March 6, 1992
Ithaca, NY 14853
Dear Professor Smith,
The Albert Mann Library is involved in a large bibliographic project to identify the historical literature of food science and human nutrition which is worthy of preservation. Because much early agricultural literature was printed on acidic paper which is rapidly becoming too brittle to handle, efforts much be made to identify the early works of historical importance. Libraries face a formidable task with upwards of thirty percent of their collection in ruinous condition. By identifying the most important core of journals and monographs, we hope to attack the problem in cooperation with other institutions. Citation analysis of select books has been used to identify the journals and monographs most often cited in the literature from 1860 to 1950.
We have been working with a national steering committee which supplied the names of individuals they felt would have the necessary background and experience to provide us with evaluations. You have been recommended as a person with extensive knowledge and teaching experience and with a broad overview of important historical literature. We hope you can evalutate the monographs on the enclosed list in terms on the importance of preserving them for historical research. There are approximately 800 titles; journals and reports are not included at this time.
Historical materials are difficult to evaluate because each offers a point of view important to historians. Most historians would have us keep everything since it is all valuable in their eyes. However, for libraries and academic institutions this may not be possible, and some decisions must be made. A low score will not mean that an item is discarded. An evaluation is necessary, however, to assure that we get the most important works preserved first.
We hope you can mark the enclosed
list and return it to us as soon as possible. Thank you for your participation.
Albert R. Mann Library
Phone: (607) 255-6919
FAX: (607) 255-0318