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  Acoustical Society of America Books Committee
Mark F. Hamilton
     The primary function of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Books Committee is to recommend new books on topics in acoustics for publication according to an agree- ment with a commercial publisher and bearing the imprint ASA Press.
The ASA Books Committee was formed in 2016 by the merger of the former Books+ Committee and the ASA Press Editorial Board. Books+ was created in 1983
and charged primarily with proposing reprints of out- of-print books on acoustical topics. The ASA Press Editorial Board, created in 2011, was charged with recommending new books for publication, including new editions or English translations of preexisting books, on topics in acoustics and bearing the imprint
ASA Press.
The Evolution of Books+
The beginnings of Books+ traces back to a request made by Cyril Harris in 1979 to reprint the classic text Acous- tical Designing in Architecture that he wrote with Vern Knudsen and that was published originally in 1950. In his request to the ASA Executive Council, Professor Harris wrote that “Since this book is no longer in print, I am eager that arrangements be made for reissuing it (prefer- ably in paperback, so that it will be available to students at the lowest possible price) without significant delay. I will be pleased to turn over all future royalties earned by any reprint edition to the Acoustical Society.” His ini- tiative set in motion events that led to the formation of Books+ just a few years later.
Books+ was enormously successful over the years, popu- lating the bookshelves of junior and senior researchers alike through its sales of classic books in acoustics at very low prices. This was accomplished by publishing books with expired copyrights, those whose authors transferred the copyrights to the ASA, or those with permission otherwise granted for republication. The inventory of Books+ that appeared on the ASA website was a verita- ble Who’s Who of iconic authors in acoustics, the first of these being, following Knudsen and Harris (1980), books by Morse (Vibration and Sound, 1981), Hunt (Electroa- coustics, 1982), Stevens and Davis (Hearing, Its Psychology and Physiology, 1983), Beranek (Acoustics, 1986), Tolstoy and Clay (Ocean Acoustics, 1987), von Békésy (Experi- ments in Hearing, 1989), and Pierce (Acoustics, 1989).
As the Books+ program grew, titles included translation books; books based on poster sessions covering topics such as theaters, worship spaces, and music education facilities; and an original publication on concert halls. The “plus” in Books+ was added in 1995 to recognize alternative publication formats such as CDs, DVDs, videotapes, and other means of archiving content. For example, the ASA produced a CD titled Scientific Papers by Lord Rayleigh containing the corpus of Rayleigh’s articles. A listing of
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82 Acoustics Today • Summer 2020 | Volume 16, issue 2
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