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#16, Spring, 1990

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: Candace R. Benefiel, Sterling C. Evans Library, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX 77843-5000

Copyright 1990 by the American Library Association.


Discussion Group Program and Membership Meeting

Date and Time: Sunday, June 24, 9:30-12:30
Place: McCormick Place East Lobby, Room 7
Panel Discussion: Methods for Assessing Literary Collections

Topics and Speakers:

"The RLG Conspectus and its Utility for Literary Selectors" -- Mark Sandler, University of Michigan

"Using Retrospective Bibliographies for Collection Assessment" -- John Budd, University of Arizona Graduate School

"Developing Current Acquisitions Profiles for Collections" -- Susan Steinberg, Yale

"Identifying Institutional Priorities in Building Literature Collections" -- Maureen Pastine

Discussion Group Atlanta 1991 Program Planning Committee

Date and Time: Monday, June 25, 4:30-5:30
Place: Swiss Grand, Lugano Room

For more information on 1991 program, see the minutes of the Midwinter Meeting below. All interested Discussion Group members are urged to attend.


The committee on the "Methods of Humanities Research" bibliography will meet to discuss the future of the project on Sunday, June 24, 4:30-5:30, Swiss Grand, Lausanne Room.


The English and American Literature Discussion Group met on January 8, 1990 from 9 to 11 in the Chicago Hilton. The business meeting was followed by a continuation of the discussion of literary reference tools begun at the 1989 summer meeting.

1990 Summer Program

Scott Stebelman announced the topics and speakers for the 1990 summer program. The general theme will be "Methods for Assessing Literary Collections"; the topics and speakers are as follows:

"The RLG Conspectus and its Utility for Literary Selectors" -- Mark Sandler, University of Michigan

"Using Retrospective Bibliographies for Collection Assessment" -- John Budd, University of Arizona Graduate School

"Developing Current Acquisitions Profiles for Collections" -- Susan Steinberg, Yale

"Identifying Institutional Priorities in Building Literature Collections" -- Maureen Pastine

1991 Program

Loss Glazier reported on the plans for the 1991 program. The general topic will be "Poetry in American Libraries," with four areas of focus: 1) the world of poetry 2) Survey of collection development issues 3) Reference and access related problems 4) the role that poetry can play in public relations. A suggestion was made from the floor that someone should do a survey of great poetry collections as, perhaps, a newsletter article.

Methods of Humanities Research Bibliography

Scott Stebelman reported on the progress of the "Methods of Humanities Research" bibliography focusing on articles dealing with scholarly research behaviors in the Humanities. It will be limited to 19 th and 20 th century citations, primarily in major European languages (with inclusion of titles from other languages if they are encountered) and organized by General Humanities subjects, then by discipline. The manuscript will be submitted by 1993. ALA and ACRL will have first right of refusal. Subjects to be covered have been assigned as follows:

Tim Shipe -- English Commonwealth Literature
John Cullars -- French
Richard Hacken -- German
Ellen Brow -- Spanish
Gillian Anderson -- Music
Joyce Ludmer -- Art
Blake Landor -- Classics and Philology
Kathy Johnson -- Philosophy and Religion
Candace Benefiel -- Classics

Other Old Business

Papers from the 1989 program on the "Nature of Literary Research" are now being reviewed for publication in Collection Management.

Elaine Franco, EALDG's liaison with the MLA and a member of the new MLA Bibliography's Advisory Board is publishing an article on her role as MLA field bibliographer in a future issue of Biblio-Notes.

Election of New Officers

Nominees are still needed for the Steering Committee. Positions open are: Vice Chair/Chair Elect, Secretary, and three members at large. Their tenure will begin at the end of the summer meeting.

New Business

Since numerous criticisms have been made of the MLAIB on CD-ROM, several members want to send a collective response to the MLA. Librarians charged with recommending an appropriate response to the Discussion Group are: David Vancil, Judy Reynolds, Richard Heinzkill, and Loss Pequeno Glazier.

Laura Fuderer reported on the results of her survey of "Library Coverage of American Literary Small Presses." Her report is included in this issue of Biblio-Notes.

Scott Stebelman pointed out the advantages of becoming an ACRL section and suggested that the EALDG consider it.

Will Goodwin of the Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin announced the inception of a new annual, "Joyce Studies," for which he will be editing a current Joyce checklist attempting to cover all publications on Joyce. EALDG members are encouraged to send him information on any Joyce materials they encounter, especially those produced by their own institutions.

Tim Murray (University of Delaware) reported that the Literary Rights Committee has been working on a pamphlet explaining how to locate copyright holders, and a draft is now ready. ACRL rejected an earlier version because it felt its audience would be too specific; revisions attempting to address this criticism are now in the current draft.

Candace Benefiel announced that submissions for the next newsletter will be due by April 15, and the newsletter will come out in May.

The ensuing discussion covered the advantages and disadvantages of the following reference books: Contemporary Literary Criticism, Dictionary of Literary Biography, Humanities Index, Arts and Humanities Citation Index, Granger's Poetry Index, and the Magill's Series, including Masterplots.

Topics suggested for the summer discussion were: Cooperative Collection Development, Popular Fiction Collections (how are they used, and by whom? How much can libraries afford to spend on popular literature?)

Respectfully submitted,
Kristine Anderson
Humanities Bibliographer
HSSE Library
Purdue University


Do you have a brief article you’d like to see in print? An idea? A helpful citation?

Biblio-Notes is looking for a few good paragraphs, and we'd love to hear from you. Areas of primary interest to our readers include collection development, database searching, user education, reference work, and acquisitions and cataloging issues, as they relate to the field of English and American Literature.

Direct inquiries (or articles) to:

Candace R. Benefiel
Reference Division
Sterling C. Evans Library
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-5000
(409) 845-5741
Fax: (409) 845-6238


Elections for 1990/1991 Discussion Group officers and Members at Large were held in February and March. Results will be announced by ALA.

The Steering Committee would like to thank everyone who graciously consented to run for office.

Current Officers (1989-1990) are:

Chair: Scott Stebelman (George Washington University)

Vice Chair/Chair Elect: Loss Glazier (SUNY/Buffalo)

Secretary: Betty Day (University of Maryland--College Park)

Candace R. Benefiel (Texas A & M University)
Robert Melton (University of Kansas)
Rosamond Putzel (Rutgers University)


From Richard Heinzkill

At the University of Oregon, the MLAIB CD-ROM is one of five CD-ROM databases that have been installed near the reference desk. Each CD-ROM is on its own table as a self-contained unit with the disk sealed into the CD player and accompanying monitor and printer. Last Fall demonstrations were offered at stated times for each database. For anyone interested in seeing the handout that was prepared and/or an outline of the MLAIB talk which centers around the browse and Wilsearch modes, please contact Richard Heinzkill, University of Oregon, Knight Library, Eugene, OR 97403, and specify what is wanted. After preparing for these demonstrations my observations are both positive and negative -- positive: even if a patron enters a search "incorrectly" some citations are usually retrieved; negative: there are some maddening quirks, e.g. the use of initial article when entering titles.


As noted in the last issue of Biblio-Notes, the Index to Reviews of Bibliographical Publications needs new contributors. Participation essentially consists of scanning 10-12 journals for book reviews of bibliographies dealing with literature. What we didn't tell you last time is that the contact person is:

Barbara Berman
Penn State University
E-506 Pattee Library
University Park, PA 16802


In response to the discussion at our Midwinter meeting on themes in fiction, I thought I'd pass along a citation for the following title:

Hartman, Donald and Jerome Drost. Themes and Settings in Fiction: A Bibliography of Bibliographies. New York: Greenwood, 1988.

This title lists 1413 bibliographies of themes and settings in fiction. Thematic access is through the subject index which includes a large variety of different themes, characters, and settings. Some of the themes, for example, include "archeologists and archeology," "cats," "golf," and "vampires." Other topics such as "women" and "Indians of North America" are subdivided extensively.

Loss Pequeno Glazier


Laura Fuderer
University of Notre Dame

The following are the result of a survey conducted in 1987-88. Forms were distributed via Biblio-Notes and at meetings to members of the English and American Literature Discussion Group of the Association of College and Research Libraries. The membership at that time numbered approximately 190. The response was 28, amounting to 15% and including 18 states and the District of Columbia.

1. How extensively do you collect small press publications?

Please rate the following from 1 (minimally) to 5 (exhaustively):

Rankings: 5 4 3 (2 or 1)

A: Poetry:


5 (exhaustively): 1 [library]
4: 5 [libraries]
3: 11 [libraries]
(2 or 1 minimally): 5 [libraries]


5 (exhaustively): 0 [libraries]
4: 1 [library]
3: 1 [library]
(2 or 1 minimally): 3 [libraries]

B: Fiction:

5 (exhaustively): 0 [libraries]
4: 6 [libraries]
3: 9 [libraries]
(2 or 1 minimally): 2 [libraries]

C: Essays, other prose:

5 (exhaustively): 0 [libraries]
4: 3[libraries]
3: 8 [libraries]
(2 or 1 minimally): 4 [libraries]

D: Little Magazines:

5 (exhaustively): 1 [library]
4: 4 [libraries]
3: 7 [libraries]
(2 or 1 minimally): 3 [libraries]

E: Other (identify): [See no. 2 for these replies]

2. Do you have special collections or strengths relating to small press publications?

If so, please describe (e.g. particular authors, presses, periods, genres, etc.)

Arizona State: William S. Burroughs; local presses and writers

Columbia: Ginzberg and the Beats

Princeton: American little magazines

SUNY-Buffalo: Certain authors

San Jose State: Local materials; San Jose Poetry Center

University of Minnesota: Representative private presses

Penn State: Papers of Black Sparrow and Ambit Poetry Magazine

University of Kansas: Anti-establishment presses since 1946, e.g. Beats, Black Mountain Poets, St. Mark's Poetry Project; San Francisco presses and writers; other selected presses (Black Rabbit, Jargon, Black Sparrow, Oyez, Auerhahn/Dave Haselwood)

University of Oregon: Oregon and Northwest

Western Carolina University: Western North Carolina, Southern Appalachia, eastern Cherokee Indians

Smith College: Fine presses

SUNY-Albany: New York State presses

University of Iowa: over 1000 presses, 14 presently on st. o. [list attached]

University of California-San Diego: Archive for New Poetry, i.e. post-1945 avant-garde in English [collection policy attached]

Notre Dame: Selected presses; selected British and American poets

University of Wisconsin-Madison: Little magazines extensively; British, Canadian presses

University of California-Davis: Gary Snyder and his circle

University of California-Riverside: Southeastern California

Northwestern: 1945-1977 U.S., Canadian, U.K [description of Special Collections Department attached]

San Francisco State: San Francisco Bay Area; West Coast; Beats

New York Public Library: Small press literature of U.S., New York, foreign; fine presses

University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Local presses at a high priority

3. Are your small press collections shelved together as a special collection or are they largely integrated into the main circulating collection?

Special: 3
Integrated: 12
Both: 11

4. Do you think members of EALDG should attempt to coordinate their small press coverage?

Yes: 11
No: 12
No answer: 4

If not coordinated, would you like to be better informed about small press collections in this country?

Yes: 16
No: 5
No answer: 5

Please expand your reply or give your opinion on these issues (e.g. how can cooperation by achieved?):

Selects from Choice, LJ, other; also regionally; coordination would be nice, but he's skeptical. OCLC and RLIN are sufficiently informative for location of materials. Would like to see annual or semi-annual lists. Also reviews in EALDG newsletter by librarians rather than "back-scratching" little magazines.

Fears coordination would reduce income of small presses.

"only regional coordination would be possible".

Use libraries' own descriptions of collections and policies as basis for coordination.

Coordination should be regional or through associations such as RLG.

Regional or possibly divide up publishers from a directory such as Dustbooks.

Coordination through exchanges of information.

"large efforts at cooperation might be more costly than the collecting itself"; favors a good survey.

Interested in cooperation with reservations re autonomy; perhaps designate collecting emphasis.

Publishers come and go; there are few all of whose publications he'd collect.

Depends on a very good dealer (Gotham) and two blanket orders (Sparrow and Coffee House).

Coordination is "probably impossible"; could include reviews in the newsletter.

Coordinates selection of representative American private presses with two local libraries that collect local and state writers and imprints. "Many approaches are possible from letting each other know which presses or titles we collect at a level 3 or 4 or 5 to agreeing to buy/keep 1 or more specific titles or presses emanating from our region/state/city, etc. what about a small group from EALDG (3-5 people) to study our holdings in small presses in some way (directory? union list of presses--genres? conspectus-type display?) and publish the results in the ACRL series?

EALDG should agree that each library collects its own region extensively; we could share new acquisitions lists, other forms of regular reporting.

"Now that we have abandoned the literary reference tools project, perhaps we could investigate the feasibility of putting together a guide to collections of small press publications."

Isolated from other research libraries, it's hard to coordinate the way others have (e.g. Duke/UNC/NCSU or Stanford/Berkeley or the southern California campuses). "I'm not even sure a given library should necessarily be responsible for the small presses/magazines published in their immediate region, although this would be something to explore as a minimum proposal."

[Attached California Poetry Bibliographers' Mission Statement and Membership]

OCLC, RLIN lists?