The Gerould Data

The Association of Research Libraries paid me to produce The Gerould Statistics and published the paper copy in 1987. Subsequently, a digital edition was added to the ARL Website and now the second edition has replaced the digital version of the first edition. It is here. ARL owns the data and they have been incorporated into subsequent publications, notably the combined ARL and Gerould data: Research Library Statistics, 1907/08 Through 1987/88: A Guide to the Machine-Readable Version of the Gerould and ARL Statistics (Washington: Association of Research Libraries, 1990.) Kendon Stubbs and I compiled. I do have the original data but would need to have permission from ARL to make them available.

James Thayer Gerould was the director of the University of Minnesota library when he wrote “A Plan for the Compilation of Comparative University and College Library Statistics” which appeared in Library Journal in 1906. He presented the plan at a meeting of the American Library Association and a committed was appointed to consider the plan. I have been unable to find a report from this committee. Gerould, though, was a man of action and he produced the “STATISTICS OF STATE AND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES, 1907-08.”. In 1920, he moved to Princeton to become the director of the library and continued to publish these data. He retired in 1938. Whether he continued collecting data or not is not clear but Lawrence Heyl recompiled the longitudinal version I am referring to here as The Princeton Compilation.

The Gerould data also used the ARL infrastructure developed by Stubbs and Buxton.

December 12, 2022
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