"Beyond irritating, time-consuming" is the way one serials specialist described the task of managing serials collections. The fluctuation in formats, costs and availability, especially via the web, has made this management very complex. How to keep up? This article addresses the major information-intensive tasks confronting serials librarians today and uses a new Ulrich's service to demonstrate how the merger of internal and external data is key to addressing those tasks. The article also traces the evolution of Ulrich's from Carolyn Ulrich, the founder of the print directory in 1932, to owners R.R. Bowker and Cambridge Information Group, and the competitive factors and management decisions that occurred along the way.