Foreign Corresponding Members
The Independent Research Libraries Association was established in 1972 in order to address the future of independent, privately-supported research libraries. From its inception, IRLA has dealt with common needs and aspirations -- how to preserve the precious cultural heritage represented in our vast collections, how best to serve the public and the world of scholarship, and how to finance and manage costly, fragile libraries that must survive largely without the security of public or university support.
Our nineteen member institutions have diverse origins, ranging from the eighteenth-century beginnings of the Library Company of Philadelphia and the American Philosophical Society through the mid-twentieth century founding of the Linda Hall Library and the Hagley Museum and Library. Some, such as the Pierpont Morgan Library, the Huntington and Winterthur, include major museum collections. Several of the nation's oldest and most distinguished historical societies are IRLA libraries. Many, such as the Newberry, the Folger Shakespeare Library, and the American Antiquarian Society, are national centers of scholarship in the humanities.
Three common threads unite IRLA's members, in effect comprising the criteria for membership:
For more information about membership, please contact David Spadafora, chair of the Nominating Committee at the Newberry Library. If you would like to know more about the needs and opportunities at the libraries in IRLA, please contact the Current chair of IRLA, Gregory Landrey at Winterthur Museum, Garden, and Library.
IRLA libraries have developed as centers for organized research and education. Scholars are served through fellowhips, seminars, conferences, institutes, as well as through such publications as catalogs, guides, monographs, journals, and books. Many collections are cataloged on nationally accessible computerized databases. The public is served through exhibitions, tours, lecture programs, classes, audio-visual and computer-based materials, and popularly oriented pamphlets, facsimiles, and books. Independent research libraries have become true intellectual communities.
Foreign Corresponding Member
In 1984 IRLA elected a Foreign Corresponding Member -- the renowned Herzog August Bibliothek in Wolfenbuttel, Germany. The Herzog August Bibliothek originated as a ducal collection in 1572; by the seventeenth century its 130,000 items constituted the largest collection in Europe; today the Library contains approximately 800,000 volumes, most of them dating from before 1850. It includes many special collections, manuscripts, and documents in all areas of history and the humanities for the early modern period.
Independent research libraries are fragile treasure houses of our civilization. They represent vital elements in America's cultural heritage, and they make a unique contribution to the quality of American life.
American Antiquarian Society
American Philosophical Society
The John Carter Brown Library
Canadian Centre for Architecture
The Folger Shakespeare Library
The Getty Research Institute
The Hagley Museum and Library
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens
The Library Company of Philadelphia
Linda Hall Library of Science, Engineering & Technology
Massachusetts Historical Society
The Morgan Library and Museum
The Newberry Library
The New York Academy of Medicine
The New-York Historical Society
The New York Public Library, Astor, Lenox, and Tilden Foundations
The Virginia Historical Society
Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library
German Affilliate Member
Herzog August Bibliothek
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|Last Modified: Mon Jun 2 2014|