Meet the ACRL Presidents: Neal Rotan Harlow

Over the course of ACRL’s 75th anniversary celebration, we’ll highlight the association’s history by profiling our past presidents.Harlow #1

Neal Rotan Harlow (1908-2000) was the 26th president of ACRL, serving from 1963-1964. During that time, he was also dean of the Graduate School of Library Service in Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. Under his leadership, the Planning and Action Committee worked on outlining the goals for ACRL and reported the following major objectives: “increasing assistance to college and junior college libraries, suggesting improvements in direct library service to users, encouraging libraries to come up to the approved standards, developing resources, and improving communication within and among the various groups interested in the libraries of these institutions.” A member of ALA, Neal was also a member of ALA Council, served as the president of the Canadian Library Association, and was the editor of California Library Bulletin from 1947-1949. His publications include The Administration of Manuscripts in a University Library (1949), The City of the Angels and the City of the Saints (1978), California Conquered: War and Peace on the Pacific, 1846-1850 (1982), and a trilogy of books on maps beginning with his master’s thesis: The Maps of San Francisco Bay From the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation (1950); Maps and Surveys of the Pueblo Lands of Los Angeles (1976); and Maps of the Pueblo Lands of San Diego, 1602-1874 (1987). In 1989, he was named a fellow of the Historical Society of Southern California.