Bob Bolin
Business Librarian
225E Love Library
Lincoln, NE 68588-4100

Voice: (402) 472-4418

My Job

I am a faculty member at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with the rank of Associate Professor. My Curriculum Vitae is available online.  

I work as a reference librarian in Love Library.    I provide reference assistance to individuals at the Reference Desk and orientation and library instruction for classes and other groups. 

As the business librarian, I am the library's liaison with the College of Business Administration. I help faculty, staff, and students of the college use library resources effectively. I also select business related books and other materials for the Libraries.

I am also the library's liaison with the ROTC programs on the UNL campus. I select military-related books and other materials for the Libraries.

In 2012, I took over responsibility for the Foundation Center Cooperating Collection at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Libraries. I often teach groups and individuals how to search the Foundation Center directory effectively.

In 2013, I was asked to take over responsibilities for the library science collection in the UNL Libraries.

Beginning in June 2013, I assumed responsibility for the Patent and Trademark Resource Center in the Engineering Library at UNL. I also became part of the team of librarians managing the Engineering Library until the engineering librarian position is filled.

In addition to my other duties, I am working with the teaching faculty to help them make effective use of the electronic resources available from the University Libraries. The widespread use of the Blackboard course management software on the UNL campus facilitates the use of electronic resources.

Scholarly Interests

  • Early PB-Number Documents
    I have been concerned with the early Federal technical reports since I realized that that collection is essentially "lost" about 20 years age.

    The modern Federal technical reports system began in 1946 with the creation of the Office of the Public Board and the publication of the Bibliography of Scientific and Industrial Reports (BSIR). The first 150,000 reports are held by the Library of Congress, but they are not listed in the NTIS database or any other online database. I described the situation in my article:

    The "Lost" US Technical Reports: Obtaining Reports from the 1940s and 50s

    I made an early effort to make some of the "lost" documents more accessible with an online index:

    Army Manuals Listed in the Bibliography of Scientific and Industrial Reports,1946-1949

    When I got to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, I decided to make BSIR, the index to the early technical reports, available online. With the help of the E-Text Center at the University of Nebraska-Libraries, I have begun making BSIR availavle at:

    Bibliography of Scientific and Industrial Reports, an Online Resource

    At this point, BSIR Online is a successful demonstration project. Although scanning and OCRing the text in BSIR and tagging the text has proven easy, copy editing, standardizing entries, and regularizing usages to create an accurate finished product has proven very slow and time consuming.

    I have come to realize that a better solution to the problem of the "lost" technical reports would be to have the entire collection digitized. Ideally, it would be freely available on the Web -- maybe through Google Books. It could also be available as a commercial database. I have written to the Library of Congress and to organizations technically capable of digitize the collection to explain why it is important and why digitizing the collection would be a service to scholarship and humankind and why it could be a commercially successful venture. I will continue to lobby on this issue as I continue with BSIR Online.

  • The History of US Army Technical Intelligence Organizations
    I am working on an article on the origins and evolution of Army technical intelligence organizations. In order to organize the material I have gathered, I am preparing a hypertext chronology. An early version is available at:

    Army Technical Intelligence Chronology

  • The Mechanical Pencil Industry in Chicago
     I am particularly interested in the histories of the Autopoint and Dur-O-Lite companies and in the career of C.R. Keeran.  I have made some material related to Autopoint and Dur-O-Lite on this Web site:

    Pencil Research Page

  • Computing and Scholarship
     One purpose of my research efforts is to see how I can use computer applications.

    An article on Using Sorted Lists for Error Checking" was published in the journal Library Philosophy and Practice.

  • The Organization of Knowledge 

    In Fall 2003, I taught an American Studies class, AMST 301, Studies in American Culture, at the University of Idaho. The theme of the class was "the Organization of Knowledge in Modern America." Thirty juniors and seniors took the class.


I am a bike commuter. Most mornings for several years, I rode my bicycle from Moscow, Idaho, to Pulman, Washington, and back before work. That was a trip of 14 miles. In August 2003, I made my 1000th trip.    Exercise was my excuse, but my real reason for going is to meet with a group of delightful friends at Starbucks.  Here are a couple of  pictures of me at Starbucks on the Moscow Highway in Pullman in June 2003. It is not surprising to have frost on the bridges in June in Northern Idaho, and Idressed accordingly.

University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588-4100
2004 by Robert L. Bolin.  All rights reserved

URL:'s Home Page.htm
Version 8.19b, 16 May 2013