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The A.L.A. and Armed Services Librarianship

After the success of supporting library service for soldiers during World War One and Two, A.L.A. members have been a part of the expansion of public library services including armed services librarianship across the country and overseas.

Read on to learn more about armed services librarianship!

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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications, Library History, Research Strategies | Read and Comment

Publications: Chinese-American and Asian Pacific American Librarian Publications

Since the 1970s, Membership Directories and Newsletters of the Chinese-American Librarians Association (CALA) and Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) have provided information resources for Asian American and Pacific American professionals working in libraries. Here at the A.L.A. Archives, we want to tell you all about our holdings which are information rich for current and future readers.

Read on to learn more about the art and history of CALA and APALA publications!

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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications, Found in the Archives, Research Strategies | Read and Comment

Research Strategies: Finding Asian American and Pacific Heritage Materials at the ALA Archives

May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month and we at the ALA Archives want to help you optimize your research into Asian Pacific American history. In this month’s blog post, we’ll take a tour through ALA Archives holdings and we’ll try multiple strategies for finding information. Read on to learn more!
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Posted in ALA History, Research Strategies, What Archivists Do | Read and Comment

Nathaniel L. Goodrich Scrapbooks, 1881-1902

We have recently processed the materials of a particularly interesting record series, The Nathaniel L. Goodrich Scrapbooks, 1881-1902 (97/1/77). Born in 1880, Nathaniel L. Goodrich was the Librarian at Dartmouth University for 38 years—from 1912 until he retired in 1950—and was granted full professorship in 1943. He passed away on April 30, 1957, exactly 60 years ago. The record series includes four scrapbooks dating back to the early twentieth century, which had been discarded from the Dartmouth College Library in Hanover, New Hampshire. In the scrapbooks, Goodrich had collected and arranged an assortment of materials relating to library buildings.

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Posted in Found in the Archives | Read and Comment

Publications: Library War Service Publications

While the ALA War Service supplied great amounts of reading materials to soldiers abroad, a great amount of administrative reading materials were produced too. These can be found in Record Series 89/1/60, which contains promotional pamphlets and administrative reports.

Read on to learn about Library War Service publications!

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Commemorating the Library War Service

With centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I coming up on April 6, the American Library Association Archives is commemorating the centennial of the Library War Service, which was formed shortly after the US entered the Great War. Keep an eye on our blog, social media, and our site for the different ways that we’re remembering the Library War Service! Read More »

Posted in ALA History, Exhibits | Tagged , , | Read and Comment

The Books They Read: Library War Service in WWI

Found in record series 89/1/13, box 6.

ALA book campaign advertisement

During the course of U.S. involvement in World War I, the American Library Association collected $5 million in donations for the Library War Service, a service that accumulated a collection of ten million publications and established thirty-six camp libraries across the United States and Europe. It was the ALA Library War Service’s mission to provide “a book for every man.”

The Library War Service accomplished a great deal in a short time. According to the June 1918 War Library Bulletin, there were 385,310 books shipped overseas. At that time, there were also 237 small military camps and posts equipped with book collections and 249 naval and marine stations and vessels supplied with libraries. [2] The books were well-received by soldiers and sailors alike, and unmistakably utilized widely. Vice-Admiral Albert Gleaves of the US Navy wrote:

“Do the sailors read very much? Do the soldiers read very much? I know from personal observation that the books were in constant demand, and that they were in constant circulation. They were placed as a rule near the troop compartments for the soldiers, and for the sailors they were placed in their compartments. The books were allotted to them and they would draw these books; they were not responsible in any way for their condition or what became of them. If the books were lost, that was profit and loss to the A. L. A., and didn’t concern the sailor man. There was no compulsion, no restraint; they had free access to these books.” [3]
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Publications: The Newsletters of Women in Libraries and Women Library Workers

Since 1970 the Women in Libraries Newsletter (and Women Library Workers Journal, 1975-1993) have provided information resources for women working in libraries. Older issues are still information rich for current and future readers.

Read on to learn more about the art and history of Women in Libraries and Women Library Workers Newsletters!

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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications, Found in the Archives, Research Strategies | Tagged , | Read and Comment

“First Your Country, Then Your Rights”: African American Soldiers in WWI

In honor of Black History Month and the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, it is only fitting to discuss the service of African Americans in the war and to highlight a few materials we have here at the archives that illustrate their contributions.

In 1917, Congress passed the Selective Service Act, which Woodrow Wilson then signed into law, thus initiating the draft. It required all young men, regardless of race, to register for service [1]. Subsequently, more than 2.2 million black men registered over the course of four draft calls [2], of which nearly 370,000 were then inducted into the Army [3].

W.E.B. Du Bois was one of many African American leaders and activists who saw the war as a chance to advance racial progress, hoping that racial equality would follow at the war’s end when Americans saw their loyalty and service to their country. He urged black men to put the fight for civil rights on hold during the war, writing in The Crisis, “first your Country, then your Rights!” [4].

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Posted in ALA History | Tagged , , , | Read and Comment

Research Strategies: Finding African American History Materials at the ALA Archives

February is African American history month and we at the ALA Archives want to help you optimize your research into African American and African history. In this month’s blog post, we’ll take a tour through ALA Archives holdings and we’ll use multiple strategies for finding information.

Read on to learn more about locating African American history materials at an archives!


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Posted in ALA History, ALA Publications, Research Strategies, What Archivists Do | Tagged , , | Read and Comment
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