Book Buying Committee File, 1935-1937
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Brief Description:

Files of Book Buying Committee, created in 1935 to report to the membership at large concerning prices and discounts to libraries on American and foreign publications, represent the Association in negotiations with the book trade and before legislative bodies in regard to price maintenance, terms and copyright and to negotiate with publishers for the reprinting of out-of-print books, Chaired by Milton J. Ferguson (1935-36) and Lawrence Heyl (1936-37), contains general correspondence and reports of the committee (1935-36), correspondence concerning the publishing of and additions to Whitaker's Reference Catalogue of Current Literature (J. Whitaker and Sons, Ltd., London, 1936-37), correspondence, reports and memoranda concerning the effects of withdrawal of educational discounts of publishers due to passage of the Robinson-Patman Act (1937), and correspondence with the U.S. Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, and government officials, concerning United States' entry into the International Copyright Union (1937), includes correspondence with Senator Key Pittman of Nevada, chairman of the Senate committee, and Senator F. Ryan Duffy of Wisconsin, committee member.

Note: in 1941, the name of the Book Buying committee was changed to Book Acquisitions Committee. The Committee was discontinued in June, 1954. Activities of the Committee are presently carried on by the Resources Section of the Resources and Technical Services Division.

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: 31/10/6
Created by: Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). Acquisitions Section (1935 -), Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS)
Volume: 0.1 Cubic Feet
Acquired: 04/26/1974.
More information is available at
Arrangement: Arranged chronologically by date
Biographical Note for Association for Library Collections and Technical Services (ALCTS). Acquisitions Section (1935 -) :

While acquisitional activities always have seemed to be of a interest to ALA, the immediate precursors of the RTSD Resources Section are relatively recent. The Council action of July 13, 1951 that created the Board on Acquisition of Library Materials ended the work of a Special Committee in Acquisitions (1). This presumably may be equated with the "acquisitions Committee," listed with other ALA boards and committees in 1950 ALA Bulletin, but without a date of any establishment given. This committee included ex officio members from the Acquisitions Department Heads of Research Libraries Round Table, Book Acquisition Committee, Order and Book Selection Section of the Division of Public Libraries, Board on Resources of American Libraries, and the Serials Round Table (2). Discussion of acquisitions issues were becoming less book-centered and more inclusive of the wide-range if items collected by libraries. At the creation of the Resources and Technical Services Division by action of Council on January 1, 1957, the former Board on Acquisitions of Library Materials became the Acquisitions Section of the new division (3); in 1973 it merged with the Resources Committee and took on its present name (4).

The 1951 Board had as its stated purposes " the coordination of acquisitional activities with the ALA..., to serve as a liaison group between the ALA and its various acquisitional activities and other groups such as publisher and booksellers organizations outside the profession interested in the library acquisitions...., to serve as a clearing house for acquisitional information (particularly cooperative enterprises) of all types of interest to libraries (but exclusive of participation in actual acquisition activities)...," and "to undertake other appropriate responsibilities in the field of library acquisitions unless such responsibilities have been delegated by the Council or the Executive Board to some other group within the ALA" (5). The Resources Division's (1988-89) charge is "To contribute to library service and librarianship through encouragement, promotion of, and responsibility for those activities of the Resources and Technical Division of the American Library Association relating to collection development including selection, acquisition, and evaluation of library materials in all types of institutions" (6).

Organization (as of 1988-1989)

1 - Executive Committee

2 - Acquisitions Committee

Guidelines (subcommittee)

Regional Institute (subcommittee)

3 - Blackwell/North America Scholarship Award Committee

4 - Collection Management and Development Committee

Budget Allocation (subcommittee)

Collection Management and Development Florida Institute

Planning (ad hoc subcommittee)

Collection Management and Development Midwest Institute

Planning (ad hoc subcommittee)

Continuing Education (ad hoc subcommittee)

Guide to Review of Collection (ad hoc subcommittee)

Guidelines for Collection Development (ad hoc subcommittee)

Selection Tools, Vol. IV (ad hoc subcommittee)

5 - Conference Program Planning Committee

6 - Library Material Price Index Committee

7 - Micropublishing Committee

8 - Nominating Committee

9 - Policy and Research Committee

10 - Discussion Groups

Acquisition Librarians/Vendors of Library Materials

Chief Collection Development Officers of Large Research Libraries

Serial Costs (task force)

Collection Management/Selection for Public Libraries

Gifts and Exchange

Subject Index
Book Buying Committee
Book Trade
Duffy, F. Ryan
Ferguson, Milton J.
Heyl, Lawrence
International Copyright Union
Pittman, Key
Robinson-Patnam Act
U.S. Senate Committee on foreign Relations
Whitaker's Reference Catalogue of Current Literature
Languages of Materials
English [eng]