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Library Records, 1908-2002

Collection Overview

Title: Library Records, 1908-2002

ID: RG 009

Primary Creator: Oregon State University. Libraries

Extent: 26.0 cubic feet. More info below.

Arrangement: The Library Records are organized into two subgroups. Subgroup 1 is organized into 22 series: I. Correspondence; IIa. Library Advisory Council; IIb. Staff Meetings; III.OSSHE-Education Correspondence; IV. OSSHE-Statistics; V. Central Library Office; VI. Personnel Files; VII. Scrapbooks; VIIIa. KOAC Lectures by Staff and Departmental Reports; VIIIb. Departmental Reports; IX. Library Statistics and Inventory; X. Circulation Statistics; XI. Reports; XII. Library Committees; XIII. Faculty Senate Library Committee; XIV. Subject and Reference Files; XV. Library History Essays and Notes; XVI. Buildings and Facilities; XVII. Policies and Planning; XVIII. Publications; XIX. Artifacts; and XX. Sound Recordings. Subgroup 2 consists of one series: I. Subject and Reference Files.

Languages of Materials: English [eng]


The Library Records were generated by and pertain to the development and administration of the Library at Oregon State University. In addition to the documentation of policy formulation, compilation of departmental information, committee activity, and other day-to-day administrative tasks these records reflect the Library's interaction with other institutions of higher education, libraries, and professional organizations. Records of the Oregon State System of Higher Education's (OSSHE) centralized library system, housed on the OSU campus from 1932 to 1965, are also included.

Scope and Content Notes

Series I is primarily made up of correspondence, but also includes reports and publications. The correspondence documents interaction between library administration and various departments within the library, OSU colleges and departments outside the library, other libraries in the OSSHE system, professional library organizations, the Oregon State Library, Oregon Historical Society, and OSU committees and other administrative bodies. Included among the topics covered in this series are: budgets, gifts and grants to the library, library policies, computer networks and databases, and library collections. Series II consists of minutes and correspondence from the Library Administrative Council and minutes from library staff and faculty meetings.

Records documenting the administration of college and university libraries in OSSHE constitute the materials in series III through V. OSSHE Libraries (other than OSU) represented in these records include those at the University of Oregon, Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University), Southern Oregon of College Education (now Southern Oregon University), Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern Oregon University), and the University of Oregon Medical School (now Oregon Health Science University). Most of the records in these three series were generated by the Central Library Office of OSSHE when it was located on the OSU campus from 1932 to 1965.

Series III consists of records generated by various OSSHE committees and the Chancellor for Higher Education regarding policy formation, planning, and the compilation of bibliographical information among the system's college and university libraries. Including records from the Interinstitutional Committee, the OSSHE Library Council, and several of the OSSHE campus presidents, this series chiefly contains reports, correspondence and meeting minutes. Statistical information compiled monthly by OSSHE regarding circulation, books lost and withdrawn, reference usage, and additions to the collections make up the records in series IV.

Series V contains records generated by the Central Library Office of OSSHE while administered at OSU by Librarian Lucy Lewis. Consisting primarily of correspondence, reports, and statistical reports, this series documents systemwide centralization planning and budgetary matters.

The personnel files of library staff constitute series VI and includes correspondence, curriculum vitae, grade transcripts, and photographs. The scrapbooks in Series VII were compiled by the Public Relations Committee and contain newspaper clippings about library staff, collections, and events that were clipped from the Barometer, Oregonian. Also contained in these scrapbooks are photographs, brochures, and newsletters relating to events sponsored by the Friends of the Library.

Series VIIIa contains chronologically arranged program lists and transcripts of lectures delivered by library staff on the university radio station KOAC. In addition to reviews of books and periodicals newly acquired by the library, there are also lectures on various topics such as health and travel intended to highlight library collections. Series VIIIb constitutes annual and monthly reports generated by various departments of the library.

In addition to budget and reference statistical information, the library statistics and inventory records in series IX document the inventory and valuation of library equipment and supplies and consist primarily of used property release forms, correspondence, and memoranda. Information on the holdings of the Map Room can also be found in this series. The circulation statistics consist of microfilmed ledger entries documenting circulation of books and periodicals, reading and reference room attendance, and overdue book fines.

In addition to Annual and Biennial Reports of the Librarian, series XI includes analyses of the library collection and circulation system, budget estimate reports, an evaluation of the library holdings for materials relating to speech communication, and a progress report on an early microfilm demonstration project at OSU. Series XII consists of records generated by library committees and includes committee membership lists, correspondence, meeting minutes, memoranda, publications, reports, and survey data. Included among the subjects addressed by these committees are building expansion, conservation, human resources, on-line catalog, promotion and tenure, public relations, safety, and the Library Staff Association.

The Faculty Senate Library Committee records in series XIII contain correspondence, meeting minutes, memoranda, and reports which pertain primarily to administrative matters such as the formation of policies and procedures. The subject and reference files in series XIV contain correspondence, a grant proposal, meeting minutes, reports, and publications generated mostly by computer companies and library-oriented committees and organizations. The records relate to library databases and networks, computer software, and the Oregon Library community. Materials regarding the Linus Pauling Collection can also be found in this series.

Series XV consists of handwritten notes on index cards regarding Librarian Ida Kidder and various library-related events and stories from 1896 to 1926 gleaned from correspondence, the Barometer, and the Beaver Yearbook. This series also includes a reprint of an essay on the history of the OSU Library by Library Director William Carlson that was published in the 1977 edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science.

The Buildings and Facilities records pertain to the construction, renovation, and maintenance of two of the buildings that have housed the library on campus as well as the Hatfield Marine Science Center Library in Newport. They include architectural drawings, brochures, correspondence, notes, reports, specifications, and studies. Records in this series referring to Kidder Library pertain to the library when it was housed in Kidder Hall. Records pertaining to the construction, renovation, and addition to the Kerr Library refer to the structure that was constructed in 1963, now known as the Valley Library.

Series XVII documents long-range planning, accreditation, survey research, policy formulation, and other administrative tasks of library management. The series includes correspondence, reports, manuals and handbooks, self-studies, and survey data. The publications include brochures, handbooks, newsletters, and other informational media generated for distribution to library users with information on library resources, layout of the library building, and use of the collections. This series also contains a two-part index of the OSU student newspaper, the Daily Barometer, compiled by the Social Sciences/Humanities Department of the Library. Covering the years 1896 to 1980, the index is divided into two sections that are searchable by subject or personal name of student or faculty/staff member.

The artifacts consist of three printing blocks for bookplates (mid 1930s) and two plastic goblets created for receptions and other events involving the OSU centennial celebration in 1968. The sound recordings are self-guided audio tape tours of the library and include the accompanying tour scripts.

Subgroup 2 consists of materials generated by the OSU Centennial Committee and the Charter Day Committee in the planning and publicity of the OSU centennial in 1968. Consisting of award records, certificates of congratulations, correspondence, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, publications, and reports, the records in this subgroup document the development of the centennial logo, the writing of department histories to honor the anniversary, and the invitation of guests to the centennial celebration events.

Accession 2003:039 consists of records pertaining to the adoption of an ID card system charging patrons (students, faculty, and the general public) for copies made at the Library. The implementation of this system represented a significant change in previous Library policy in which patrons were not charged for copies from Library printers. Correspondence and reports constitute the materials in this accession. Accession processed and incorporated into the record group.

Accession 2003:089 consists of records pertaining to the Hatfield Marine Science Center (HMSC) Library and consists of brochures, correspondence, floor plans, newspaper clippings, and reports. Primarily generated by the Marine Science Center Library Committee, these records document the groundbreaking and dedication of the Guin Library in 1990 and include quarterly reports by the Marine Science Center Librarian. Among the subjects addressed in the committee records include: construction plans for the Guin Library and its predecessor-the MSC Library Instruction Building, policies regarding use of library collections, job description for the post of MSC Librarian, and annual statistical information on library usage.

Accession 2004:012 consists of records generated by the Library Information Retrieval Service (LIRS) unit of the Library, which developed local access to online catalog services and bibliographic searching. Included among these records are correspondence, meeting minutes, a policy manual, and use statistics. In addition to LIRS materials, there are also library faculty meeting minutes, policy manuals, and committee records (Public Relations and Promotion and Tenure, and Collection Development Committees).

Accession 2005:017 consists of inventories documenting various components of the Library's map collection. Including information such as geographical focus, scale, publication date, and number of sheets, these inventories list the Library's collection of aerial photographs and maps produced by the Sanborn Fire Insurance Company, the Metsker Company (county atlases), and the U.S. Army Map Service.

Accession 2005:032 consists of architectural drawings generated as a part of the expansion and renovation of the OSU Library. Pertaining to book shelving configuration proposals, these drawings also document plans for the construction of an off-site temporary book storage unit that include the building specifications for the project.

Accession 2005:082 consists of a report of the Task Force on Resource Sharing and Local Access. Prepared for the Collection Analysis Project Study Team, the report examines how procedures, policies, and agreements of other libraries in the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) affect collection development and interlibrary loan practices at OSU. Another focus of the report is an analysis of various departmental libraries on campus. The report is bound together with supporting documentation which includes correspondence, project abstracts, studies/articles, and survey information.

Accession 2005:100 consists of materials pertaining to the use and development of automated Library database systems and includes a feasibility study, report, article, and a conference paper. Generated by Library Systems Analyst Robert Baker, these materials document the Famulus Information Retrieval System, the LOLITA On-Line Book Order and Fund Accounting System, the APIBE/ARIS system, and the Library Materials Budget Monitoring System.

Accession 2006:029 consists of three painted studies of tile mosaic panels that were designed by OSU Art Professor Nelson Sandgren and installed in the Library when the building was constructed in 1963. Depicting stylized trees, triangles, and symbols such as the Star of David, the studies show details from panels that were placed in the central stairway of the building and behind the main reference desk on the second floor. The theme envisioned by Sandgren for the panels was the "spreading of culture." Of the five panels installed, two remain visible today.

Accession 2007:031 consists of three policy manuals and a report outlining Library goals and objectives. In addition to a general manual covering Library policies, this transfer is also made up of the two other handbooks: Library Policies and Procedures for Appointment, Promotion and Tenure and a Statistics Manual for Oregon State System of Higher Education Libraries.

Accession 2008:045 consists of three building plaques that once resided on two OSU Library buildings and were removed during construction and renovation projects. Two of the plaques were installed onto what is present day Kidder Hall and the other one resided on the current Library building until extensive remodeling and renovation projects in the 1990s. The plaques on Kidder Hall commemorate a gift to the Library from Hiram Dryer McCaskey and the renaming of the building to the Kerr Library in honor of President William Jasper Kerr. The third plaque honors OSU Art Professor Wayne Taysom for his design of the door pulls, screens, and foundation featured in the entrance of the Library building constructed in 1963.

Accession 2009:030 consists of a slide presentation orienting students to the services and resources of the OSU Library that was prepared by the Self Learning Center in the College of Forestry. Made up of 78 images in total, the slides mostly depict students doing research at various places in the library and include examples of catalog cards and floor plan layouts. There was no script found for this presentation.

Accession 2009:101 is made up of two guest books documenting visitors to the Mary J. L. McDonald Collection and Rare Book Room in the Oregon State College Library. The room was established in 1934 and named in honor of McDonald after she donated several hundred volumes to the Library in commemoration of George Peavy's appointment as president of OSC. A longtime supporter of the College of Forestry, McDonald also donated to OSC large tracts of forest land north of Corvallis that became the McDonald-Dunn Research Forests. Today, the McDonald collection is part of the Special Collections division of the OSU Library and the McDonald endowment continues to purchase rare and unique books for the collection.

Accession 2011:046 is primarily made up of statistical information compiled by the OSU Library which document the collection and management of periodicals, newspapers, and other serialized publications. There are also reports and memoranda in this transfer that relate to reorganization proposals for the Library's Technical Services Department, where the serials collection is administered.

Accession 2011:093 is made up of six scrapbooks compiled by University Library staff that consist entirely of clippings from various regional newspapers, including The Daily Barometer, The Corvallis Gazette-Times, the Oregon Journal, and The Albany Democrat-Herald. The clippings document stories and features about Library staff, additions to Library collections, periodic meetings of Librarians employed by the Oregon State System of Higher Education, and materials on display in the Library.

Accession 2012:046 consists of materials generated by OSU Library faculty/staff and is made up of budgetary statements, correspondence, handbooks/guides, meeting minutes, notes, and reports. Comprising of a little over half of this transfer, the reports were compiled by the University Librarian and Library departments to reflect annual and biennial reporting. In addition to listing expenses, the budgetary statements also contain detailed information about Library staff instructional work and involvement in the professional community. The minutes document the work of the Library Advisory Council, while the correspondence primarily pertains to the Library budget.

Accession 2013:012 consists of 19 sheets of drawings depicting anthropomorphic beaver figures representing different collections/services of the OSU Library including reference, microforms, reserve room, maps, the McDonald Room, and the History of Atomic Energy Collection. The artist of these hand drawn pencil renderings is unidentified as is the publication or website where the images may have been featured.

Accession 2014:043 consists of materials generated by the OSU Library that document department strategic planning, collection development analysis, assessment of library services, space needs studies, and an evaluation of job classifications within the Library (as part of the Information Services Department as a whole.) In addition to reports, this transfer also includes correspondence, grant proposals, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, notes, and survey materials. Records reflecting the major planning and assessment initiatives date primarily from 1984 to 1986 when incoming Library Director Mel George wanted to chart the "future of the library" and where it should head. Other topics addressed in these materials include the consolidation of the reference service desks, microform collections, a survey of publishing activity by Library faculty, a bibliographic software use survey, and a recommendation report for establishing a library of agriculture at Sana'a University (Yemen).

Biographical / Historical Notes

The first "official" college library was likely that of the Adelphian Literary Society, which in 1880 had acquired the Corvallis Library Association's Library. Ten years later, the Adelphians transferred their 605-volume library to the college. By 1899, when the first full-time, nonstudent librarian, Arthur Stimpson, was appointed, the collection had grown to 3000 volumes and 500 pamphlets and bulletins. The first professional librarian, Ida A. Kidder, was appointed in 1908.

Initially housed in the Administration Building (now Benton Hall), a structure for the library was constructed in 1918 with funds appropriated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a year earlier. Named Kidder Hall in honor of Ida Kidder, the library was re-named in 1954 for William Jasper Kerr, president of OSU from 1907-1932 and first chancellor of the State System of Higher Education.

Despite the construction of a west wing to the library building in 1941, space needs continued to become increasingly acute with the expansion of collections and staff. In the late 1950s, planning began for a new structure that was completed in 1963 and expanded in 1971 with the addition of two floors. A branch of the Library at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center was completed in 1976 and eventually named for Marilyn Potts Guin, the first librarian there.

Increasing demand for space drove plans for further expansion and renovation of the library building that began in 1988 but really gained momentum with the approval of funds from the Legislative Assembly in 1993. Owing to the success of a fundraising campaign to raise private money to match state funds, expansion efforts began in 1996 and were completed in 1999. The Kerr Library was renamed the Valley Library in 1995 in honor of the Wayne and Gladys Valley Family, whose foundation donated $10 million to library expansion efforts.

Librarians subsequent to Kidder were Lucy M. Lewis (1920-1945), William H. Carlson (1945-1965), Rodney K. Waldron (1965-1984), Melvin R. George (1984-1996), Karyle Butcher (1997-2010), and Faye Chadwell (2010-).

The Central Library Office for the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) was administered by Lucy Lewis and William Carlson at OSU from 1932 from 1965. Upon Carlson's retirement in 1965, the directorship of the office was transferred to the University of Oregon under the guidance of Dr. Carl Hintz.

Administrative Information

More Extent Information: 55 microfilm reels

Statement on Access: The personnel files in series VI may contain confidential information. Access is subject to review by the University Archivist.

Related Materials:

In addition to institutional records, the Special Collections and Archives Research Center also has Library publications which include staff newsletters (PUB 8-41a: The Kerrier); Library Booklists (PUB 8-42a), and the Library Foundation newsletter (PUB 249). The holdings also include the Library Photograph Collection (P 083). Records of the support organization for the Library, Friends of the Library Records (RG 002), are available. Architectural drawings and book plans for the Kerr Library building (in addition to those in series 16) can be found in the record group for Facilities Services Records (RG 193). There are additional building project files for the Kerr Library in RG 193. Information pertaining to the construction of the Library in 1917-1918 is available in the Snook and Traver Ledger (MSS Snook). Records of the University Archives, an administrative unit of the Library, can be found in Office of Budgets and Planning Records (RG 125) and the University Archives Records (RG 220).

The Special Collections and Archives Research Center has several collections of personal papers and records from library staff members, including the Bertha Herse Collection (MSS Herse), William H. Carlson Papers (MSS Carlson) and the Rodney Waldron Papers (MSS Waldron).

Preferred Citation: Library Records (RG 009), Oregon State University Special Collections and Archives Research Center, Corvallis, Oregon.

Other URL: A preliminary container list was created for this collection on or before November 19, 2015.


Oregon State University. Libraries
Oregon State Agricultural College. Library
Oregon State College. Library
Oregon State University. Library

People, Places, and Topics

Academic libraries--Administration.
Academic libraries--Oregon--History.
Academic libraries--Oregon--Use studies.
Academic libraries--Oregon.
Carlson, William Hugh, 1898-
George, Melvin
Guin Library
Kidder, Ida A. (Ida Angeline), 1857-1920
KOAC (Radio station : Corvallis, Or.)
Lewis, Lucy M., 1879-1951
Library buildings--Oregon.
National Agricultural Library (U.S.)
Oregon Agricultural College. Library
Oregon State Agricultural College. Library
Oregon State Board of Higher Education. Director of Libraries
Oregon State College. Library
Oregon State Library
Oregon State System of Higher Education. Central Library Office
Oregon State University--Anniversaries, etc.
Oregon State University. Faculty Senate. Library Committee
Oregon State University. Libraries
Oregon State University. Library
Oregon State University. University Centennial Committee
Pacific Northwest Bibliographic Center (Seattle, Wash.)
Pacific Northwest Library Association
Portland Library Association (Portland, Or.)
Portland State University. Library
Southern Oregon State College. Library
University of Oregon. Library
Waldron, Rodney K.

Forms of Material

Architectural drawings (visual works)
Born digital.
Sound recordings.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.