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Library offers duplicate and low-usage journals to Fellows

Last Updated on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 15:25
Published on Wednesday, 20 February 2013 13:16

The RAS Library is to dispose of some duplicate and low-usage journal titles by first offering them to Fellows.

In addition to its main offices in Burlington House, the RAS occupies a very large room above the neighbouring Geological Society, currently used as the Library annexe. This is mainly stocked with seldom (or never) used journals, as well as a reserve stock of old (but not rare or valuable) books.

The RAS libraryThe RAS library (click to enlarge)Currently the room, in a prime location overlooking Piccadilly, is of little worth to the Society's Fellows. The material housed in this annexe is being assessed for its usefulness and value to the RAS Library, with a view to reordering and restoring the space to better serve the needs of the Society.

As a consequence, the Librarian and the Chairman of the Library Committee have agreed with the Executive Secretary and Council that some journal titles - those which are duplicate sets, easily available elsewhere or peripheral to the purpose of the RAS and the nature of its historic collections - can be removed from the catalogue and disposed of. We are only at the beginning of a lengthy process, but have decided as a matter of urgency that some space must be freed up in order to facilitate the reorganisation.

Some of these journals are now being offered to RAS Fellows, before other potentially interested parties are contacted. We suggest that if Fellows wish to avail themselves (or their departments or universities) of this offer, then a charity donation should be made to the Society to reflect the value (which can be nominal) that the Fellow chooses.

The duplicate RAS titles are as follows:

  • Astronomy & Geophysics (miscellaneous copies, unbound)
  • Geophysical Journal of the RAS and Geophysical Journal International (1970 to present, unbound)
  • Memoirs of the RAS (miscellaneous copies, unbound)
  • Monthly Notices of the RAS (1970 to present, unbound)
  • Quarterly Journal of the RAS (1960-1996, unbound)

Separate bound sets of all these RAS journals are already available in the main library and will of course be retained.

Other titles are:

  • Applied Optics (1962-1996, 1999-2000, 2002-2005, bound)
  • Les Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des sciences... (1840-1980, bound but many in poor condition)
  • Yearbook of the Royal Society (London) (1896-2005, bound)

These are all either available online free of charge from NASA ADS, or at the nearby Royal Society Library. The RAS Library will continue to keep the current year (only) of the Yearbook of the Royal Society.

Fellows will have to arrange collection of the volumes, as the Society does not have the staff time to undertake further assessment of them, or arrange for their removal from the premises.

If anyone is interested in any of these journals - either the full sets or parts thereof - or would like further information on the journals available, please contact the Librarian, Jenny Higham, by 30 April 2013.

The previous Librarian, the late Peter Hingley, had already established that there is no use being made of these runs. A survey of the costs of moving the journals to outside storage found them to be prohibitive. Finally, if any Fellow has concerns about this process, please contact the Chairman of the Library Committee, Dr Simon Mitton.