Need a book? Engineering books recommendations...

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Thanks for all of the replies.  The Library of Congress is actually the most convenient for me,  since it is about half a mile from my house.  I had forgotten to check the microfiche collection.  

ASTM standards do change with maddening frequency,  and it is only very recently that ASTM has begun marking the places where there are changes - similar to ACI 318.

Old ASTMs are actually available from ASTM - I think the last few revisions can always be ordered directly and others are available by special order.  There is a charge for this (I think maybe kind of large), which is reasonable since you are paying for someone's time.  If it were important (for example a litigation), I would pay the charge,  in this case I am just looking for my own curiosity,  so finding a library was more in line with my (zero) budget.

The ASTM web site ( is really very interesting, for anyone with alot of time to kill, who is looking for some trivia or background information on the standards.  They have lots of newsletter-type articles that talk about the benefits of standards,  the history of some of the standards, etc.

Reading the standards (on anything) is kind of slow going, but it is also very educational.  And it is often better than relying on someone else's interpretation of a standard.  I have sometimes gone to the trouble of checking what is said articles in the ACI magazines (since it appears that no one at ACI bothers to check anything that is printed in their magazines.)  

The interpretations of the concrete and cement related ASTM standards, as presented in ACI publications, are not always correct.

Gail Kelley

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