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Guide to Library Association Records

Complementing the strength of the Archives' resources related to librarianship at the University of Illinois are additional records relating to the history of library associations. These archives are held by the University Archives or the ALA Archives on behalf of the organization and to support research and teaching. They include records for the following associations:

American Library Association (ALA)

Central to the study of the history of librarianship is the American Library Association Archives which contains nearly 2,000 cubic feet, or the equivalent of 1,125 file drawers, of the official records, personal papers and publications of the Association.

The American Library Association (ALA), founded in 1876, is the world's oldest and largest national library association. As outlined in the ALA Handbook of Organization, its mission is "to provide leadership for the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information services and the profession of librarianship in order to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all." ALA works closely with over 70 other library organizations, as well as other associations concerned with education, research, cultural development, recreation, and public service. Its concerns span state, public, school, academic, and special libraries.

ALA's organizational structure is comprised of a Council, Executive Board, committees, 11 divisions, 18 round tables, 59 chapters, and 24 affiliated organizations. ALA archival materials date from the first American library convention of 1853, though primarily cover the period from the 1920s to the present. They include official records, correspondence, publications, scrapbooks, photographs, posters, postcards, sound recordings, films, slides, motion pictures, and videotapes.

The material is arranged in five general areas: 1) Administrative and staff offices containing records from the Executive Board, Council, annual conferences, past presidents, and publishing services; 2) associations and divisions; 3) round tables on special interests and concerns; 4) committees and members' papers, including those of Scott Adams, Sanford Berman, and Helen W. Tuttle; and 5) affiliated and associated organizations.

Major strengths of the archives include the activities of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, the Washington Office, the International Relations Office, the War Services Committee of World War I and II, as well as the history of library education, library buildings, technology, outreach, and cataloging.

American Association of Law Libraries (AALL)

The American Association of Law Libraries Archives includes approximately 218 records series comprising over 304 cubic feet of material. The Archives is a major resource for research regarding the history of access to legal information. For almost a century the AALL has been involved with the promotion of law libraries and librarianship and has sought to provide leadership in the field of legal information. In order to preserve the history of the organization and promote the understanding of its role in the development of law librarianship, an agreement was signed in 1980 establishing the AALL Archives at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Archives collects, arranges, and describes AALL records that represent the history of the AALL and its members. It includes papers of past presidents and association members as well as records and publications of committees, Special Interest Sections, chapters and regional associations.


Complementing the strength of these resources are additional association archives held by the University Archives (UA) or the ALA Archives. They include the following, with the number of records series, dates of coverage, and volume in cubic footage (c.f.) indicated accordingly:

American Library Institute
2 records series. Records cover 1907-51. 1.4 cubic feet
Art Libaries Association of North America (ARLIS/NA)
86 records series. Records cover 1972-2010. 62 cubic feet
Association for Library and Information Science Education
15 records series. Records cover 1912-1997. 47.5 cubic feet
Council of Planning Librarians
3 records series. Records Cover 1957-99. 27.4 cubic feet
Friends of Libraries USA (FOLUSA)
3 records series. 1978 - . 5.3 cubic feet
Geoscience Information Society
One record series. 1964-2004. 13.6 cubic feet.
Health Sciences Librarians of Illinois
1 record series. 1960-1997 . 7.0 cubic feet
Illinois Regional Library Council
1 record series. 1971-84. 10.0 cubic feet
Map and Geography Section of the Special Libraries Association
1 record series. 1946-83. 5.6 cubic feet
North American Serials Interest Group (NASIG)
One record series. 1984-2003. 5.3 cubic feet.
One Person Libraries
One record series. 1984-2003. 1.3 cubic feet.
Universal Serials and Book Exchange Archives
1 record series. 1948-94. 11.0 cubic feet
White House Conference on Library and Information Science
2 record series. 1980-2004. 5.2 cubic feet
National Advisory Commission on Libraries
1 record series. 1951-69, 1995. 5.0 cubic feet

THE UNIVERSITY ARCHIVES is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Specific inquiries about holdings and access should be sent to:

University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 West Gregory Drive
Urbana, Illinois 61801

Telephone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868

This document is based on University Archives Information Leaflet #9, April 1997

Last updated May 18, 2007.