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By Anne Doherty
RCL Project Editor (ACRL/Choice)
In 2015, the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) celebrates its 75th anniversary. As a publication of ACRL’s Choice, together with ProQuest, Resources for College Libraries (RCL) is commemorating the occasion with a list of selected RCL monographs, one published from each year of ACRL's seventy-five years (1940-2015).
This dodranscentennial list (let’s stick with diamond jubilee, shall we?) is by no means presented with definitives like best, essential, or even more scientific assessments like impact factor. The selections showcase the shifting scholarly landscape and core academic titles from the past 75 years, including seventeen titles that appeared in all three editions of Books for College Libraries; nine Choice Outstanding Academic Titles; three works by Nobel Prize Laureates; and two Pulitzer Prize-winning titles.
The RCL editorial staff used some guiding criteria in selecting the titles:
-- Each of the seventy-two RCL and RCL:Career Resources subjects are represented at least once.
-- Every effort was made to include titles from their original publication year, to signify a particularly noteworthy publication for that time, with a few exceptions for significant or widely adopted newer editions.
-- Finally, to avoid the natural disbalance between the life cycle of a text in the humanities versus the sciences, titles are included from across academic disciplines—science and technology, arts and humanities, social sciences, and interdisciplinary studies—across time. Annotations have also been provided by RCL and RCL:Career Resources subject editors. The list contains some works that have garnered widespread and enduring attention, such as Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, along with those that are likely known only amongst subject experts and teaching faculty, but remain influential within the discipline.
ACRL remains the core professional resource for academic librarians and information professionals, advancing learning and transforming scholarship. As we look back at 75 years of ACRL through the lens of core RCL resources, this list highlights essential titles in the RCL bibliography and serves as evidence to the dynamic relationship between publishing, academic libraries, students, scholars, and librarians.
Check out the timeline on the ACRL page: