EMORY UNIVERSITY. GENERAL LIBRARIES.
General Libraries records, 1923-2011

Emory University

Emory University Archives

Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library

Atlanta, GA 30322

404-727-6887

rose.library@emory.edu

Permanent link: http://pid.emory.edu/ark:/25593/bmkq7

Digital Material Available in this Collection


Descriptive Summary

Creator: Emory University. General Libraries.
Title: General Libraries records, 1923-2011
Call Number:Series No. 22
Extent: 28.5 linear ft. (62 boxes), 9 bound volumes (BV), 1 oversize paper folder (OP) and
Abstract:The collection consists of correspondence, administrative records, policies and procedures, publications, financial records, annual reports, statistics, and other items related to the Emory University General Libraries and to divisions, departments, committees and other entities thereof. Records relate to departments of acquisitions, circulation, reference, public programming and exhibits, special collections, serials, and development; the General Libraries Employee Advisory Committee (GLEAC); Friends of the Emory University Libraries; library publications including Ex Libris, produced by the Friends of Emory University Libraries, and Sources and Reprints; and the Lewis H. Beck Center for Electronic Collections.
Language:Materials entirely in English.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

Special restrictions apply: Selected materials are closed to research until 2086 in accordance with Emory University Archives access policy for Personnel Records. See series descriptions for further details. Additionally, researchers must contact MARBL in advance to access audio-visual materials in this collection. Uprocessed boxes are closed to research in accordance with Emory University Archives access policy for unprocessed materials.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

All requests subject to limitations noted in departmental policies on reproduction.

Source

Transfer.

Custodial History

Combines collections previously known as: General Libraries administrative records, General Libraries divisions and departments records, General Libraries committee records, General Libraries Employee Advisory Committee records, General Libraries Friends of the Libraries records, General Libraries Sources and Reprints records, and General Libraries publications records.

Citation

[after identification of item(s)], General Libraries records, Emory University Archives, Stuart A. Rose Manuscript, Archives, and Rare Book Library.

Processing

Processed by Nancy Watkins.


Collection Description

Administrative History

The first librarian noted in Emory College records, in 1840, was George W. Lane, the professor of ancient languages. The college library played little part in the early history of Emory College and was described in a later history of the university as consisting of "the miscellaneous gatherings of deceased Methodist preachers." Few faculty or students used the library, which had no regularly scheduled hours. The primary library collections were in the possession of the college's two literary societies, Phi Gamma and Few, organized in the first three years of the college's existence. In 1860, the two societies between them owned something over 4000 volumes, while the college library contained fewer than 2000 volumes. The college was closed during the Civil War, when buildings were used as hospitals, and on its reopening in 1866, the holdings of the small library were found to have been largely scattered and lost.

The first serious attention to the library came under the presidency of Atticus Greene Haygood, a graduate in the class of 1859 and later agent for the Slater Fund to aid African-American education. Through the benefaction of a Northern philanthropist, George Seney (an admirer of Haygood), Seney Hall was built (1883) to house college offices, provide classrooms, and give space for the college library. There, for the first time, the library collection, though still pitifully small and with no distinctive holdings, could be shelved in an orderly arrangement and made available every day in the week. Finally, in 1897, the cornerstone was laid for a separate library building, Candler Hall. Shortly after Candler Hall opened, the literary societies transferred their collections to the library and in 1908 the college received its first book endowment, the John W. Akin fund devoted to English literature, with a gift of $5,000. By 1915, when the Methodist Church, South, at the urging of Bishop Warren Candler, determined to establish a Methodist university in Atlanta, the college library showed a count of 41,000 volumes.

The Schools of Law and Theology, the first to open their doors Emory's new Atlanta campus (charted in 1915), had separate libraries. The library for the college, which moved from Oxford to the Atlanta campus in 1919, occupied the basement of the Theology building. The development of a university library began with the arrival in 1921 of Margaret Jemison. Jemison's background was in public libraries, but she showed a capacity for understanding the resources and services required by a new and growing university. One of her first decisions was to change the classification system in the library from the Dewey Decimal System to the Library of Congress classification. She also began a more systematic development of the collection and worked closely with faculty to secure a separate library building for the new campus.

In 1926, the Asa Griggs Candler Library, designed by Edward Tilton, opened its doors. It was named for the founder of The Coca-Cola Company, who had given one million dollars and the land to build Emory University in Atlanta and $400,000 to build the library. In 1930 the library school, a new program in the University brought about by the affiliation with Emory of the Carnegie Library School of Atlanta in 1925, occupied part of one floor. From the late 1920's through the 1950's, the library developed slowly and selectively with a small book budget and two small endowment funds, one for English and one for the social sciences. In 1933, the first foundation support, from the Lewis H. Beck Foundation in Atlanta, brought funds to develop research collections that would allow the growth of graduate programs. The annual gifts from the Beck Foundation, which have continued since 1933, were a mainstay of the library during very lean years and remain a source for special purchases. Under Margaret Jemison's direction, the Emory library worked closely with and took leadership positions in regional library consortia, particularly the University Center in Georgia. It was formed in 1938 at the urging of the Dr. Edwin Embree of the General Education Board, who saw the need for the development of research centers in the South. Under the auspices of this consortium, the Emory library housed a Union Catalog of the Atlanta-Athens (location of the University of Georgia) area, a project funded by the General Education Board in 1939. For over three decades, the Emory Library served as the headquarters of the union catalog project.

Faculty played a key role in collection building. Beginning with his arrival on campus in 1925, Professor Thomas H. English made the library a major interest and chaired the faculty library committee for twenty-two years. Over the years, faculty representatives from departments had responsibility for selecting materials for purchase, a system that remained in place until the early 1980's when librarian selectors and bibliographers assumed the major role for collection building.

When Margaret Jemison retired in 1954, the library held 332,000 volumes, a small university library largely supporting an undergraduate curriculum. The next librarian, Guy R. Lyle, author of the standard text The Administration of the College Library, came with the title of director of libraries, although the organizational structure in the University placed only the central library under his direct management. The libraries for law, theology, dentistry, librarianship, and Oxford College reported to the deans of their respective schools. Lyle oversaw a major renovation of Candler Library and, eventually, in 1969, the opening of a new library building, the Robert W. Woodruff Library, named for the head of The Coca-Cola Company. The opening of the new library spurred the formation of a Friends of the Libraries organization and new endowments.

There continued to be serious deficiencies in funding support for building a research library collection. In 1972, when the Emory libraries celebrated their one millionth volume (including all libraries of the college and university), the library remained a fine small university library with a few areas of strength. With inflation in the price of library materials and no significant increases in the materials budget, the library fell ever farther behind in the rankings even among its neighboring institutions in the Southeast. As director Lyle pointed out in his annual report for 1969, when the new library building opened, "With respect to its library book budget, the University is out of touch with the times." Guy R. Lyle retired in 1972, having achieved the construction of a new library building but with a library collection that could not keep pace with the growth of the University.

The late 1970's began an unprecedented period of growth for the Emory libraries that moved them into national and international research arenas. In 1975, with a new library director in place, the Emory libraries joined the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). In the same year, the Emory University Library became the first member library to catalog through the automated shared cataloging system of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET). Emory's library was a leading institution in establishing SOLINET and continued to be a leader in automation of library cataloging in the southeast.

One year later, the university purchased the library of the Hartford Seminary Foundation, at one stroke more than doubling the size of the theology library and moving it from a ranking of forty-five among theology libraries in the country to number four. Now named Pitts Library, the theology library currently ranks as second only to that of Union Theological Seminary. This acquisition was the accomplishment of a strong theology librarian, Channing R. Jeschke, and a masterful entrepreneurial leader who served as dean of the theology school, and later Emory president, James T. Laney.

With the Woodruff gift and pressures for wise use of the largesse to enhance the University, President Laney made two decisions that had far-reaching impact on the Emory libraries. In order to bolster Emory's beginning Irish literature collections and with the eminent scholar Richard Ellmann, biographer of Yeats, Joyce, and Wilde, as Woodruff Professor, Laney authorized in the summer of 1979 funds for the library to purchase at auction a major collection of Yeats first editions and manuscript items from the library of his friend and patron Lady Gregory. This purchase initiated the library's decision to build a major collection of Irish literature, begun with Yeats but evolving to focus on Irish poetry of the later twentieth century. Laney also brought to Emory in 1985 Billy E. Frye from the University of Michigan to become vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, later provost. Provost Frye's strong support for libraries and his commitment to library automation and preservation brought to Emory, for the first time, an academic administrator who had knowledge of research libraries and a significant commitment to their directed growth.

Within a short time after Frye's appointment as provost, the libraries in the University received funding to establish a University-wide library preservation program, the first in the Southeast and one of the few in the country at that time, and an offsite storage facility for all libraries on campus. Just prior to his arrival, the libraries had joined together in a unified online catalog for all campus libraries, and monies were made available for a major retrospective conversion project to assure that all holdings were converted to machine-readable form. Emory also joined the Research Libraries Group, with which Frye had been associated in leadership positions. This membership brought the libraries, particularly the preservation and special collections areas, into important national consortial projects.

The first librarian noted in Emory College records, in 1840, was George W. Lane, the professor of ancient languages. The college library played little part in the early history of Emory College and was described in a later history of the university as consisting of "the miscellaneous gatherings of deceased Methodist preachers." Few faculty or students used the library, which had no regularly scheduled hours. The primary library collections were in the possession of the college's two literary societies, Phi Gamma and Few, organized in the first three years of the college's existence. In 1860, the two societies between them owned something over 4000 volumes, while the college library contained fewer than 2000 volumes. The college was closed during the Civil War, when buildings were used as hospitals, and on its reopening in 1866, the holdings of the small library were found to have been largely scattered and lost.

The first serious attention to the library came under the presidency of Atticus Greene Haygood, a graduate in the class of 1859 and later agent for the Slater Fund to aid African-American education. Through the benefaction of a Northern philanthropist, George Seney (an admirer of Haygood), Seney Hall was built (1883) to house college offices, provide classrooms, and give space for the college library. There, for the first time, the library collection, though still pitifully small and with no distinctive holdings, could be shelved in an orderly arrangement and made available every day in the week. Finally, in 1897, the cornerstone was laid for a separate library building, Candler Hall. Shortly after Candler Hall opened, the literary societies transferred their collections to the library and in 1908 the college received its first book endowment, the John W. Akin fund devoted to English literature, with a gift of $5,000. By 1915, when the Methodist Church, South, at the urging of Bishop Warren Candler, determined to establish a Methodist university in Atlanta, the college library showed a count of 41,000 volumes.

The Schools of Law and Theology, the first to open their doors Emory's new Atlanta campus (charted in 1915), had separate libraries. The library for the college, which moved from Oxford to the Atlanta campus in 1919, occupied the basement of the Theology building. The development of a university library began with the arrival in 1921 of Margaret Jemison. Jemison's background was in public libraries, but she showed a capacity for understanding the resources and services required by a new and growing university. One of her first decisions was to change the classification system in the library from the Dewey Decimal System to the Library of Congress classification. She also began a more systematic development of the collection and worked closely with faculty to secure a separate library building for the new campus.

In 1926, the Asa Griggs Candler Library, designed by Edward Tilton, opened its doors. It was named for the founder of The Coca-Cola Company, who had given one million dollars and the land to build Emory University in Atlanta and $400,000 to build the library. In 1930 the library school, a new program in the University brought about by the affiliation with Emory of the Carnegie Library School of Atlanta in 1925, occupied part of one floor. From the late 1920's through the 1950's, the library developed slowly and selectively with a small book budget and two small endowment funds, one for English and one for the social sciences. In 1933, the first foundation support, from the Lewis H. Beck Foundation in Atlanta, brought funds to develop research collections that would allow the growth of graduate programs. The annual gifts from the Beck Foundation, which have continued since 1933, were a mainstay of the library during very lean years and remain a source for special purchases. Under Margaret Jemison's direction, the Emory library worked closely with and took leadership positions in regional library consortia, particularly the University Center in Georgia. It was formed in 1938 at the urging of the Dr. Edwin Embree of the General Education Board, who saw the need for the development of research centers in the South. Under the auspices of this consortium, the Emory library housed a Union Catalog of the Atlanta-Athens (location of the University of Georgia) area, a project funded by the General Education Board in 1939. For over three decades, the Emory Library served as the headquarters of the union catalog project.

Faculty played a key role in collection building. Beginning with his arrival on campus in 1925, Professor Thomas H. English made the library a major interest and chaired the faculty library committee for twenty-two years. Over the years, faculty representatives from departments had responsibility for selecting materials for purchase, a system that remained in place until the early 1980's when librarian selectors and bibliographers assumed the major role for collection building.

When Margaret Jemison retired in 1954, the library held 332,000 volumes, a small university library largely supporting an undergraduate curriculum. The next librarian, Guy R. Lyle, author of the standard text The Administration of the College Library, came with the title of director of libraries, although the organizational structure in the University placed only the central library under his direct management. The libraries for law, theology, dentistry, librarianship, and Oxford College reported to the deans of their respective schools. Lyle oversaw a major renovation of Candler Library and, eventually, in 1969, the opening of a new library building, the Robert W. Woodruff Library, named for the head of The Coca-Cola Company. The opening of the new library spurred the formation of a Friends of the Libraries organization and new endowments.

There continued to be serious deficiencies in funding support for building a research library collection. In 1972, when the Emory libraries celebrated their one millionth volume (including all libraries of the college and university), the library remained a fine small university library with a few areas of strength. With inflation in the price of library materials and no significant increases in the materials budget, the library fell ever farther behind in the rankings even among its neighboring institutions in the Southeast. As director Lyle pointed out in his annual report for 1969, when the new library building opened, "With respect to its library book budget, the University is out of touch with the times." Guy R. Lyle retired in 1972, having achieved the construction of a new library building but with a library collection that could not keep pace with the growth of the University.

The late 1970's began an unprecedented period of growth for the Emory libraries that moved them into national and international research arenas. In 1975, with a new library director in place, the Emory libraries joined the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). In the same year, the Emory University Library became the first member library to catalog through the automated shared cataloging system of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET). Emory's library was a leading institution in establishing SOLINET and continued to be a leader in automation of library cataloging in the southeast.

One year later, the university purchased the library of the Hartford Seminary Foundation, at one stroke more than doubling the size of the theology library and moving it from a ranking of forty-five among theology libraries in the country to number four. Now named Pitts Library, the theology library currently ranks as second only to that of Union Theological Seminary. This acquisition was the accomplishment of a strong theology librarian, Channing R. Jeschke, and a masterful entrepreneurial leader who served as dean of the theology school, and later Emory president, James T. Laney.

With the Woodruff gift and pressures for wise use of the largesse to enhance the University, President Laney made two decisions that had far-reaching impact on the Emory libraries. In order to bolster Emory's beginning Irish literature collections and with the eminent scholar Richard Ellmann, biographer of Yeats, Joyce, and Wilde, as Woodruff Professor, Laney authorized in the summer of 1979 funds for the library to purchase at auction a major collection of Yeats first editions and manuscript items from the library of his friend and patron Lady Gregory. This purchase initiated the library's decision to build a major collection of Irish literature, begun with Yeats but evolving to focus on Irish poetry of the later twentieth century. Laney also brought to Emory in 1985 Billy E. Frye from the University of Michigan to become vice president for research and dean of the graduate school, later provost. Provost Frye's strong support for libraries and his commitment to library automation and preservation brought to Emory, for the first time, an academic administrator who had knowledge of research libraries and a significant commitment to their directed growth.

Within a short time after Frye's appointment as provost, the libraries in the University received funding to establish a University-wide library preservation program, the first in the Southeast and one of the few in the country at that time, and an offsite storage facility for all libraries on campus. Just prior to his arrival, the libraries had joined together in a unified online catalog for all campus libraries, and monies were made available for a major retrospective conversion project to assure that all holdings were converted to machine-readable form. Emory also joined the Research Libraries Group, with which Frye had been associated in leadership positions. This membership brought the libraries, particularly the preservation and special collections areas, into important national consortial projects.

Scope and Content Note

The collection consists of correspondence, administrative records, policies and procedures, publications, financial records, annual reports, statistics, and other items related to the Emory University General Libraries and to divisions, departments, committees and other entities thereof. Records relate to departments of acquisitions, circulation, reference, public programming and exhibits, special collections, serials, and development; the General Libraries Employee Advisory Committee (GLEAC); Friends of the Emory University Libraries; library publications including Ex Libris, produced by the Friends of Emory University Libraries, and Sources and Reprints; and the Lewis H. Beck Center for Electronic Collections. It also contains the captured and preserved web site of the library available to browse via the Web Archiving Service of the California Digital Library.

Arrangement Note

Organized into ten series: (1) Administrative records, (2) Financial records and library usage statistics, (3) Divisions and departments records, (4) Committee records, (5) Employee Advisory Committee records, (6) Friends of the Emory University Libraries records, (7) Publications records, (8) Audiovisual materials, (9) the Lewis H. Beck Center for Electronic Collections, and (10) Web archives.

Finding Aid Note

Finding aid available in repository.


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Description of Series

v1.11.0-dev