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University Libraries


Scope and Contents

Administrative Information

Detailed Description


Library Staff

Technical Services

Addendum 1

Addendum 2

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University Libraries, 1900+ | Northern Illinois University

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Collection Overview

Title: University Libraries, 1900+

Predominant Dates:1950+

ID: RHC/UA/31/

Extent: 35.0 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 00/00/1965

Scope and Contents of the Materials

There are three series in the University Libraries record group: administrative files, records documenting staff development and activities, and technical services materials.

The administrative records are strong in the period 1950 to the present and contain annual reports beginning with 1942.  Some files documenting the library's special collections area are also present.  Library Council records contain governance, personnel guidelines, hiring, tenure and related documents.  Staff Association files and staff publications document professional development and social activities, from the1960's to the present.  Automation projects, acquisitions lists and circulation statistics complete the collection.

More information on the history of the University Library may be found in other University record groups, especially in the Provost Office Records.

Collection Historical Note

Jacob Haish, a DeKalb barbed wire manufacturer, donated $10,000 to the newly created Northern Illinois State Normal School to establish a library in 1899.  Named for its benefactor, the Haish Library occupied the center area of the second floor of Altgeld Hall for the next fifty years.  Expansion during these years added stack storage and reading areas, but the post-World War II boom and the addition of graduate programs in 1951 necessitated the building of a new, larger library facility.

On December 10, 1952, Northern students and faculty moved the 85,000 volume collection into the Swen Parson Library across from Altgeld Hall.  Named in honor of a Northern mathematics professor, the new library was built to accommodate an enrollment of 2,500.  It proved adequate for only a few years and the University doubled the building's size with major north and south wing additions between 1960 and 1965.  By 1965 the book collection had grown to 225,000 volumes, three times what it had been fifteen years earlier.

Clyde C. Walton became Director of the University Libraries in 1967 when Bernadine Hanby (1942-1967) retired.  Shortly after his arrival, planning began for a new, much enlarged library building.  Further expansion of graduate programs, increased enrollments, and technological advance in the library field demanded a new physical plant, larger professional staff, and broader collection development.  Built at a cost of twelve million dollars, the new Founders Memorial Library was dedicated April 20, 1979.  It is named for the four DeKalb residents who brought the new Normal School to DeKalb in 1895: Jacob Haish, Joseph Farwell Glidden, Isaac Leonard Ellwood, and Clinton E. Rosette.

Located in the middle of the campus, it serves as the heart of the University's teaching and research missions.  Shortly after opening for public use, the Founders Library collection reached one million volumes. In 2005 it reached the two million volume milestone.

The Library had only two directors in a period of thirty-five years (1942-1977) but that changed dramatically when Clyde Walton left N.I.U. in 1977.  The next fifteen years brought eight different directors to the library.  Lester Smith served as Acting Director until Jean Major arrived in 1978.  After Major left in 1982 English Professor William Williams served as Acting Director for a year followed by Theodore F. Welch who resigned in 1988.  Provost Kendall Baker hired Steven Marquardt as Director in 1989, but he resigned after ten months and Dean Peggy Sullivan consented to fill in as Acting Director.  She served from 1990 until her retirement from NIU in 1992.  Anthropology Professor Ron Provencher then became Acting Director.  Arthur Young was selected to become permanent Director of the University Libraries in 1993.  On June 9, 1999 Art Young was named the first Dean of the University Libraries.  Following Young’s retirement on June 1, 2006, Mary Munroe, Associate Dean of the University Libraries served as Interim Dean through July 31, 2007.  She was followed as Interim Dean by Byron Anderson on August 1, 2007.  Patrick J. Dawson became Dean July 1, 2008.

Administrative Information

Repository: Northern Illinois University

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the records.

Use Restrictions: Literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: University Libraries

Acquisition Method: The University Archives acquired the University Library's records in several installments beginning in the mid-1960's and continues to add to the collection.

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Administration],
[Series II: Library Staff],
[Series III: Technical Services],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],

Series II: Library Staff
Box 18
Folder 1-2: Staff Directory, 1957-1979, (1984-
Folder 3: Evaluation Procedures, 1973-1976, 1984
Folder 4: Bernadine Hanby Retirement, 1967
Box 19
Folder 1: P.L.A.N.: Constitution, 1966-1972
Folder 2-3: P.L.A.N.: Correspondence, Reports, 1967-1974
Folder 4: P.L.A.N.: Financial Records, 1968-1972
Folder 5: P.L.A.N.: Meeting Minutes, 1967-1973
Box 20
Folder 1: P.L.A.N.: Committee Files, 1967-1974
Folder 2: Library Faculty Meetings, Minutes, (1972-1982)
Folder 3: Library Constitution Drafts, 1969
Folder 4-5: Library Newsletters: Grapevine Pruner, 1966-1969
Box 21
Volume 1: Library Newsletters: Grapevine Pruner (1 volume), 1970-1974
Box 22
Folder 1: Library Newsletters: Grapevine Pruner, 1975
Folder 2: Library Newsletters: N.I.U. Libraries, 1975-1980
Folder 3a-b: Library Newsletters: Informer, 1975-1986
Folder 3c: Library Newsletters: Refnet, 1986-1987
Folder 4-6: Library Newsletters: Libnet, 1987-1999
Folder 7: Library Newsletters: NICLS Technical Notes; NICLS News, December 1988-November 1989; 1988-1989
Folder 8: Founders Keeper's Newsletter, 2013

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Administration],
[Series II: Library Staff],
[Series III: Technical Services],
[Addendum 1],
[Addendum 2],

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