R.R. Hawkins Award
About R.R. Hawkins (1902-1999)
Reginald Robert Hawkins started his career at the New York Public Library (NYPL) as a reference assistant in 1926 and gradually worked his way to become Chief of the Science and Technology Division in 1942, where he served until 1957. Hawkins was very dedicated to the NYPL and engaged in various activities such as planning and hosting an exhibit on Technical Books and the War in 1943 as well as serving as the editor of the library’s monthly review publication, New Technical Books.
One of his most significant accomplishments was the authoring of the bibliography, Scientific, Medical, and Technical Books Published in the US. 1930-1944, which was published in 1946 with the support of the U.S. Department of State and an advisory committee of major publishers. Developed to aid in the rehabilitation of European libraries following World War II, the bibliography’s success contributed to library rehabilitation abroad and to the acceptance of American science and scholarship in Europe. He authored the bibliography of the same book in 1958.
In addition to authoring the bibliography, Hawkins also authored numerous books about home mechanics covering topics from arbors and trellises to outdoor fireplaces and swimming pools. Hawkins, along with co-author C.H. Abbes, focused on writing to an audience he called “capable and fortunate — the home mechanics– who build things for the fun of it, and (sometimes) because their bank accounts will not stand the burden of having them built by professionals.” He also compiled a list of writings by and about the American poet George Edward Woodberry (1855-1930) in 1930. Hawkins was a member of the National Research Council, the American Library Association, the New York Library Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
R.R. Hawkins’ dedication and passion for professional and scholarly publishing is quite evident through his robust career. The R.R. Hawkins Award was created in 1976 to recognize outstanding scholarly works in all disciplines of the arts and sciences.