Complete College & Research Libraries Archives Freely Available Online

As part of the association’s commitment to scholarly publishing and open access, the full archive of ACRL’s official scholarly research journal College & Research Libraries (C&RL) is now freely available online. The online C&RL archive now contains the complete contents of the journal from its beginnings in 1939 through the current issue. The archive is available through the C&RL website.

“Digitizing the archives of the premier research journal for academic librarianship provides a tremendous new asset for our profession,” said ACRL President Steven J. Bell of Temple University. “Creating and sharing this rich resource demonstrates ACRL’s ongoing commitment to promote and deliver on the promise of open access. It is a treasure trove of content where the academic librarians of today and tomorrow will delve into our history, understand how we evolved and make new discoveries that could stimulate groundbreaking research and innovation of real benefit to academic librarianship.”

C&RL archival contents from 1939 through 1996 were digitized through the generous volunteer efforts of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library. The library’s Digital Content Creation department performed scanning and metadata creation for the approximately 340 back file issues of the journal in 2011 and 2012. The digitized files were added to the journal’s online presence with the financial assistance of the ACRL Friends Fund.

“It is no secret to anyone that academic libraries are in the midst of seismic changes,” noted Scott Walter, C&RL editor and university librarian at DePaul University. “As academics, we approach those changes in an evidence-informed manner and we shape the future of our profession in ways influenced by what we have learned over almost a century of scholarly inquiry into the nature of our work. With the complete contents of College & Research Libraries now freely available online, we hope not only to promote the integration of scholarship in academic librarianship into research in areas such as Library and Information Science and Higher Education Administration, but also to promote the use of the scholarship published over decades in current debates over issues of enduring professional concern, including the curation of library collections, the design of library services and the contribution of the library and its staff to the broader missions of the parent institution.”

Published since 1939, C&RL enacted an open access policy in April 2011. C&RL will become an online-only publication in Jan. 2014.

“The emergence of a robust community of open access journals in the field in recent years offers new opportunities for the integration of complementary content across traditional journal boundaries and the development of a new online community in academic library scholarship and practice,” Walter added.

Hosted through HighWire Press, a division of the Stanford University Libraries, C&RL’s online presence provides a variety of robust features. Online readers have the ability to comment on articles, share contents through social media and perform basic and advanced searches across C&RL and other ACRL serials. A variety of RSS feeds and email alerts provide notification of the availability of newly posted preprint and issues contents. Articles are freely available to read online or download as PDF files. The mobile-optimized version of C&RL online allows readers to read and interact with articles from their smart phones, tablets and other mobile devices.