Perspectives: Field Notes

Establish a Good Reference Library

A few key books should underpin your collection.

By Dirk Willard, Contributing Editor
Feb 10, 2015

Over thirty years ago, I started collecting articles and books for my professional library. I lugged this collection all over: from California to Michigan, then elsewhere and, finally, to Ohio. Until about 10 years ago, I had 20-to-30 years’ worth of Chemical Processing, Chemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering Progress, Plant Engineering and other trade magazines. At that time, it took almost 100 boxes to cart my entire reference collection. A few years ago, I started scanning articles to convert them to PDF format; I initially stored the digital files on CDs but today keep them on external drives. Last year, I whittled down the collection to three bookcases by scanning more than 50 binders of material. Now these references are available when I am away on a job. Unfortunately, I don’t have all my books in PDF format.

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