STS Oberly Award for Bibliography in the Agricultural or Natural Sciences

ACRL's Awards program will be on hold for the 2021-2022 award season, during which time nominations will not be accepted or juried and no recipients will be chosen for any ACRL awards. For more information, please contact Brian Lim.

The Oberly Award was established in 1923 in memory of Eunice Rockwood Oberly, librarian of the Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture from 1908 to 1921. She was the Bureau of Plant Industry's representative to the Congressional Joint Commission on Reclassification of Government Employees and was instrumental in gaining a fairer recognition of library activities. This biennial award is given in odd-numbered years for the best English-language bibliography in the field of agriculture or a related science.


The author(s) will receive a cash award and a plaque, funded by an endowment created by individuals and vendor contributions, including the U.S. Agricultural Information Network, the Agway Foundation, Associates of the National Agricultural Library, the Council on Botanical and Horticultural Libraries, and the Cargill Information Center.  This award is administered by the ACRL Science & Technology Section (STS) and is juried by the ACRL/STS Awards Committee


English-language print or electronic bibliographies in any format in the field of agriculture or a related science published during the two-year period preceding the year in which the award is presented. Bibliographies may be a print or electronic monograph, a completed series viewed as a body of work, or an ongoing print or electronic publication.


Bibliographies submitted for award consideration are judged on accuracy, scope, usefulness, format, and special features such as explanatory introductions, annotations, and indexes.


Submissions are not currently being accepted.

Nominations made in the form of a letter. They should point out the reason the bibliography should be considered. A copy of the bibliography should accompany the nomination.

Send nominations or questions to award committee co-chairs Peter John Larsen, and Andrew P. Stuart,

2021 Recipients

Photo of Jen KirkPhoto of Helen Smith
Jen Kirk, Government Information Librarian at Utah State University, and Helen F. Smith, Agricultural Sciences Librarian at Pennsylvania State University, for their work “An Inventory of Published Soil Surveys of the United States.” - Award Announcement

Previous Recipients

  • 2019 – Douglas Karlen and Lorrie Pellack for their article “Iowa Crop Variety Yield Testing: A History and Annotated Bibliography" - Award Announcement
  • 2017 – Frank Scholze and Michael Witt for
  • 2015 – James B. Beard, Harriet J. Beard, and James C. Beard. Turfgrass History and Literature: Lawns, Sports, and Golf.
  • 2013 – Jan Scholl, Amy Paster, and team, for their 4-H and Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) research databases
  • 2011 – William R. Shurtleff, Founder and President of the Soyinfo Center, for his bibliography “History of Soybeans and Soyfoods in Africa (1857-2009): Extensively Annotated Bibliography and Sourcebook.”  Honorable mention: Organic Eprints.
  • 2009 – Rice Database
  • 2007 – AgEcon Search, Louise Letnes, Patricia Rodkewich, and Julie Kelly
  • 2005 – No recipient
  • 2003 – David G. Frodin. Guide to Standard Floras of the World. Second Edition.
  • 2001 –  Biodiversity Studies: A Bibliographic Review, by Charles H. Smith
  • 1999 - Wolves: Ecology, Conservation and Management, An Annotated Bibliography, Eli MacLaren
  • 1997 – The Literature of the Agricultural Sciences, Wallace C. Olsen
  • 1995 – A Guide to the Zoological Literature: The Animal Kingdom, George H. Bell & Diane B. Rhodes
  • 1993 – Acid Rain: A Bibliography of Canadian Federal and Provincial Government Documents, Albert H. Joy
  • 1991 – Useful Palms of the World, A Syoptic Bibliography, Michael J. Balick & Hans T. Beck
  • 1987 – Women, Agriculture and Rural Development in Latin America, Jacqueline A. Ashby & Stella Gomez