- Welcome to the Premier Issue of Libraries & the Cultural Record
With this issue Libraries & Culture becomes Libraries & the Cultural Record. Under its new title the journal will give voice to historical exploration, singly and in concert, of libraries and librarianship, archival and records enterprise, museums and museum administration, and preservation and conservation—those fields uniting in the Information domain and joined in the stewardship of the cultural record. The change represents both milestones being passed and continuities being affirmed in this forty-year-old journal.
First, as the initial word in the title affirms, this remains a journal committed to the study and documentation of libraries, librarianship, and library science. Such has been the focus from its founding as the Journal of Library History (JLH) in 1966.
Second, this remains a journal of history. History is continuity and change, stability and development. History is recounting of the familiar and exploration of the sadly and perilously forgotten, misunderstood, and unknown. Most importantly, history gives meaning by providing the context of time within which to nestle understanding. From the inaugural issue of the JLH, an historical perspective in a profession with only a light historical consciousness has been the particular gift of this journal to the understanding of the nature and contribution to society of libraries, librarianship, and library science. The journal did not compromise its history focus when, in 1988, under the new banner of Libraries & Culture, it enlarged its perspective to explore a deeper cultural perception of libraries broadly defined. As Libraries & theCultural Record (L&CR) it continues unwavering in its commitment to be a journal of history.
Third, the change of name to Libraries & the Cultural Record recognizes and takes as the journal's yet broader mission the study of the historical antecedents of the significant contemporary changes of which libraries [End Page 295] are a distinct but single part. The Information Age has created the Information domain, uniting the institutions and services of libraries and librarians, archives and archivists, museums and museum professionals, and preservation administrators and conservators in the fundamental enterprise of stewardship of our shared cultural record—recorded knowledge of human discovery, creativity, and achievement. Study of the energy brought to and generated at the meeting points of traditional disciplines, fields, and professions opens new avenues of historical exploration and research. L&CR means to tap, excite, and lead study and understanding of the historical antecedents of the realm growing at the intersections of the four fields of libraries, archives, museums, and preservation.
Unifying all these fields of the Information domain are the collections of recorded knowledge—their creation, organization, preservation, and utilization—that form the cultural record. Exploration and examination of the history of these collections in libraries, archives, and museums, public and private, singly as well as between and among each, in all periods of history, and in all cultural and social contexts is the mission of L&CR.
Fourth, this remains a peer-reviewed, interdisciplinary journal of research, scholarly essays, and reviews of important books addressing historical issues. L&CR is dedicated to publishing engaging original research that highlights the historical interplay of the actions and decisions of, the forces affecting, and the trends driving those who worked at the foundations of civilization by creating, organizing, preserving, and facilitating utilization of the cultural record.
Longtime readers no doubt already have noted the two-fold principal design change in the journal. On the one hand, the cover highlights the ampersand, a ligature of the letters e and t, which joined together form the Latin word for "and." Enjoying a distinguished history stretching back over two millennia, the ampersand expresses the focus of Libraries & the Cultural Record on the joining of the fields of librarianship, archival and records enterprise, museum administration, and preservation administration in the province of the cultural record. On the other hand, "The Cover" feature story is expanding its scope to highlight artwork of a broad range of "Cultural Record Keepers." This new section will include both artwork created in the management of collections, which the bookplates that have long appeared on the journal cover have and will continue to exhibit, and artwork created to highlight the enterprise...