Brief Chronology of MU Libraries
Brief Chronology of the MU Libraries

1841First provision for a library, $1,000
1845Bonne Femme College closed and donated its library to the University of Missouri-Columbia.
1849-1853Robert Stuart Thomas, Professor of Metaphysics and English literature and Librarian
1853-1860Bolivar Stark Head, Professor of Mathematics and Librarian
1858/18604,000 volumes
1860-1862Edward T. Fristoe, Professor of Mathematics and Librarian
1862(Mar)University closed; Federal troops occupied Academic Hall. The University opened again in November 1862.
1862-1877Joseph Granville Norwood, Librarian and Dean of Medical School
1871General Assembly first appropriation for library, $5000 in Missouri bonds
1871Board resolved to spend $1,000 annually for purchase of books.
1872Beginning of Law Library
1873Founding of Medical Library
1877-1880Scott Hayes, Assistant Professor of Agriculture and Librarian, had been first Assistant Librarian
1879/188012,161 books 12,767 pamphlets
1881-1887Joseph H. Drummond, Businessman and Librarian
1887-1892John Watson Monser, Minister in Church of Christ and Librarian
1892Academic Hall burns and the Library's collection is destroyed.
1894Library collection moved into the first floor of Jesse Hall.
1897-1900Walter King Stone, Librarian
1900-1907James Thayer Gerould, first professionally trained librarian
1901Campaign for new library begins
1905Engineering Library opened
1907Gerould opens the stacks to all students.
1907-1937Henry Ormal Severance, University Librarian
1909Agriculture Library opened
1910First exhibit sponsored and created by the University Library; the topic was the history of printing.
1913Legislature voted $200,000 for library building and $75,000 for the site
1914Construction of Main Library, Architect James P. Jamieson of St. Louis
1916Main Library opened
1920Official opening of Journalism Library
1924Largest appropriation to date, $30,000
1925225,958 books passed over the loan desk; 22 staff members
1929310,000 materials circulated
The Civil Works Administration assigned 11 workers to conduct an inventory of the stacks.
1934Librarians took a 10-15% salary reduction as a result of the Depression.
1936West wing of Library completed
1937Rare Book Room was established.
Benjamin Edward Powell, Acting University Librarian and University Librarian
1941"University Archives Collection" was established for printed materials; it is now the Spec-M Collection.
1944There were 37 employees, but due to WWII, this year reflects the greatest turnover in Library history.
1945Collections surpass 500,000 volumes.
Ralph H. Parker, Director of Libraries
1949(Jan)Microfilm Laboratory established, serving Library and University
1949(Jun)MU Library Staff Association was formed.
1951Beginning of Recorded Sound Library to support music department
1952First recorded journal cancellation, 375 titles
1954Three rooms of the library were air conditioned.
1955$350,000 appropriated for new addition; Lincoln University Law Library deposits 30,000 volumes with Library
1956Motor scooter used for deliveries between library branches.
1957Creation of Collection Evaluation office
1958Beginning of construction of new addition to the Library
1960(Jan)Friends of the Libraries founded.
1960Dewey dropped for Library of Congress classification; late in the year, the building addition was occupied.
1961Reclassification begins in fall.
1962Entire new building occupied and in use.
1962Biological and Agricultural Libraries moved into Main Library.
1964One of the nation's first automated library circulation system installed in Main Library.
1969Director of the System Wide University of Missouri Archives was established and Ralph Havener was the first person to hold this office
C. Edward Carroll, Director of Libraries
1971-1978Friends of the Libraries gave five editions of Ovid's Metamorphoses dating from 1509-1771
1971(Nov)Main Library designated as the Elmer Ellis Library. Elmer Ellis was a President of the University of Missouri-Columbia and the first President of the University of Missouri System.
1973-1977Dwight Tuckwood, Director of Libraries
John H. Gribbin, Director of Libraries
1980Medical Library renamed Health Sciences Library
1980Collection exceeds 2 million volumes
1981(Jul)Complete autonomy for the Law Library
Dean Schmidt Interim Director
Thomas W. Shaughnessy, Director of Libraries
Dean Schmidt Interim Director
1989Creation of independent archival programs on each of the four University campuses and University Archives in Columbia becomes part of MU Libraries three years later
Martha Alexander Bowman, Director of Libraries
2001Surpassed three million volumes
James C. Cogswell, Director of Libraries

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Published by: University Archives
Compiled March 2003 | Revised: 19 August 2003

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