The University of Michigan, an encyclopedic survey ... Wilfred B. Shaw, editor.
University of Michigan.
The University Library, 1941-53

During the quarter-century of growth just described, the University was served by one of the great leaders in American librarianship, the author of the account above. Since no history of the Library's operations can be complete without some reference to his contribution, this record begins with a brief account of his career.

William Warner Bishop ('92, A.M. '93, LL.D. Oberlin '30, D. Litt. National University of Ireland '37) began his academic life as a classical scholar. After serving in 1893-94 as Professor of Greek at Missouri Wesleyan College, he accepted an appointment as Instructor in New Testament Greek and Assistant Librarian at Garrett Biblical Institute, Evanston, Illinois, where he remained until 1898. Dr. G. E. Wire, the Librarian, finding him an excellent assistant, gave him a thorough training in library procedures, especially in cataloguing. In 1898 he obtained a one-year fellowship at the American School for Classical Studies in Rome. While resident there he had access to the Vatican Library and was greatly assisted in his studies by Father Franz Ehrle, S.J., the Prefect. His subsequent career in librarianship, before his return to Michigan in 1915, was as follows: Polytechnic Institute, Brooklyn, Librarian and Instructor in Latin, 1899-1902; Princeton University Library, Head Cataloguer, 1902-4, Reference Librarian, 1904-7; Library of Congress, Superintendent of the Reading Room, 1907-15.

At the date of Dr. Bishop's appointment, the total number of volumes in the University Library was 352,718; the annual book appropriation was $32,000; the staff numbered thirty, with a salary appropriation of $26,774, and a minimum salary rate of $450. When he retired in 1941, the Library holdings had risen to 1,134,052 volumes and the budget appropriation to $216,685, of which more than a third — in addition to substantial trust funds — was available for book purchases; the staff numbered 118, with a minimum salary of $1,034.

Other parts of this Survey describe Dr. Bishop's role in the planning and building of the General Library and the William L. Clements Library, as well as in the development of summer session courses in library methods into the Department of Library Science, which he long directed as chairman. He also initiated a project for improved library service to dental schools, obtaining a grant of $6,000 for this purpose from the Carnegie Corporation in 1929. He was an early and intelligent advocate of the Page  1385application of techniques of microphotography to library problems and received another generous Carnegie grant for this purpose in 1940. In 1916 he sponsored the organization of a Department of Library Extension, encouraging steadily the expansion of its activities in ways which benefited both the University and the state. He established a General Library Series as a part of the University's program of publications in 1919 and began the printing of cards produced by the Catalogue Department and their sale to subscribing libraries in 1925. Under his direction the enormous work of changing from the Dewey to the Library of Congress system of classification was begun and largely carried to completion.

To no responsibility did Dr. Bishop devote himself more energetically, however, than to the improvement of the Library's resources for study and research. In September, 1921, he was sent to Europe by the Regents on a book-buying trip to take advantage of the fall in book prices caused by the economic conditions resulting from the war. He purchased there, at a cost of about $27,000, 9,200 volumes, many of them very valuable and until then almost unobtainable. The results of his journey to Europe in November, 1922, when he negotiated for the purchase of the library of the historian Henri Vignaud have already been described. Throughout his administration he was untiring in his efforts to build up a large and well-balanced book collection. Many generations of scholars will benefit from his industry, his learning, and his extraordinary understanding of the needs of the entire University community.

In addition to his remarkable achievement in strengthening the University Library and extending its services, Dr. Bishop found the time and energy to participate in many activities of national and international importance. The scope and value of these endeavors are summarily recorded in the preamble to resolutions adopted by the Board of Regents on the occasion of his retirement, from which the following passage is excerpted:

His career has been coextensive with the greatest period of growth of the libraries of America and with the development of librarianship as a necessary concomitant. In his earlier years he learned much from the founders of the modern science of librarian-ship who were his older colleagues and friends; subsequently his genuine scholarship, his marked administrative abilities, his qualities of leadership, and the human traits which have endeared him to many friends made him, in turn, one of the great librarians of America and of the world. He was elected President of the American Library Association in 1918-1919; he became the chief consultant of the Carnegie Corporation in its widespread enterprises of aid to libraries and library personnel; his advice was sought on almost every occasion when a large library building was being planned; and his influence extended to other countries, notably when he was invited to aid in organizing the library of the League of Nations and in reorganizing the Vatican Library. Well-deserved recognition of Dr. Bishop's unique place as a Nestor among American librarians has come to him from all parts of the world, in the form of honorary memberships and fellowships in learned societies and through honorary degrees conferred upon him by leading universities and colleges; the International Federation of Library Associations, representing the library workers of the world, has made him its honorary president. The University of Michigan has indeed been fortunate, during the past twenty-six years, to have commanded the skillful and loyal services of this distinguished alumnus in one of the key positions of its staff…


(R.P., 1939-42, p. 652.)

Dr. Bishop continued his active interest in Library affairs after his retirement, completing and revising his Checklist of American Copies of "Short-Title Catalogue" Books, and contributing articles, Page  1386some of them autobiographical, to library journals. He died on February 19, 1955.

Dr. Bishop's successor, Warner G. Rice (Illinois '20, Ph.D. Harvard '27), Professor of English, came into office in September, 1941. He was fortunate in having as his associates a group of loyal and experienced department heads. Special mention must be made in this connection of Miss Gertrude Maginn, long Dr. Bishop's assistant, and Mr. Samuel W. McAllister ('16, A.M. '22, B.S. Columbia Library School '28), whom Dr. Bishop had chosen as Assistant Librarian in 1931, and who became Associate Director in 1941. Skilled and experienced in many branches of library operations, Mr. McAllister proved especially expert in the management of library services.

The system of libraries which the new Director was appointed to administer included the General Library, which housed separately catalogued collections in its four Graduate Reading Rooms, the Library Science Study Hall, and the Medical Library; the collegiate libraries of the College of Architecture, the School of Dentistry, the School of Education, the College of Engineering (served by two collections, one in the East and one in the West Engineering Building), and the School of Forestry; in addition, departmental libraries located in the Astronomical Observatory, at the McMath-Hulbert Observatory at Lake Angelus, in the Chemistry Building (for Chemistry and Pharmacy), in the University Hospital (as a branch of the Medical Library), in Angell Hall (for Economics, Insurance, and Mathematics), in the Natural Science Building, in the University Museums, and in the Physics Building. There were more than a score of office collections, some recorded and some not, in the Hospital, the West Medical Building, and other places. Operating under other administrations were the Law Library, the Business Administration Library, the Bureau of Government Library, the Clements Library, the Michigan Historical Collections, and the Transportation Library.

During the period of World War II and the years of University expansion which followed it, a number of new branches of the General Library were established. During the autumn of 1941 a Music Library was opened in the Burton Tower; in the following winter a Detroit branch, organized for students in the Graduate Study Center and in the Curriculum of Social Work, began service to readers in the Rackham Educational Memorial Building. In 1943-44 another collection for the convenience of extension and Graduate Study Center registrants was made available in Grand Rapids, through the co-operation of the Public Library and that of the Grand Rapids Junior College, which contributed space and facilities for its operation. During the nineteen forties service of this kind was extended to Flint and Saginaw, and later, through the lending of books from a special reserve collection under the jurisdiction of the Library Extension Department, to additional centers where University courses were offered, to the National Music Camp at Interlochen, and to other camps established for summer teaching. A very serviceable library building was provided in 1950 at the Biological Station to accommodate the books in use there.

The Public Health Library was opened in the School of Public Health in the summer of 1943. As interest in Japanese studies increased during the war years it was found necessary to consolidate the social science collections in the Graduate Reading Rooms on the fourth floor of the General Library Building and to transfer the collection of Far Eastern books to the west room, Page  1387which was entirely remodeled and enlarged for the Center for Japanese Studies in 1952. More temporary were the Vocational Guidance Library in the Rackham Building for those counseling veterans, and the collections at Willow Run for students living there. A Fine Arts Library was opened in Tappan Hall in 1949, and with the completion of the new Mason Hall in 1952 a Social Science Library was put into operation, partly for the accommodation of Social Work collections which had been moved from Detroit to the General Library when the headquarters of the School of Social Work was transferred to Ann Arbor in 1951. A consolidation of the Forestry and Natural Science collections was effected in 1953, when an enlarged Library room on the third floor of the Natural Science Building was opened for students in the natural sciences and the School of Natural Resources.

In 1947 the Bureau of Government Library, which had grown rapidly from small beginnings (chiefly under the energetic and expert guidance of Mrs. Ione Dority [Jones]), became a part of the General Library system. This collection, which had expanded to some 20,000 items, was almost totally destroyed in the fire which ruined Haven Hall in June, 1950. During the following winter remnants supplied a nucleus for a new Bureau of Government Library in the basement of the Rackham Building, where the collections were rapidly built up again under the direction of Miss Margery Owen, who succeeded Mrs. Dority in the autumn of 1950.

The Transportation Library, like the Bureau of Government Library, was first developed as a separate unit, though always with the assistance of Dr. Bishop. Credit for this Library's establishment is chiefly due to John Stephen Worley, whose appointment as Professor of Transportation Engineering was made in October, 1922. Keenly aware of the inadequacies of bibliographical guides in the field of transportation and of existing collections, Professor Worley proceeded to build on the foundation provided by a generous gift of his own, augmented by materials contributed by Professor Henry E. Riggs and by Mr. Robert B. Rifenberick of Detroit.

At the beginning emphasis was on the collection of railroad histories and reports. Welcome support soon came from sources outside, as well as within, the University. The Pennsylvania Railroad Company and Mr. Henry V. Doherty contributed more than a thousand volumes in 1925 and 1926. Sums aggregating more than $25,000 were presented, at different times, by the Reo Motor Car Company, the Hudson Motor Car Company, Mr. Alex Dow, Mr. Edsel Ford, Mr. Charles S. Mott, Professor Worley, and others. After an absence from the University from 1925 to 1927, when Professor Walter C. Sadler assumed responsibility for collecting materials and soliciting gifts, Professor Worley returned to Ann Arbor and was appointed chairman of the Executive Committee of this Library. Under his energetic direction it grew rapidly, reaching, within the next twenty years, an estimated size of 100,000 items, comprising not only books, serials, and pamphlets, but manuscripts, photographs, color lithographs, prints, etchings, oil paintings, and models, as well. Notable among the manuscripts are those collected by Charles Ellet, Jr. (1810-62), a prominent engineer who brought together materials covering a long period in the development of transportation and economic life in this country. The Library also owns the manuscript notes of the American inventor and engineer Oliver Evans (1755-1819), who in 1785 wrote extensively on the probable nature of the coming railway. In its possession are the Page  1388only scale drawing of the DeWitt Clinton locomotive, which in 1831 drew the first passenger train in America, and a scale drawing of the first passenger car operated west of the Allegheny Mountains — that used by the Erie and Kalamazoo Railroad in 1836. Subjects of such nationwide interest as the surveys and opening of the Pacific and other transcontinental railways, and of important though shorter railway, canal, and road systems are well represented. Supplemental histories of many smaller local enterprises contribute to a true picture of the industry as a whole. There is much material, both pictorial and descriptive, on sailing vessels, steamboats, and airplanes, and there are prints and printed descriptions of mechanically driven road vehicles from almost the date of the beginning of printing.

As unexpected as it was gratifying has been the discovery that among the colored lithographs, woodcuts, engravings, etchings, and oil paintings incorporated into the collections are many of artistic value. Thus, the Library's eleven woodcuts of mechanically driven road vehicles of the year 1516 are appraised as being among the finest wood engravings in existence. Among the artists represented by prints are Dürer, Burghmaier, Bingham, Pennell, Cruikshank, Daumier, and Kuhler. There are lithographs by Ackermann and by Currier and Ives.

The scope of the Transportation Library is wide enough to include not only materials representing the history of transportation in the United States, but also that of Canada, England, France, and other countries. Printed and pictorial materials are supplemented by a comprehensive bibliography; and the aims of the founder to represent, and to supply information about, all phases of transportation for the assistance of research workers have been generously carried out. The Library has amply proved its value both to scholars in its special field and to students of history, sociology, economics, business administration, and law as well.

Upon the retirement of Professor Worley, Professor Roger Morrison became chairman of the Executive Committee of this Library and continued to enlarge its resources. As these grew, the need for making them more readily accessible by systematic cataloguing and classification became apparent. The aid of the General Library was consequently offered with this end in view. Gradually, members of the staff of the Transportation Library were transferred to the General Library budget, and after the death of Professor Morrison in 1952, Mr. Alfred N. Brandon was appointed to take charge, under the general supervision of Mr. F. Ridlen Harrell, Associate Divisional Librarian in the Engineering Libraries. Mr. Brandon performed his work well, reorganizing the collections in ways which increased their usefulness, and the physical arrangements of the rooms in the East Engineering Building assigned to the Library were greatly improved by the installation of fluorescent lights and steel stacks.

The histories of the Bureau of Government Library and the Transportation Library illustrate a process by which collections, first developed through the enthusiastic devotion, the special interests, and the special knowledges of individuals have come naturally into the University Library system as they increased in scope and usefulness.

The resourcefulness, the energy, and the enthusiasm of university scholars, of collectors, and of friends of the Library, so admirably employed in these instances, have been applied to the advantage of the University in many fields. Page  1389The history of the Mathematics Library provides an excellent illustration.

A beginning was made in 1861, when Mrs. B. Ticknor presented mathematical books which had belonged to her husband, Dr. B. Ticknor, a retired medical officer of the United States Army and a resident of Ann Arbor. In 1865 approximately a score of mathematical books were purchased; apparently the first journal to be acquired was the Bulletin de l'école des hautes études, which began publication in 1870. In 1871 Mr. Philo Parsons gave a fine collection of mathematical works from the library of Professor Karl H. Rau of the University of Heidelberg. Ten years later, through the generosity of E. C. Hegeler, Crelle's Journal was acquired. Later, Mr. Hegeler gave a collection of mathematical models costing $500.

To Professor W. W. Beman, a member of the Department of Mathematics from 1871 to 1922, the University is indebted for several thousand volumes, including valuable sets of journals. Alexander Ziwet, another member of the staff, was a benefactor on an even larger scale. To a gift of some 30,000 books and pamphlets, including a magnificent collection on mechanics and a first edition of Newton's Principia, Professor Ziwet added a bequest of more than $20,000 "for scientific purposes." Other rare items have come, more recently, from Professor William H. Butts, whose interest was in Newton, the history of calculus, and analytic geometry; and Mr. Tracy W. McGregor of Detroit made possible the acquisition of an outstanding collection of Arabic and Persian manuscripts and printed books on mathematics, subsequently supplemented by Turkish books and manuscripts on the same subject.

During the last quarter century, the scholar most active in seeking out gifts, in studying catalogues, in initiating negotiations with dealers, and in drawing the attention of librarians and colleagues to the needs and opportunities of the Mathematics Library, was Professor Louis C. Karpinski, a distinguished historian of mathematics. To his zeal, his wide knowledge both of books and the book trade, and his devotion to the Library, the University owes an enormous debt. Through his efforts largely, and those of the colleagues whom he stimulated, Michigan has come to possess an extraordinarily full and rich collection of journals, classical treatises, and works covering the history of mathematics, astronomy, and science. It is unquestionably a leader in this department of learning.

Remarkable progress in another area came more swiftly, as a result of special needs and circumstances. The University's interest in Far Eastern affairs grew steadily in the years before World War II. In this time of crisis, accordingly, Michigan was able to offer assistance to the nation through the establishment of a school for the instruction of military personnel in the Japanese language and in Japanese civilization. This work, conducted with marked success, led to the founding, as hostilities ended, of a Center for Japanese Studies with a field station at Okayama. As a natural consequence, Japanese books began to flood the General Library during the late forties. The special problems which they presented were finally met by the transfer of Far Eastern collections to a Graduate Reading Room, and the employment in 1951 of Mr. Godfrey R. Nunn, a graduate of the School of Oriental Studies of the University of London to take charge of cataloguing. By 1953 there were 50,000 volumes of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean books in this collection. The leading part in the program of acquisitions was taken by Professor Robert B. Hall, who was also instrumental Page  1390in making Michigan a participant in the Human Relations Area Studies project centered at Yale, and thus in bringing a set of the project's valuable files to the Library.

In other departments of learning, other faculty members have worked unselfishly to the advantage of the Library. For many years Professor Harley H. Bartlett has advised concerning purchases of important botanical items, has acted as the University's agent in making purchases abroad, particularly in South America, and has deposited in the Rare Book Rooms items which he has collected in the Far East. The late Professor William H. Hobbs brought together, largely at his own expense, an extraordinary group of titles relating to Arctic and Antarctic exploration; these, with autographed portraits of explorers and his large scientific library, he bequeathed to the University. Professor Albert Hyma assisted in the selection of titles in Renaissance history and was instrumental in obtaining for Michigan many books from the library of Father Gabriel Richard; Professor Josselyn Van Tyne repeatedly located and urged the buying of books for the remarkable collection on ornithology which he has built up in the Museums; and Professors Harold E. Wethey and H. T. David have been active in their fields of fine arts and music, respectively. After his retirement, President Emeritus Alexander G. Ruthven added to earlier gifts from his fine library additional volumes of great importance in the natural sciences.

More than passing mention should be made, too, of Miss Agnes Inglis, who, in the course of her long association with the Library, demonstrated most effectively how dedication to a purpose, hard work, and persistence can accomplish much even when financial support is meager. By soliciting aid from many sources, Miss Inglis enlarged the Labadie collection from a small, though valuable, nucleus to a remarkably rich and sizable body of material, much of it fugitive and difficult to bring together, on radical and liberal movements, the organization of labor, and similar topics. Important purchases like Der arme Teufel have been financed, while valuable accessions have come from donors such as Mrs. A. W. Diack, Mrs. Hans Buck, and Mrs. Edwin L. Grimes; from labor unions like the UAW; from Shaker groups and other "communities"; and from many correspondents abroad. Particularly strong on the American side, this collection is proving serviceable to students of political science, economics, sociology, and history.

Though a great deal of time and effort was applied to the organization and operation of wartime projects the Library continued an orderly program of accessions steadily through the nineteen forties. Particular attention was given to subjects already mentioned, especially when circumstances required the creation of new divisional libraries. Enlarged budget appropriations for books and periodicals matched increasing costs; and the endeavor to keep collections well balanced was on the whole successful.

Much of the responsibility for a well-balanced acquisition program fell upon Mr. Rolland C. Stewart, Chief Bibliographer, who worked diligently and expertly at the task of book selection and exhibited excellent judgment in recommending purchases through a period when business operations were often extremely difficult. The Order Department, under the capable direction of Miss Cordelia L. Haagen, operated in a highly effective manner.

From the beginning of the war there was difficulty with the procurement of books and journals from the USSR. This continued after hostilities were over and Page  1391extended to China and other Communist countries. Books from western Europe were often hard to obtain on account of military actions, the dislocation of the book trade, and the hazards of shipment, but by the end of the decade fairly normal conditions had been restored. New problems arose when requests were received for publications originating in the countries of North Africa and the Near East. These were solved in part, at least, by the gradual extension of the Joint Acquisitions Project, a plan for co-operative buying sponsored by the Association of Research Libraries. Under the terms of an agreement to which most of the major academic libraries in America subscribed, the Project aimed to bring as many titles of research interest as possible to this country by alloting those in specified subject fields to particular institutions.

Through the buying of rare materials and antiquarian titles, strength was added to a notable degree to the Library's collections of incunabula; astronomy, mathematics, medicine, and the history of science; English literature (especially of the Renaissance), Shakespeare, and the dramatists; fine arts, especially of Spain, Latin America, and the Orient; music history and musicology; ornithology, botany, and zoology. In co-operation with the William L. Clements Library, due attention was also paid to American literature, history, and travel.

Donors were numerous. By gift and bequest, thousands of valuable titles were received from the academic libraries of members of the University, e.g., Dean Joseph A. Bursley, Dean Mortimer E. Cooley, Professor Henry H. Higbie, Dean G. Carl Huber, Dean Hayward Keniston, Professor Thomas A. Knott, Dean Edward H. Kraus, Professor Frank Leverett, Professor Moritz Levi, Professor Walter C. Sadler, Dean Herbert C. Sadler, Professor Albert Stanley, Dr. E. R. Sunderland, Professor Morris P. Tilley, Dr. Henry Vaughan, Dr. Marcus Ward, Professor William H. Worrell, and Dean Clarence S. Yoakum.

Individual benefactors from outside the University's staff likewise were remarkably generous. In 1943 the library of Major Fenton R. McCreery of Flint was offered to the University by Major McCreery's sisters, Mrs. Matthew Davison and Mrs. Jerome H. Remick. Among the rarities thus acquired was a set of Viscount Kingsborough's Antiquities of Mexico, chronicles of the French and Spanish conquerors, Charlevoix' histories of Santo Domingo and Paraguay, and copies of the Spanish Royal Academy dictionary (1791) and Ambrogio Calepino's polyglot dictionary (Venice, 1778).

Other good friends of the University made equally notable gifts. Mr. E. Epstean presented a valuable collection on photography in 1942. In 1943 Mr. Louis Kahn sent to the Architecture Library volumes bequeathed by Albert Kahn. About the same time Mr. and Mrs. V. V. McNitt presented a fifteenth-century edition of C. Plinius Secundus and a fifteenth-century antiphonal on vellum in memory of Robert B. McNitt. Toward the conclusion of the war in Europe, Captain Rowland M. Myers dispatched the first consignment of books and journals which he had brought together in Germany. His gifts, continuing for several years, reached an impressive total, and brought to the Library a great deal of interesting Nazi propaganda and party literature. The bequest of Dr. William W. Newcomb included 250 beautifully illustrated volumes on butterflies. Mr. Stuart H. Perry, in addition to gifts of books, presented, over the years, extraordinarily valuable volumes containing photomicrographs Page  1392of meteoric irons, accompanied by descriptive letterpress and beautifully bound.

In 1947 Ellen van Volkenburg and Maurice Browne began shipment to Ann Arbor of 800 volumes in the fields of modern British and American literature, along with photographs, letters, documents, costume designs, and other materials relating to the theater, with which they had long been associated as actors and producers. Another gift which enriched Library resources in modern drama and the history of the stage was a part of the excellent library of Mr. Daniel L. Quirk of Ypsilanti; he, like the Brownes, had played an important part in the development of the Little Theater movement. Of extraordinary interest, too, are the books and manuscripts of the distinguished poet Arthur Davison Ficke, presented by Mrs. Ficke. Robert B. Brown, Curator of Books in the Clements Library, turned over to the Rare Book Rooms his extensive and valuable collection of James Branch Cabell in 1949; two of his colleagues, Mr. F. L. D. Goodrich and Mr. Colton Storm, were equally generous.

Detroit collectors and booklovers have been mindful of the University's needs. Orla B. Taylor, after many other benefactions, gave the Library many books representing his interests in genealogy and in Napoleon, and bequeathed his collection of Mark Twain and American humorists. Dr. O. O. Fisher lent valuable volumes, including a First Folio of Shakespeare, for use and display and presented a leaf from the Gutenberg Bible; Mr. Charles Feinberg not only lent materials from his Whitman collection for exhibition, but also gave a Whitman item of great interest. In 1951 John W. Watling bequeathed his fine library of works by and about Anthony Trollope.

Until his death in 1954, William C. Hollands, for many years Superintendent of the University Bindery, continued to present annually Bibles and prayer books for the William T. Hollands Memorial Collection, and materials relating to Masonic affairs.

Of particular importance, because of their range of subjects and value, are the gifts of Colonel Thomas H. Spaulding, who has applied himself more consistently and purposefully than any other individual to supplementing the University's resources by private purchases. By 1943 the Rare Book Rooms could report that incunabula received from him totaled one hundred; he has presented many more since that time. Among his gifts of manuscripts are Islamic and Latin items, as well as many in English of various dates, e.g., papers of General William Lee, written between 1789 and 1825, and copies of letters of William Pitt, private and diplomatic correspondence relating to the Spanish War, 1758-61. Colonel Spaulding's major concern has been with early military history, and the University has become pre-eminent in this field. A catalogue of Early Military Books in the University of Michigan Libraries, compiled by Colonel Spaulding and Professor L. C. Karpinski, was published in 1941.

A useful adjunct to the University's printed books is found in its stock of microprint, microcards, and microfilm, principally acquired during the last decade. The development of microcopying processes was accelerated during the war. Research workers then demanded reproductions of books and articles at short notice; librarians, benefiting by new technological developments, were forced to the consideration of space-saving methods by the impossibility of enlarging their buildings, and as a consequence the use of reading machines received a new impetus, and much thought was given to a variety of book-reproduction projects. Dr. Bishop, always forward-looking in this matter, Page  1393was one of the early sponsors of a plan for the provision on microfilm of titles listed in the Short-Title Catalogue — a scheme put into operation by Mr. Eugene Power of University Microfilms.

After the battle of Britain brought home to scholars everywhere the danger in which invaluable manuscript collections stood, University Microfilms undertook the difficult task of reproducing selected documents belonging to British libraries, under the auspices of the American Council of Learned Societies and with the support of the Rockefeller Foundation. In this matter the University co-operated generously — the staff of the Middle English Dictionary contributing to the work of selection, and the Library assuming responsibility for the cataloguing of the films as they were processed. Begun in March, 1944, this work was carried through to completion by Miss Frances Hamman under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation, which also provided the University with a set of positives duplicating the negatives deposited at the Library of Congress.

Runs of important periodicals otherwise unattainable were also acquired on microfilm, and film copies were gradually substituted for newspaper files. The publication of American doctoral dissertations on film, begun by Mr. Power, was supported by the Graduate School and the Library, which became responsible for the cataloguing of these theses, in co-operation with the Library of Congress. Microcards also came into use, especially in the Engineering Libraries and other units where technical reports could be most easily made available and preserved in this form. A subscription was also entered for the British Sessional Papers in microprint. University libraries frequently lent copies of scarce titles for reproduction in microcopy form, and co-operated also in an elaborate program for the issuing of important sets and single volumes by the lithoprint process, which was carried forward by the Ann Arbor firm of J. W. Edwards and which has made widely available such indispensable works as The Library of Congress Catalog, The British Museum Catalogue of Printed Books, and the works of Mozart.

Maps also have proved an increasingly important complement to book collections, and in this department the Library has grown with remarkable speed during the years 1943-53. Most of the accessions, which now exceed 62,000, have come from the Army Map Service, which made the General Library a depository; numerous gifts and purchases supplemented the maps thus obtained.

Library co-operation, on an extensive scale, long advocated but difficult to put into practice, was given great impetus during the war years, especially as the requirements of industrial and technical, as well as of academic, research increased, and the deficiencies of library holdings, surveyed on a national basis, were brought to light. The staff of the Library engaged in a variety of bibliographical projects designed to improve the situation. Michigan supported from the first the Joint Acquisitions Project set in motion by the Association of Research Libraries — a plan intended to ensure the purchase, and the distribution to selected libraries, of copies of all publications useful for research. The Midwest Inter-Library Center opened its storage library in Chicago in October, 1951, but the University did not enter into formal association with the Midwest libraries interested in the storage of books and the initiation of a regional acquisitions program. Plans were being made to store books in a separate building on the campus.

Phonograph records constitute another body of material which has shown a remarkable increase. Since the establishment Page  1394of the Music Library in the Burton Memorial Tower, thousands of records have been purchased and have been much used for teaching and research. Records require special cataloguing, storage, and servicing techniques. These have been swiftly and efficiently perfected.

While the University was enlarging its own resources by the means just described, it was mindful of its responsibilities to other institutions which had fared badly by reason of war damage. Generous in gifts of duplicates through the United States Book Exchange and in exchanges sent directly to many libraries abroad, Michigan took a special interest in the rehabilitation of the University of the Philippines, which was demolished in the battle for Manila. The staff of the Library played a major part in the collection, selection, packing, and shipment of usable books to this institution, contributing from its stock many thousands of duplicates and other titles no longer needed. In the first six months of 1947 not less than twenty-six tons of material were thus dispatched, and other consignments followed. In recognition of this aid a special section bearing the name of Joseph Ralston Hayden is planned for the new library of the University of the Philippines built at Diliman. In this way fitting honor will be paid a Michigan Professor of Political Science who served as Vice-Governor in the Philippines during the administration of the Honorable Frank Murphy. Subsequently, the Catalogue and Order departments of the General Library, in co-operation with the Bureau of Government, assumed the burden of selecting, processing, and shipping an entire reference library to Manila for use in the Institute of Public Administration set up as a branch of the University of the Philippines at Manila under the direction of Michigan scholars and at the expense of the federal government.

Less obvious to the average library user than the increasing size of book collections is the gain in library resources resulting from sound practices of cataloguing and bibliographical research which add to the availability of materials for scholarly use. During the period under review, Miss Margaret I. Smith and her well-trained staff in the Main Reading Room consistently supplied reference aid of the highest order, handled an increasing load of interlibrary loans and requests for books from agencies outside the University, and compiled many special bibliographies. Their efforts were ably seconded by divisional librarians, including Miss Sue Biethan and Miss Helen Wolter in the Medical Library, Miss Ella Hymans in the Rare Book Rooms, Mrs. Elinor Husselman in the Department of Manuscripts and Papyri, Miss Ellen Theurer and Mr. F. Ridlen Harrell in Engineering, Miss Hilda Rankin in Dentistry, along with many others whose names will be gratefully remembered by generations of Michigan students and scholars.

The General Library has long had reason to pride itself on its recording of books, serials, and other printed matter, and especially on its Public Catalogue, which has steadily approached more and more closely the ideal of a union catalogue in which all titles owned by the University can be found, with their locations. As the total number of cards in this catalogue has increased, the corresponding growth in the records of divisional libraries has tested both the capacity and the resourcefulness of the Catalogue Department — ingenuity being necessary if the special requirements of each unit are to be successfully met.

Fortunately, two unusually able chief cataloguers directed the work of their associates. Miss Esther A. Smith, who retired in 1947 after more than forty Page  1395years of service, and her successor, Miss Ella M. Campbell, who retired in the fall of 1953, demonstrated in their own work, and achieved in that which they supervised, the highest professional standards. The Library, in addition to keeping up to date with its ordinary accessions and to continuing the great task of reclassification, was able to assume new responsibilities for books in alphabets other than Roman (e.g., Russian, Chinese, Japanese) and to co-operate with the Library of Congress in important cataloguing programs, including the handling of dissertations on microfilm and the British Manuscripts Project. The Department regularly made cards also for microfilmed Short-Title Catalogue books as well as for other series issued by University Microfilms and perfected methods for dealing with music, phonograph records, slides, and other special collections.

From October, 1948, until the summer of 1952, chief responsibility for the processing departments was in the capable hands of Victor Schaefer (A.B.L.S. '31, A.M.L.S. '34), who returned as Assistant Director. Mr. Schaefer's knowledge of the campus, his experience and resourcefulness, and his systematic, business-like approach to problems resulted in successful solutions for many of them. He left Michigan to become Librarian at Notre Dame University.

The operations of the Library Extension service (a unit which, like the Catalogue Department, performs much of its work unseen by the University public) expanded and diversified at a steady rate. Miss Edith Thomas, the founder of the Department and the person chiefly responsible for its development into an agency of commanding importance, was incapacitated by illness in 1947 and died two years later. Her colleague, Mrs. Lalah Tasch, and her successor, Miss Clover Flanders, successfully carried forward the Library Extension program, co-operating with campus and outstate groups in the arranging of conferences and exhibits, sending out quantities of materials, supervising the provision of books for the University's extension classes and the libraries at the University's summer camps and stations, and administering the Edith Thomas Book Project for children, which was supported until 1954 by the Children's Fund of Michigan. Service to schools, not only through the book project (which provided up-to-date children's literature in areas not well served by organized libraries) but also through aid given the Michigan High School Forensic Association and school libraries was made more effective in 1948 by the appointment of Mr. Ralph Hansen, Jr., who devoted a large share of his time to visiting school libraries in co-operation with the Bureau of School Services. His experiences as a consultant led to the compilation of a manual, Aids for the School Librarian, which has proved its worth. Mr. Hansen was succeeded in 1950 by Mr. Kenneth Vance, who further enlarged the services performed in conjunction with the Bureau.

Library use showed a steady decline during the war years, a rapid rise during the late nineteen forties, and another decline in the early fifties, in rough correspondence with University enrollments. In general, however, the burden on all service departments, and especially upon the Circulation Department, increased, the demands of students in the graduate and professional schools and from new research groups attached to the University requiring particular attention. Through a period made trying by the difficulties of maintaining a sufficiently large and adequately trained staff, Miss Fredericka B. Gillette, Chief Circulation Librarian, carried on with energy and patience. After her retirement Page  1396at the end of 1945 she was succeeded by Mr. Horace A. Tollefson, and after his resignation in 1946 by Mr. Fred Dimock, both of whom had been brought up in the Department. Under their direction, many improvements were made in details of routine, while useful innovations in the instruction of readers in the use of the Library were introduced. For 1953-54 circulation of books from the General Library for home use amounted to 123,768 volumes; including the branches it was 343,340 volumes.

Despite extraordinary effort, skill, and ingenuity, all departments of the Library were greatly handicapped by the lack of sufficient space for the proper performance of their duties — a situation which worsened as the years went on. From the time of its completion Dr. Bishop had foreseen that the General Library Building would soon prove too small. The distribution of collections in divisional libraries was a natural, a necessary, and a moderately successful method of meeting the problem of growth; but the system of divisional libraries developed, in great measure, by improvisation rather than by generous and systematic plan, with the result that the branches soon became congested. The storage of "little-used materials," a scheme born of necessity and undertaken on a piecemeal basis, was gradually put into effect, books, newspapers, and serial publications being transferred to attics, basements, and other undesirable locations as these could be found. A large and reasonably convenient storage area was at length provided in empty stacks in the Business Administration Library; but it was obvious that these could be used for a short time only. In addition to the inconvenience of bringing books from remote widely scattered locations for the use of readers, there was necessarily a considerable expense and labor involved in the changing of records. The need for a modern library with adequate stack space was thus made not only evident but pressing, especially as the inadequacy of facilities affected not only the storage of books but the convenience of readers, who as their numbers increased were more and more crowded and uncomfortable.

Whatever could be done to remedy this state of affairs was done. Small additions were made to divisional libraries; some space for new libraries and reading rooms (usually much less than was asked for) was assigned in new buildings planned for the campus. The Director, in preparation for the enlargement of library quarters, participated in the deliberations of a group of University librarians who, with the aid of a Carnegie grant, applied themselves to the study of library buildings, criticized the plans devised for new libraries, conferred with architects, and investigated all developments in the field. In August, 1946, Michigan obtained a federal loan, to be expended in planning an extension to the General Library. The firm of Albert Kahn Associates was employed; and with the aid of Mr. Lynn Fry, the University architect, the staff of the Library, assisted by the Library Council, labored painstakingly to perfect, under the conditions set, a workable scheme. Complete plans were ultimately drawn, and approved, for the extension of the existing building on the east, south, and west, with the raising of the stack tower. In 1952, however, this project was finally discarded. For it there was substituted in 1953 a plan to erect a storage library on the North Campus. This met, in part, the difficulty of finding space for books; but the larger problem of getting really adequate accommodations for readers, for Library operations, and for book collections Page  1397in constant use remained. The expedient suggested, but not immediately feasible, was the construction of an undergraduate library.

On July 1, 1953, Professor Rice resigned as Director of the Library in order to give full time to the Department of English, of which he had been appointed chairman. In August, Frederick H. Wagman (Amherst '33, Ph.D. Columbia '42) succeeded him as Director.

In June, 1954, the Library holdings amounted to 2,304,434 books and pamphlets. This figure included 697,949 unbound items not hitherto included in the record under the previous method of counting acquisitions.