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Learning research methods without a book is like learning to ride, without a bicycle. 
Plans for next donation of books
The procedure is simple.  We  only  take research methods (statistics, big data, epidemiology) books for the Serageldin Library of Alexandria. We plan to collect research methods books from Psychology, agriculture, engineering etc. Math-stat books are fine, but not pure math, biochemistry...etc. Also, we are not collecting any journals.


1.  Identify books you would like to donate (both new, and books of the 20th century)

2. Box them (~ 30 per box, cost /box =~1.00  cost/box = ~$ 10-15.00)

3. Include in each box the name of the people donating, and a dedication if you would like

4.  Send the books via media/ book rate (~$1.00 per book) to


Ronald E. LaPorte, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus

Rm 5128 Graduate School Public Health

130 Desoto Street
University of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, PA  15261




Make sure that you tell us at when you send your books


5. The window for sending books is June 1 to September 7 (please do not send books after Sept. 7, 2017).

6. Also we currently have 5 scientific societies who will be collecting books at their meetings American College of Sports Medicine May 30 - June 3, 2017 Denver, Co
Statistical Society of Canada (SSC) June 11-14, 2017 Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Society for Epidemiologic Research (SER) The Westin Seattle, Seattle, WA, June 20-23, 2017 
Joint Statistical Meeting (JSM) July 29-Aug 3, 2017 Baltimore Convention Centre, Baltimore, MD  Our plan is to hold the Library of Alexandria "Thank you party"  at the Hilton, Room 2027 starting 5.30 p.m. on July 31.
American College of Epidemiology (ACE) Sept 24 -26, 2017 New Orleans LA We ask that you take several of your little used and dusty research methods books and pack them into your suitcase. At the meeting we will have a donation box. Make sure that you put your name and address into each book as we will be including a name plate for you in each book. Also, we will include your name onto our donor page.
Please let us know if you are going to any of these meetings, and if plan to take several research methods books to the meeting. We need to make plans for how to get the books to the warehouse, therefore I need to know approximately how many books will be donated. Contact us at
We very much appreciate your help.  It will be grand having your books rubbing elbows with Euclid and us.
  Contact Us if you would like to be in our donors list.

7. After the books are collected, they will be wrapped in plastic and loaded into a container and loaded onto the container ship.
8. It takes about 3 weeks to reach the port of Alexandria, and then taken to the Library and placed into the basement
9. The books will take about 3 months to be curated
10. A name plate will be included in each book of the donor
11. The donor's name will be included in our donor page
12. You will be spending the next 400 years talking with Euclid, and grand statistics experts


Help Promote Sound Research in Developing Countries by Donating Your Used Textbooks (ASA)-  


McDougall Scientific care of Save the Stats Book - 


BA Serageldin Euclid Newsletter - Building the largest statistical archive

Amazingly we have also built the first historical statistics library without knowing it.

“A book holds a house of gold” (anonymous Chinese quote)

I found a statistics book that I used when I was a junior in college.  It was 47 years old, I had not opened it for 46 years.  It seems like it could have had a better use to teach other aspiring young minds. 

It did spur me on to think about something most exciting, building a research methods archive. Last week I went to a talk by Dean Burke.  It was an elegant presentation about the history of my most favorite quote, the WHO Definition of health: 
"Health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity". (WHO)

It was a wonderful talk, he went to the archives, the league of nations, the Stampar school of public health in Croatia, and many other places.  I do love this definition, and was very impressed with his digging.  I was thinking that it would be most exciting to build a historical research methods library. I of course know nothing about the history of statistics, but I began to contact people.  A wonderful person, Eileen Magnello heads the history committee for the Royal Statistical Society. She has been most beneficial. I will be discussing this in-depth with her.

It sounds like a mammoth task to build an archive for the history of statistics. However, I had a revelation based upon my 47 year old book, your dusty old worn statistics books, archiving and history.

The Revelation was that we have already created the most important historical archive for statistics and research methods. The BA Serageldin library is indeed an archive.  Library with the 15000 books certainly covers virtually all aspects of statistics.  What is cool is that the books you sent to us, some are 100 years old.  My oldest book is 47 years.  We thus have the historical underpinnings of research methods due to the magnificent old books you donated. The library we are building indeed will be very helpful to teach young people.  Also, it will be the most complete archives of statistics for the past century.  Many of you when you retire like me, become interested in the history of our fields.   The BA Serageldin will be the most complete archives for the history of statistics, and you will be able to use these books for free when you go to Alexandria.

Congratulations not only do we have a Library; we have a monumental historical archive.

“A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots” (Garvey)         


Ron, and colleagues,

As we are free to dream here, one dream I have goes back to the very first DOS 1.0 statistics package I used on a then outrageously expensive clone of an IBM PC1 (with 512k of RAM and two 5 1/4 360kb floppies). Adjusted for inflation that 1982 machine cost me $35,000, but left me with no option if I was to ride the digital wave into the future. Being able to enter data and do a simple regression was amazing. Today, of course, we have unlimited sophistication in statistical packages ranging from Open-source; Public domain; Freeware; Proprietary; Add-ons; and now SaaS Cloud-based applications. 

This prompts a question. Statistical software is what breathes life into the tools we master, and the data we collect. What are the prospects for building a digital library of statistical tools, and digital training materials for the use of statistical tools? To build a better tomorrow we need more, better, and more widely applied evidence-based input into policy making and implementation, in all walks of life. We need to understand what the numbers tell us. 

Sam Lanfranco 

Dear Donors,

Legacy: something transmitted by or received from an ancestor or predecessor or from the past 


I just returned from Ireland on vacation. While there I was thinking of my legacy, our legacy, and Justin Bieber.  Justin will be of interest for a few years, sadly my work will not be of interest in 200 years.  However, with  BA Serageldin, we are creating a legacy where our statistics and research methods will last centuries, and will continue as we push up daisies.  Because of you we are transmitting our statistical knowledge to future generations.  We thus have developed legacies for all of us, but we have built a legacy of statistics that will stand the test of time. This unique collection of the corpus of statistical knowledge, is designed not for the past, not for the present, but indeed for the future.

I would like you all to think about what statistics will be like in 200 years, and what we need most to preserve.



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