Call for Papers: History of State Libraries

State Library Agencies: A Special Issue of Libraries & The Cultural Record

Libraries & The Cultural Record, a peer-reviewed journal of history published by the University of Texas Press, invites submissions for a special issue devoted to exploring historical perspectives on state library agencies in the United States. Contributors are encouraged to consider the topic in diverse ways. Possible themes might include (but are not limited to):

  • The history and evolving role of the state library agency as a type, or of a specific state library agency
  • Biographical sketches of significant individuals, including former state librarians, staff, and relevant government officials
  • The history of state-wide initiatives, such as resource sharing, cooperative online catalogs, or technology training and support
  • State library roles in the certification, organization, or professional development of library staff
  • State “extension” of library services to rural or underserved communities
  • History of the development and/or implementation of federal programs for supporting library services that are administered by state library agencies
  • History of interactions between libraries and education, history, museum, or other departments at the state level
  • History of efforts at the state level to document or preserve regional and local history, or to organize and enhance access to state government information
  • Comparative histories of two or more state libraries
  • The history of ALA’s Association of Specialized and Cooperative Library Agencies (ASCLA), the Collaborative Summer Library Program (CSLP), the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), and other entities that encourage collaboration between states

Proposal guidelines:

Submissions should be based on original research utilizing appropriate sources, including archival materials. Articles must provide a coherent narrative and analysis that situate state library agencies in the broader context of the state environment in which they operate.
Submissions should not have been previously published or currently submitted for publication elsewhere. Completed articles should be approximately 7,000 words including notes.

All proposals for articles must include:

  • The author’s contact information, including name, e-mail address, telephone number, and institutional address
  • Title of the proposed article
  • An abstract of 500 words or less
  • Brief list of principal primary and secondary sources that will be used in the research
  • A statement on the status of the research and prospect for completion by deadline

Proposals should be prepared using Microsoft Word and submitted electronically to both of the guest editors, Robert Sidney Martin
( and Bernadette A. Lear ( Proposals must be received by the editors no later than November 1, 2010.

Submissions will be acknowledged via e-mail, indicating that the proposal has been received. Authors of proposals will be notified by December 1, 2010, regarding the status of their submission. Proposals that are accepted will receive an invitation to submit a manuscript for peer-review no later than February 1, 2012. Following peer-review, the manuscript will be returned to the author by March 15, 2012, indicating any revisions required. The final revised manuscript is due to the journal editorial offices no later than July 1, 2012. The special issue will be published in January, 2013, as volume 48, number 1 of the journal. For more information about the journal’s submission requirements and peer review process, see L&CR’s web page for submissions at .

About the journal:

Libraries & The Cultural Record (ISSN1932-4855) explores the creation, organization, preservation, and utilization of collections in libraries, archives, and museums in the context of cultural and social history. The quarterly journal publishes historical research from scholars worldwide, along with thoughtful essays and book reviews. L&CR accepts approximately 45 percent of manuscripts submitted for publication. In a
2005 survey of LIS deans, who were asked which publications are considered important for tenure decisions, the journal was ranked number
11 out of 71 journals in the field. In 2010, Libraries & the Cultural Record was rated among the top twenty percent of journals in its field by the Australian Research Council in a ranking of 148 scholarly journals worldwide. Established at Florida State University in 1966 as the Journal of Library History, its editorship moved to The University of Texas at Austin, where it assumed its present title in 2006. Articles are available in full-text beginning with the Winter 2001 issue (Volume 36, Number 1) for subscribers to Project Muse (

About the guest editors for this special issue:

Robert Sidney Martin is Professor Emeritus in the School of Library and Information Studies at Texas Woman’s University, where he was Professor of Library Science and Lillian Bradshaw Endowed Chair until his retirement in 2008. From 2001 to 2005 he served as Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. He has authored or edited numerous books and journal articles on library management, the history of libraries and librarianship, and the history of the exploration and mapping of the American West. His work has been recognized with numerous honors and awards, including the Justin Winsor Prize from the American Library Association.

Bernadette A. Lear is the Behavioral Sciences and Education Librarian at Penn State University’s Harrisburg Campus, and immediate past Chair of ALA’s Library History Round Table. She is also Chair of the Archives Committee of the Pennsylvania Library Association. Her research interests include the history of public libraries in Pennsylvania, and she is currently working on an article about Hannah Packard James, one of the state’s first professional librarians.