The walls of the Harvard College Library and FAS Libraries may echo with history, but their collections and resources are built for the future.
Scholarly offerings expanded in nearly every field in 2012-2013. Coordinated collection activity was particularly robust and growth extended into new HarvardX initiatives, patron-driven acquisitions and Open Access publishing, as well as in the establishment of a joint Ph.D. in Education through the Harvard Graduate School of Education and the Harvard Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
$1.1 Million Funding
In spring 2013, HCL and FAS administrators identified $1.1 million in library balances to repurpose as one-time support for Harvard College Library-sponsored collections purposes across the disciplines and format areas. A call for proposals was issued in late June, eliciting 28 nominations focused on acquisitions, digitization and other needs such as cataloging and infrastructure development. After a highly participatory evaluation process, funds were allocated to support research and teaching throughout the HCL and FAS communities.
This project provided tangible evidence of Harvard Library and Harvard College Library commitments to intensified internal cooperation and affirmed the staff’s centrality to our enterprise. A screening group of five library heads reviewed each proposal before making it available online for feedback from the entire Harvard community. Nearly 150 comments were provided, mostly by faculty, and helped inform the screening group’s recommendations, which were finalized by HCL administrators including Leslie Kirwan, Susan Fliss and Dan Hazen in consultation with Sarah Thomas and the FAS Faculty Advisory Council.
The group sought to distribute the funds as broadly as possible and was encouraged by input from those who may not directly benefit from funding. Evaluation was based on each proposal’s potential impact, viability and cost, including the availability of other funds. In total, accepted proposals will provide $1.03 million for acquisitions, $100,000 for digitization and $25,000 for other activities.
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Left to right: Bibliographers Richard Lesage, Gregory Eow, and Lidia Uziel
Over the course of the 2012-2013 Library Year, efforts to minimize knowledge gaps, calibrate areas of acquisitions overlap, share funds for special purchases and otherwise harmonize library-wide collections activities were heightened with the addition of new staff whose connections and capabilities allow collections activities to operate more effectively.
Staff additions include:
- Three new bibliographers to Widener Library’s Collection Development department:
- Richard Lesage, librarian for South and South-East Asia
- Greg Eow, Charles Warren Bibliographer for American History
- Lidia Uziel, librarian for Western Europe
- Head of the Fine Arts Library, Mary Clare Altenhofen
- Head of the Loeb Music Library, Sarah Adams
Acquisition & Exhibition Highlights
Harvard’s collection increased in 2012-2013 to include some 900,000 e-journals, e-books and other e-resources. Acquisition activity was complemented by the increasing demand for digitization, including preparation for the fall launch of the highly-publicized Emily Dickinson Archive.