US Academic Library Data Archive


Introduction

This page provides links to an archive of information on U.S. academic libraries published by NCES and predecessors gathered from a variety of sources.

It was (and is) my intent to recompile a longitudinal file of these data similar to what I have done with other datasets including the public library data PLDF3 and PUSUM. I have tried twice but this is a complicated task. My thinking is that while the public library universe does change and these changes are reflected in changes in what data are collected over time, the changes which occur with academics are so rapid that comparability between years is difficult to maintain. I found something similar when I tried to recompile the State Library Agencies (that is, state libraries) data. It is my belief that a longitudinal file of data on academic libraries would be of great use in analyzing the trends affecting these institutions. But, that project is...difficult.

Publications here come from (current) the Academic Library Survey (ALS) data and documentation from the US National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). In addition, the Interuniversity Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR) also had data from the earlier Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) going back to the 1970s. A number of these publications are no longer available from NCES nor from the ICPSR as nearly as I can determine. Many people have contributed to collecting these fugitive documents. For instance, the 1990 ED Tabs was scanned and made available by Denise Davis when she was at the ALA Office for Research and Statistics. Also, we owe the many librarians who worked on the surveys as well as employees at NCES—over many years—thanks for their work in creating doing the studies as well as providing me digital copies of the older publications.

According to the introduction to the documentation for the 2002 ALS data file (p. 1), the following are the dates of collection for the Academic Library Survey:

The Academic Library Survey (ALS) data have been collected by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) since 1966. Between 1966 and 1988, data on academic libraries were collected the following years: 1968-69, 1971-72, 1973-74, 1975-76, 1977-78, 1979-80, 1982-83, 1985-86 within the framework of the Higher Education General Information System (HEGIS). Beginning in 1988, the library survey was collected biennially in even-numbered years: 1988, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1996, and 1998 as part of the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS). Beginning in 2000, the ALS data collection was conducted independently of IPEDS by the NCES library program.

This site has publications for academic libraries through the FY 2010 (the latest) survey. The documentation for this survey does not have such a comprehensive history of the early collection of data from this library universe quoted above. The history above makes it clear that although there are publications here which are not available on the NCES site, there are many more missing and, hence, there is work to do.

What is available here is what I have collected from various sources. I have left space for those publications (including data files) which I have identified but that appear to be missing in the ALS years. The HEGIS data appear to have been made available for several years at a time so knowing which datasets are available will take further work. Of course, the data for the early years may, or may not, have been available electronically although ICPSR had an edition of the data as early as 1970-71. In any case, any missing data will be welcome.

ASCII files need a documented record layout to read. For the HEGIS data, there were four files from ICPSR: rl2120.excel.gz, rl2118.excel.gz, rl2116.excel.gz, rl2113.excel.gz. I unzipped each of them and they then had a .excel extension. I renamed each to .xls but was able to read only rl2113 and it is available here as rl2113.xls. This is a most interesting file as it seems to have record layouts for a number of years' data. However, there are more years listed than appear in the documentation quoted above. They are: 1966-1986. Deciphering these files will take a bit more detective work as will finding the missing data and converting them to usable form. Any help is welcome. Until then, the filenames are as they were when I received them.

I have tried to keep filenames as NCES had them but the dates the data were collected are very different from when they are published and, too, there is inconsistency in NCES file naming. So, filenames have been altered in some cases for clarity but the tables below have the original file names for the files I have renamed here. For example, when work began on this project in 2007, as mentioned, the FY 1996 data were not available but the FY 1994 data were. As of this writing, the 1996 data are now available but the 1994 data are not. I infer that the 1996 data were issued in 2008 because of the characteristic NCES file name: 2008318. The unsuspecting might think that this file had information on the 2008 data so the documentation has been renamed to ALS1996doc.pdf, however in the bibliographic tables below, the current file name is referenced.

NCES also varies its scheme for numbering its publications sometimes preferring dashes (2001-301) and sometimes not (200036). I have not found any ambiguity in these differences. NCES also seems to number publications sequentially by year. Here I have followed NCES practice as shown on the publications bibliographic table below. Before 1999, the years were named with two-digit years: (98-062) while in 1999 they added the two extra digits for the century (1999-330).

As mentioned, this collection began when I was at the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Eventually, all the files I collected were published by NCLIS on a set of CDs. Since then, other publications have been taken down and others I could not find at the time of the CD have reappeared. For example, I could not locate the 1994 ALS data at the time but they are available now. The 1996 data were available then but not now. I have included both here. I suspect that NCES might be reissuing the 1996 data at which time I will update this pages.




Academic Library Statistics: Data
Type of file Year Title File type File name File size Notes
ALS Data            
Data 2010 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2010
SAS program to read ASCII file
SPSS program to read ASCII file
zipped ASCII
ASCII
ASCII
ALS2010_ASCII.zip
ALS2010_sas.txt
ALS2010_sps.txt
952 KB
45 KB
32 KB
Contains data from this survey in ALS_2010_imp_suppr_2012053.txt (5.3 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2010.
NCES 2010-308
Data 2010 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2010 zipped Access ALS2010_Access.zip 1,095 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_2010_imp_suppr_20120530.mdb
3,653 institutions for FY 2010.
NCES 2010-308
Data 2008 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2008
SAS program to read ASCII file
SPSS program to read ASCII file
zipped ASCII
ASCII
ASCII
ALS2008_ASCII.zip
ALS2008_sas.txt
ALS2008_sps.txt
732 KB
36 KB
32 KB
Contains data from this survey in ALS_2008_P.!.A.TXT (2.5 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2008.
NCES 2008-308
Data 2008 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2008 zipped Access ALS2008_Access.zip 1,115 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_2008_P.1.A.mdb (5.3 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2008.
NCES 2008-308
Data 2006 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2006
SAS program to read ASCII file
SPSS program to read ASCII file
zipped ASCII
ASCII
ASCII
ALS2006_ASCII.zip
ALS2006_sas.txt
ALS2006_sps.txt
726 KB
46 KB
35 KB
Contains data from this survey in ALS_2006_P.1.A.TXT (2.4 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2006
NCES 2006-308
Data 2006 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2006 zipped ACCESS ALS2006_Access.zip 992 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_2006_P.1.A.mdb (1.7 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2006.
NCES 2006-308
Data 2004 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2004
SAS program to read ASCII file
SPSS program to read ASCII file
zipped ASCII
ASCII
ASCII
ALS2004_ASCII.zip
ALS2004_sas.txt
ALS2004_sps.txt
673 KB
45 KB
32 KB
Contains data from this survey in ALS_2004_P.2.A.TXT (2.4 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2004.
NCES 2006-308
Data 2004 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2004 zipped ACCESS ALS2004_Access.zip 992 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_2004_P.2.A.MDB (5.3 MB)
3,653 institutions for FY 2004.
NCES 2006-308
Data 2002 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2002
SAS program to read ASCII file
SPSS program to read ASCII file
zipped ASCII
ASCII
ASCII
ALS2002_ASCII.zip
ALS2002_sas.txt
ALS2002_sps.txt
705 KB
46 KB
33 KB
Contains data from this survey in ALS_2002_P.2.A.TXT (2.3 MB)
3,887 institutions for FY 2002.
NCES 2006-308
Data 2002 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2002 zipped ACCESS ALS2002_Access.zip 5,206 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_2002_P.2.A.MDB (5.3 MB)
3,887 institutions for FY 2002.
NCES 2006-308
Data 2000 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2000
SAS program to read ASCII file
SPSS program to read ASCII file
zipped ASCII
ASCII
ASCII
ALS2000_ASCII.zip
ALS2000_sas.txt
ALS2000_sps.txt
787 KB
50 KB
38 KB
Contains data from this survey in ALS_2000_P.2.A.TXT (2.6 MB)
3,527 institutions for FY 2000.
NCES 2006342
Data 2000 Academic Library Survey Data File: FY 2000 zipped ACCESS ALS2000_ACCESS.zip 1,216 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_2000_P.2.A.MDB (5.5 MB)
3,527 institutions for FY 2000.
NCES 2006342
Data 1998 IPEDS Academic Library Survey File zipped SAS 98_SAS.zip 1,095 KB Contains data from this survey in libfin98.sd2 (5.7 MB) and documentation.PDF (see below)
3,816 institutions for FY 1998.
Data 1998 " zipped ASCII 98_ascii.zip 1,002 KB Contains data from this survey in LIBFIN98.DAT (4.6 MB) and documentation.PDF (see below)
3,816 institutions for FY 1998.
Data 1998 " zipped Access 98_ACC.zip 1,118 KB Contains data from this survey in libfin98.mdb (4.1 MB) and documentation.PDF (see below)
3,816 institutions for FY 1998.
Data 1996 IPEDS Academic Library Survey File SAS program to read ASCII file ALS1996_sas.txt 35 KB Reads data from ALS_1996_P.1.A.TXT into sas
3,408 observations according the ED Tabs report.
Data 1968 " zipped ASCII puals96a_ascii.zip 800 KB Contains data from this survey in ALS_1996_P.1.A.TX (2.6 MB)
3,408 observations according the ED Tabs report.
Data 1996 " zipped Access puals96a_ACC.zip 15 MB Contains data from this survey in ALS_1996_P.1.A.mdb (66 MB)
3,408 observations according the ED Tabs report.
Data 1994 Academic Library Survey, Fiscal Year 1994 zipped SAS 94_sas.zip 974 KB Contains data from this survey in L_fice.sd2 (3.6 MB). Documentation
consists of Ipcodes.doc, Methfile.doc, and Varlist.doc (see below)
3,708 institutions for FY 1998.
NCES 98-270
Data 1994 Academic Library Survey, Fiscal Year 1994 zipped ASCII 94aclib.zip 984 KB Contains data from this survey in L_fice.txt (4.5 MB). Documentation
consists of Ipcodes.doc, Methfile.doc, and Varlist.doc (see below)
3,708 institutions for FY 1998.
NCES 98-270
Data 1994 Academic Library Survey, Fiscal Year 1994 zipped DBF 94_DBF.zip 979 KB Contains data from this survey in L_fice.dbf (4.6 MB). Documentation
consists of Ipcodes.doc, Methfile.doc, and Varlist.doc (see below)
3,708 institutions for FY 1998.
NCES 98-270
Data 1992 Academic Library Survey, 1992   Not available   3,274 observations according the the ED Tabs report. This
is the same number as given in the 1990 report.
NCES 94032
Data 1990 Academic Library Survey, 1990   Not available   3,274 observations according the the ED Tabs report.
NCES 93045
Data 1988   Not available    
HEGIS Data            
Data 1985-1986 HEGIS, 1985-1986: College and University Libraries ASCII da2120.txt 11.9 MB Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) from ICPSR
3,388 observations
ICPSR 2120, January 1999
Data 1977-1978 to
1979-1980
HEGIS, 1978-1979 through 1979-1980: College and University Libraries ASCII da2118.txt 15.3 MB Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) from ICPSR
3,190 observations
ICPSR 2118, February 1999
Data 1976-1979 HEGIS, 1976-1977: College and University Libraries ASCII da2116.txt 13.9 MB Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) from ICPSR
2,985 observations
ICPSR 2116, January 1999
Data 1970-1971 to 1971-1972 HEGIS, 1970-1971 through 1971-1972: College and University Libraries ASCII da2113.txt 7.9 MB Higher Education General Information Survey (HEGIS) from ICPSR
ICPSR 2113, November 1998

Academic Library Statistics: Documentation for the Data Files
Type of file Title File type File name File size Notes
Documentation 2010 Academic Library Survey PDF ALS2010doc.pdf 1,263 KB NCES 2011-367
Documentation 2008 Academic Library Survey PDF ALS2008doc.pdf 1,381 KB NCES 2010-310
Documentation 2006 Academic Library Survey PDF ALS2006doc.pdf 574 KB NCES 2008-348
Documentation 2004 Academic Library Survey PDF ALS2004doc.pdf 1,652 KB NCES2007-343
Documentation 2002 Academic Library Survey PDF ALS2002doc.pdf 753 KB NCES2006-308
Documentation 2000 Academic Library Survey PDF ALS2000doc.pdf 678 KB NCES 2006-342
Documentation 1998 IPEDS Academic Library Survey File PDF ALS1998doc.PDF 174 KB No identifying number. Unpaged.
32 pages of file documentation and 13 pages
of the survey form and instructions.
Documentation 1996 Academic Libraries Survey File PDF ALS1996doc.pdf 907 KB NCES 2008-318
Documentation About the 1994 Academic Library Data File html About the 1994 Academic Library Data File 24 KB NCES 98-270. A bit over one page
with information on the files listed immediately
below.
Documentation Academic Library Survey, Fiscal Year 1994 Word format Ipcodes.doc
Methfile.doc
Varlist.doc
45 KB
45 KB
75 KB
 
HEGIS Documentation          
Documentation HEGIS, 1985-1986: College and University Libraries PDF cb2120.pdf
Record layout rl2120.excel.gz
2,804 KB
282 KB
Documentation HEGIS, 1978-1979 through 1979-1980: College and University Libraries PDF cb2118.pdf
Record layout rl2118.excel.gz
1,767 KB
282 KB
"ICPSR2120Q" This version of the documentation
has a good bit of explanatory material
by ICPSR.
Documentation HEGIS, 1976-1977: College and University Libraries PDF cb2116.pdf
Record layout rl2116.excel.gz
2,091 KB
282 KB
 
Documentation HEGIS, 1970-1971 through 1971-1972: College and University Libraries PDF cb2113.pdf
Record layout rl2113.xls
3,361 KB
282 KB
An important file, I bet. Seems to have
documentation of the file layouts of data from each year
from 1966-1986. I have not seen this range of years for this
survey mentioned anywhere else.

Academic Library Statistics: NCES Publications about Academic Libraries
Type of file Year File type File name File size Notes
First Look Academic Libraries: 2010
Supplemental ALS 2010 Tables
PDF FLALS2010.pdf
FLALS2010_1.pdf
3.6 MB
530 KB
NCES 2012-365
NCES 2010-365_1
First Look Academic Libraries: 2008
Supplemental ALS 2008 Tables
PDF FLALS2008.pdf
FLALS2008_1.pdf
415 KB
265 KB
NCES 2010-348
NCES 2010-348_1
First Look Academic Libraries: 2006 PDF FLALS2006.pdf 1,115 KB NCES 2008-337
First Look Academic Libraries: 2004
Supplemental ALS 2002 Tables
Supplemental ALS 2004 Tables
PDF FLALS2004.pdf
FLALS2004_1.pdf
FLALS2004_2.pdf
505 KB
182 KB
119 KB
NCES 2007-301
NCES 2007-301_1–issued with 2004 publication
NCES 2007-301_2
Supplemental E.D. Tab Supplementation ALS 2002 Tables to NCES 2007-301
(published with 2004 data and also listed above)
PDF FLALS2004_1.pdf 182 KB NCES 2007-301_s1
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 2000 PDF EDTabALS2000.pdf 592 KB NCES 2004-317
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 1998 PDF EDTabALS1998.pdf 337 KB NCES 2001-341
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 1996 PDF EDTabALS1996.pdf 266 KB NCES 200036
Survey Report The Status of Academic Libraries in the United States:
Results from the 1996 Academic Library Survey with Historical Comparisons.
PDF NCES2001301.pdf 407 KB May 2001
NCES 2001-301
Technical Report Coverage Evaluation of the Academic Library Survey. PDF NCES1999330.pdf 2,206 KB September 1999
NCES 1999-330
Survey Report The Status of Academic Libraries in the United States:
Results from the 1994 Academic Library Survey with Historical Comparisons.
PDF NCES98311.pdf 1,991 KB September 1998
NCES 98-311
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 1994 PDF EDTabALS1994.pdf 564 KB NCES 98-275
Statistical Analysis Report Distance Education in Higher Education Institutions PDF NCES98062.pdf 234 KB October 1997
NCES 98-062
Descriptive Report The Status of Academic Libraries in the United States:
Results from the 1990 and 1992 Academic Library Surveys
PDF NCES97413.pdf 145 KB June 1997
NCES 97-413
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 1992 PDF EDTabALS1992.pdf 261 KB NCES 95-031
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 1990 PDF EDTabALS1990.pdf 1,917 KB NCES 93-044
E.D. Tab Academic Libraries: 1988   Not Available   NCES 90-374

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