For immediate release | May 18, 2016

RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage becomes open access

CHICAGO - The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) announces that its special collections and cultural heritage-focused journal, RBM: A Journal of Rare Books, Manuscripts, and Cultural Heritage, became an open access publication beginning with the Spring 2016 30th anniversary issue.

This change in access policy lifts the online version of the publication’s current year embargo on new content and makes the complete contents of the journal from 2000 to the present, along with complete contents of its predecessor Rare Books & Manuscripts Librarianship, freely available through the publication website.

“I am very pleased that ACRL has endorsed open access to the online version of RBM while remaining committed to the print version of the journal,” said RBM Editor Jennifer K. Sheehan of The Grolier Club. “I encourage members of the rare books and cultural heritage community to continue supporting the print journal by subscribing, either as an institution or individually.”

The ACRL Board of Directors approved the new policy at its 2016 Spring Executive Session in April 2016. In its resolution, the Board cited the association’s support for open scholarship and access to scholarly work as the driving force behind the change. The move also aligns RBM’s access policies with ACRL’s general research journal College & Research Libraries, which became an open access journal in 2011. RBM will continue to publish in print for subscribers.

“The ACRL Board of Directors, RBM Editorial Board, and the staff of ACRL have listened to our members’ desire to extend our commitment to open access and promotion of wide dissemination of scholarship,” noted ACRL President Ann Campion Riley of the University of Missouri. “The move of RBM to an open access model completes the transition to providing open online content for our serials publishing program.”

Open access to current RBM content began with the current Spring 2016 issue, which celebrates the 30th anniversary of the journal.


The Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL (a division of the American Library Association) develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship. ACRL is on the Web at, Facebook at and Twitter at @ala_acrl.


David Free

Marketing and Communications Specialist