For immediate release | September 5, 2014

Choice Reviews Online launches new Ask an Archivist feature

MIDDLETOWN, CONN. Choice, the premier source of reviews of books and digital resources for academic libraries, is initiating a new monthly feature highlighting digital special collections. A lively online exclusive—in interview format—“Ask an Archivist” is intended to introduce readers, undergraduates especially, to the treasure trove of materials housed in a vast array of digital archives and libraries.

“Ask an Archivist” will launch in October on Choice Reviews Online, featuring an interview with Edward L. Ayers, president and professor of history at the University of Richmond. In the debut feature, Ayers talks about the Valley Project, an online archive he conceived of and created, documenting two communities on opposing sides of the Civil War.

Each month’s interview will seek to reveal the history, nature and special content of the collection featured, in particular how undergraduates might find the digital archive a resource for research and intellectual exploration. “Ask an Archivist” features will span academic disciplines to focus on a diverse array of collections through conversations with their archivists.

“’Ask an Archivist’ allows us to delve into the online world of special collections and have the archivists personally introduce readers to the resources in greater depth,” said Tom Radko, editorial director of Choice. Radko is responsible for overseeing the new feature, which he envisions as an opportunity to present compelling collections, increasingly found online, to libraries and their readership.

“We are excited to engage directly with undergraduates and connect them with the wealth of materials that are now accessible in the digital realm,” Radko continued. “Mark Wall, university librarian at Boston College, phrased it well when he wrote that scholarly communication and special collections ‘represent two sides of the same proverbial coin, and that coin in turn represents a large measure of how libraries can add value beyond discovery.’”

“Ask an Archivist” will be available for free online via Choice Reviews Online to subscribers, librarians, undergraduates and any Internet user alike, as well as on, beginning in late September 2014.



Choice ( is a publishing unit of the Association of College & Research Libraries, a division of the American Library Association. Founded in 1964, Choice has been the premier source for reviews of academic books and digital resources of interest to scholars and students in higher education for over 50 years.


Laura Mullen

Marketing Manager