loriene Roy came to talk about her president-elect organization.  WGBH, the NPR station in Boston, is producing a series of Native American historical programs as part of the “American Experience” series that will be broadcast in 2008.  The program is called “We Shall Remain: A Native History of America” and WGBH reached out to Roy as incoming president of ALA.

C.  Libraries & the Cultural Record/Library History Seminar papers

Mark Tucker reported on this topic.  There has been in the past an implied, unspoken agreement that the papers from the Library History Seminar would be published in Libraries and the Cultural Record (formerly Libraries & Culture).  For Library History Seminar XI, there appears to have been a miscommunication between conference organizers and the new editor of Libraries and the Cultural Record (L&CR), David Gracy, so that conference papers will be published in Library Trends instead.  Tucker expressed concern that LHRT had no input into that decision.  David Gracy suggested that all three entities, L&CR, LHRT and Seminar organizers need to work together to avoid confusion in the future.  Both the Winsor prize winning paper and the Seminar papers have been traditionally published in L&CR in the past.

Christine Pawley asked Gracy if he expected the L&CR editor to do the editing or if he could accept a guest editor, such as conference organizers.  Gracy said either way was fine.  He stated that the papers from Library History Seminar XI had not undergone a peer review, but that abstracts were sent in and papers were chosen for inclusion from the abstracts.  Melanie Kimball pointed out that, in common with most scholarly conferences, papers were chosen for presentation at the conference by means of abstracts.  However, following the conference, presenters submitted full articles to conference organizers where they underwent the usual peer review process.  Those articles chosen for inclusion in the journal also underwent an editing process.  Pawley asked if Gracy would require a second peer-review by the journal and he said he would accept it either way.

Andrew Wertheimer suggested that the journal appoint someone to represent the journal on the review committees for the Winsor Prize and the Library History Seminar article review.  Christine Jenkins wondered why a representative from L&CR needed to be on the Winsor Committee.  Tucker pointed out that it puts the editor of L&CR into a bad position of not having control over the journal’s content if Winsor prize winners automatically will be published.  Gracy said that some Winsor papers have been better than others and that for some substantial editing is needed.  He wanted it to be made clear in the publication that either Winsor papers are edited and vetted by L&CR or that it is published “as is.”

Louise Robbins pointed out that sometimes it’s better to keep a looser arrangement regarding publication of Seminar papers because some conference organizers might prefer to publish papers as a monograph instead of as part of L&CR.  Kimball pointed out that conference participants do not have to publish their papers from the Seminar with other Seminar papers, that they are free to offer the articles elsewhere first as there is no “first right of refusal” clause.  Pawley suggested that a recommendation could be made to Seminar organizers that they work with L&CR but that it would not have to be a requirement.  Gracy said that he didn’t think the L&CR editor needed to be part of the selection committee for the Seminar, but as part of the review committee for the subsequent publications.

The question of the Winsor award arose.  There is no commentary from the Committee.  They select a winner but do not edit the manuscript before it goes to the editor of L&CR.  Tucker said the Winsor Committee is responsible for selection but not review.  When Don Davis was editor of L&C he edited the article, but agreed to publish whatever paper won the award.

Mary Niles Maack said that the Winsor Committee should be encouraged to offer feedback to the winners of the award.

VII.  Other Business

Steve Sowards brought up the fact that we need a new Nominating Committee.  Bernadette Lear pointed out the Outreach Committee is currently Ad Hoc and we need to think about making it permanent.

LHRT needs a liaison to the executive board for Libraries & the Cultural Record.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:45 a.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Melanie A. Kimball

Those of you who have been using the Images from the 1876 Report page will now find its permanent home at http://www.desertsailor.info/libs/1876_report/index.php

The Calendar

  • 2007 ALISE Meeting, Seattle, WA, Jan 15-18, 2007.  See the History SIG program elsewhere in this issue.
  • 2007 Midwinter Meeting, Seattle, WA: Jan 19-24, 2007
  • 2007 Annual Conference, Washington, DC, June 21-27, 2007.
  • SHARP 2007: "Open the Book, Open the Mind," July 11-15 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, is now accepting proposals for papers. Go to http://www.sharpweb.org/
  • 2007 American Studies Association,   “América Aquí: Transhemispheric Visions and Community Connections” October 11-14, 2007. Philadelphia, PA see www.georgetown.edu/crossroads/asainfo.html for details.
  • IFLA: World Library and Information Congress: "Libraries for the future: Progress, Development and Partnerships" 19-23 August 2007, Durban, South Africa http://www.ifla.org/IV/ifla73/index.htm

Please remember

Major professors take note:  The Library History Round Table sponsors the biennial Phyllis Dain Library History Dissertation Award. The award is offered only in odd numbered years.  Applications must be received by March 1, 2007.