ALA Catalogs, 1904, 1912, 1926, 1933, 1943, 1952
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Brief Description: Seven ALA catalogs published as a list of the best books, with brief narrations concerning the scope, character, and value of the books. The functions of the lists were to guide readers, librarians and book sellers in their selection duties and to replace the need for printed catalogs in small libraries, according to Melvil Dewey, editor, ALA Catalog,1904, which is the first of the publications. It lists 8,000 titles in 485 pp. Subsequent editors were Elva L. Bascom, 1912 ed. (3,000 titles, 350pp.), which contains works published between 1904 and 1911; Isabell M. Cooper, 1926 ed. (10,000 titles, 1,295 pp.), a revision of all ALA booklists published since 1893; Marion Horton, 1933 ed. (3,000 titles, 330pp.) works published from 1926 to 1931; two copies of Horton's 1943 ed. (4,000 titles, 306 pp.), works published from 1937 to 1941; and Florence Boochever, 1952 ed. (4,500 titles, 448 pp.) works published from 1942 to 1949. The titles were those that would interest public library users looking for current, popular fiction and non-fiction.
Held at:
The American Library Association Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Drive
Urbana, IL 61802
Phone: 217 333 0798
Fax: 217 244 2868
Email: ala-archives [at]
Record Series Number: 13/15/12
Created by: Publishing Services
Volume: 1.0 Cubic Feet
Acquired: 4/26/74
More information is available at
Arrangement: Chronological by INT date
Biographical Note for Publishing Services :

In 1886 the American Library Association established a Publishing Section to create a cooperative publishing program for librarians (1).  The program was to provide catalogs, indexes and bibliographies, and to undertake publishing projects that were not necessarily commercially feasible, but still of value to librarians (2).  By 1900 the ALA changed the name from the Publishing Section to the Publishing Board, and took steps to secure ALA committee status (3).  Two notable titles produced by the Publishing Board in the early part of the century were Booklist (1905-present) and ALA Bulletin (1907-1970, continued by American Libraries 1970-present) (4).  In 1920, as a result of the ALA constitution adopted that year, a standing ALA Editorial Committee replaced the Publishing Board (5).

The next forty years saw a steady increase in library science book publishing.  By 1966 the Editorial Committee could no longer efficiently manage its diverse requirements and responsibilities. To rejuvenate ALA's position in library science publishing, the ALA created a new Publishing Board in 1966.  Operating as an arm of the ALA Executive Board, the new Publishing Board centralized control over manuscript acquisition and editing, design and production, and in marketing (6).

The Publishing Board was concerned with matters of finance, policy, and INT, while the Editorial Committee maintained editorial control over nondivisional works.  Better coordination of editorial policy and financial administration was realized with the merger of the Publishing Board and the Editorial Committee at the ALA San Francisco Conference of 1975 (8).  Following the Conference the two bodies became known as the ALA Publishing Committee.  This ten-member ALA standing committee of Council, which governs over ALA Publishing Services, held its first meeting in October 1975 (8).  At present, ALA Publishing Services manages five principal activities: 1) Books and Pamphlets  2) Booklist  3) Central Production Unit  4) Library Technical Reports and 5) Reference/Subscription Book Reviews (9).

Subject Index
Bascom, Elva L.
Boochever, Florence
Book Selection
Cooper, Isabell M.
Dewey, Melvil
Horton, Marion
Languages of Materials
English [eng]