The Shrinking National Collection: A Study of the Effects of the Diversion of Funds from Monographs to Serials on the Monograph Collections of Research Libraries

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Acquisitions, Research libraries, National collection, Foreign language acquisitions, OCLC/AMIGOS


A precipitous rise in the price of library materials, especially serials; an increase in worldwide publication output; and a decline in the funding base of research libraries have resulted in a drastic erosion of the purchasing power of research libraries. This erosion of purchasing power has in turn directly resulted in a reduction of the number of nonserial printed materials acquired by academic research libraries in the United States in the latter half of the 1980s. This study is a comparison of the number of nonserial imprints acquired by the 72 Association of Research Libraries members whose bibliographic records for the imprint years 1985 to 1989 are included in the 1991 edition of the OCLC/AMIGOS Collection Analysis CD-ROM database. The results of the study confirm that there was a decline in the holdings of the 72 libraries from 1985 to 1989 by language and subject groupings. This led to a greater concentration on a core of materials by the 72 libraries.

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Library Acquisitions: Practice & Theory, v. 18, issue 1, p. 3-22

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