The LibrariesPage [unnumbered]
THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
The University Library to 1941
THE history of the General Library of the University of Michigan begins almost with that of the University itself. The Reverend John Monteith, President of the Catholepistemiad or University of Michigania, mentions in his diary that a part of the little University building erected in Detroit in 1817 was occupied by a Detroit library.
In the Act of 1837, which provided for the organization of the University in Ann Arbor, it was stipulated that as much as was necessary of the moneys received from student fees should be expended in keeping the buildings in good condition; the balance was to be used for the increase of the Library. Although no money was forthcoming from this source for the Library the Regents in 1837 "elected" the Reverend Henry Colclazer to the position of librarian (R.P., 1837-64, p. 7). He held his office, which must have been a sinecure, until 1845. During the next eleven years the librarian's duties were assumed for brief periods by various members of the faculty.
A year after Colclazer's appointment the Regents passed a resolution commissioning Dr. Asa Gray, who had been appointed Professor of Botany and who had asked for a year abroad prior to taking up his teaching duties, to buy books:
That Dr. Asa Gray, Professor of Botany in the University of Michigan, in his contemplated tour in Europe be requested to purchase a library for the University of Michigan, that the sum of five thousand dollars be appropriated and placed in his hands to carry that object into effect, … and that fifteen hundred dollars be advanced to Doctor Gray for defraying the expenses which he may incur in the execution of the commission hereby confided to him.
(R.P., 1837-64, p. 56.)
Further resolutions specified the classes of books to be purchased and requested Gray "to embody his observations of a scientific, literary, and philosophical character … in the form of a report, to be laid before the Board of Regents on his return home."
As a result of this commission Gray, through George Palmer Putnam,* purchased 3,400 volumes "embracing the various departments of history, philosophy, classical literature, sciences and arts, (and) jurisprudence, …" The Regents' committee on the Library reported that a large proportion of these books consisted of works which could not be obtained in America, while many of the editions were scarce and rare in Europe.
The list of books bought, which was printed as a state document (Joint Doc.) in 1841, has been compared with the catalogues, and most of the books have survived a century of active use and are still in the Library.
The commission given Gray did not represent all the activities of the Regents in regard to the Library, for in 1838 they ordered a copy of Rafn's Antiquitates Americanae, and in 1839 they paid $970 for a copy of Audubon's Birds of America, which is still in the University collections.
It is also worthy of note that the first gifts to the University, as far as known, took the form of books. In 1840 Dr. C. W. Borup, of La Point, on Lake Superior, Page 1370donated a set of Brockhaus' Konversations-Lexikon, which is still in the Library. "An ancient Runic book," given in 1844, by Alexandre Vattimare, a librarian in New York, has never been fully identified.
After this auspicious beginning little was done for the Library until President Tappan, shortly after his arrival, appealed to the citizens of Ann Arbor for funds with which to buy books. As a result $1,515 was subscribed in 1854, and during the year "by donation and purchase" 1,200 volumes were added. As early as 1847 the Regents had begun to make regular appropriations for the Library. In 1865, $1,000 was set aside for the General Library, $500 for the Law Library, and $400 for the Medical Library. This was increased to $5,000 a year in 1877, and by 1891 the appropriation was $15,000 for a two-year period. The Librarian reported in June, 1877, that the collection consisted of 23,909 volumes and 800 pamphlets, with an average annual increase of about 800 volumes.
During the University's early years in Ann Arbor there was no regularly assigned room for the Library. Books were kept wherever convenient. In 1840 it was resolved "that the Building Committee be authorized to provide temporary shelves in one of the Professors' houses at Ann Arbor for the Library" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 140). In November, 1841, it was resolved "that the Librarian be authorized to remove the Library to one of the large rooms in the Main Building" (R.P., 1837-64, p. 202). At this time the Committee on the Library reported:
The books of which a catalogue has been printed, belonging to the University, have been carefully preserved in temporary cases, prepared for them, in one of the houses for Professors. Since the organization of the Faculty, it has been judged best that measures should be taken for the purpose of giving the Institution the advantages appropriately accruing to it from the possession of the Library. Rules and regulations have therefore been prepared, with the co-operation and concurrence of the Faculty and Librarian, for the purpose of rendering those advantages available. The following are the regulations which for the present have been adopted:
- Regulations for the Library.
- 1. The Librarian or his Assistant shall keep the key of the Library and shall permit none but the Regents of the University and members of the Faculty to enter the Library except in his company.
- 2. The Librarian shall keep a catalogue of the books of the Library and an account of all books borrowed therefrom, including the name of the borrower and the time of delivery of the book.
- 3. The Library shall be open for the delivery of books once a week on such day and hours as the Librarian may appoint when all the students of the University may enjoy its privileges under the restrictions which follow.
- 4. No book shall be loaned to students except such as may have been distinctly specified by the Faculty as suitable for such use.
- 5. No student shall receive more than two volumes at a time nor retain a volume longer than two weeks, without renewal, nor lend, nor carry it out of his room except to return it to the Library. A volume may be renewed only once except by special permission of a Professor.
- 6. A student not returning a volume in his possession within two weeks, shall incur a penalty of twenty-five cents and an additional penalty of fifty cents for every additional week of delinquency, which penalty shall be paid to the Librarian before such student shall have any further use of the Library.
- 7. Borrowers of books from the Library are forbidden to write or mark in them or to turn down a leaf.
- 8. All damages done to books shall be estimated by the Librarian and shall be promptly paid. If a volume shall be lost or Page 1371destroyed, the borrower shall pay for the whole set or replace it.
- 9. Such books as by reason of their great value or scarcity could not easily be replaced, shall not be loaned but shall be kept for consultation in the Library.
- 10. No person visiting the Library shall be allowed to take down or put up a volume without permission of the Librarian or his assistant.
- 11. Any violation of these rules will be punishable by fine or exclusion from the use of the library.
It has been thought altogether impracticable and inappropriate to the use and design of the College Library that it should be rendered a circulating Library for the benefit of the surrounding population, and therefore books are not to be loaned but as above prescribed. Yet it is a matter under consideration by the Committee whether it would not be proper to instruct the Faculty and Librarian to afford access to the Library during the presence of the Librarian at such fixed time to be designated by him, to such as may desire to consult any of the authors, it being understood that no work whatever is to be carried out of the Library by such visitants or readers.
(R.P., 1837-64, pp. 195-96.)
Eventually, the growth of the University and of the Library itself, made necessary a more adequate arrangement, and in 1856 the Library was installed in what were for the time commodious quarters in another part of North College (old Mason Hall), remodeled "for the accommodation of the Library and Museum." For the first time a reading room was provided, the books were placed on shelves, and a daily service was inaugurated.
John L. Tappan, a son of President Tappan, was put in charge in 1856, and became in effect the first Librarian of the University. According to a report by a later Librarian, Raymond C. Davis, an extraordinary demand for library books "seemed to spring into existence." This gratifying result was due in part to the installation of a card catalogue, one of the first in America. The completion of the Law Building (old Haven Hall) in 1863 made possible the removal of the Library to the quarters in which it remained for twenty years. In 1880 Acting President Frieze reported:
It is to be regretted that the department (of Law), by the intrusion of the University Library, is still deprived of the use of a large portion of the building originally intended for its exclusive accommodation. I hope that the necessity for this kind of trespass will soon be removed.
(R.P., 1876-81, p. 580.)
In the same year Dean T. M. Cooley of the Law School stated:
Two important interests have long suffered from comparative neglect when University funds were being appropriated. One of these is the University Library, which has now for some fifteen years been imperfectly accommodated with what was intended to be, and should have been, only temporary quarters, in the Law Building…
The great and paramount need of the University at this time, in our opinion, is better accommodations for the University Library. For this purpose a building specially designed for the Library is required. Its erection would accommodate and advantage every professor and every student in every school of the University, and would enable the library to be protected and increased…
(P.R., 1879-80, pp. 60-61.)
2. The large increase in the number of students and in the number of subjects taught in the various Departments of the University has, in a corresponding degree, increased the use of the General Library. The tables and alcoves are so crowded as to cause great inconvenience and discomfort to both students and Faculties. In fact, it is simply impossible to accommodate the number of persons now needing to use the Library.
Page 13723. The growth of the University just mentioned, and particularly the large increase in the number of those studying for second degrees, make well-nigh indispensable an immediate outlay of several thousand dollars for books. In answer to inquiries addressed to heads of departments in the Department of Literature, Science, and the Arts, we find that very few subjects can be assigned for theses, on which there is any adequate apparatus for study in the General Library. The growing importance of this department of our work should not be overlooked.
4. The newly added departments of Pedagogy and Music, as well as several new Courses in Literature, Science, and Art, — all create an additional demand for books.
(R.P., 1876-81, p. 600.)
The legislature, in response to the solicitation of the Regents in 1881, appropriated $100,000 for a new library. Though there was some delay the new structure, which was to be used by many generations of students, was ready for occupancy in 1883. It stood in the center of the campus, where its twin towers, one on either side of a semicircular apse which enclosed the reading room, were perhaps the most striking feature of the campus. The east tower contained the University clock and Westminster chimes, which marked the quarter hours. For many years this building proved adequate, but eventually a further enlargement was necessary. In 1899 the bookstacks were extended to a capacity of 200,000 volumes.
When President Tappan was removed in 1863, his son John L. Tappan ceased to be Librarian. His place was filled temporarily by Datus Chase Brooks ('56, A.M. '59), Assistant Professor of Rhetoric and English Literature. In 1864 the Reverend Andrew Ten Brook (Madison [Utica, N.Y.] '39), who had been Professor of Moral and Intellectual Philosophy from 1844 to 1851, was made Librarian. Ten Brook was the first historian of the University, and his book on American State Universities and the University of Michigan, published in 1875, is a mine of information on the University's earliest years in Ann Arbor. He resigned as Librarian in 1877 to be succeeded by Raymond Cazallis Davis (A.M. hon. '81), who had joined the Library staff in 1868.
Davis was born at Cushing, Maine, June 23, 1836. He came to Ann Arbor in 1855, one of many young men attracted to the University of Michigan from New England in the fifties and sixties. Because of illness he did not graduate with his class. In 1868, however, he was made Assistant Librarian of the University, holding the post until 1872, when he returned to Maine. In 1877 he was recalled to the University as Librarian, a position he filled until 1905 when he was made Librarian Emeritus. He died in 1919 at the age of eighty-two.
He was a lovable man, devoted to his task as Librarian, spending himself freely for many years, and accomplishing much with small means. The records of the Library Committee, all in his handwriting, the well-planned and executed card catalogues, the collection purchased with rare skill and meager funds testify to his effectiveness as a Librarian. Generations of students knew him as a kindly and friendly mentor, always willing to help them and guide them to the reading of good books.
In 1878 Davis joined the American Library Association and was long associated with its work, being a life member. He was one of the early co-operators in Poole's Index and in other joint undertakings. He early inaugurated a course in practical bibliography which he continued to give until age forced him to cease teaching.
In 1890, though with less than 90,000 volumes in its collections, the General Page 1373Library for more than a decade had been the strongest Library in this country, west of Cornell. Davis reported:
There were in the Libraries of the University, Sept. 30, 1890, 74,599 volumes, 14,907 unbound pamphlets, and 571 maps; in the Law Library 10,218 volumes; in the Medical Library 4,146 volumes and 996 unbound pamphlets; and in the Library of the Dental College, 500 volumes.
During the year 260 periodicals have been regularly received, as follows: In the General Library, 184; in the Medical Library, 56; in the Law Library, 7; and in the Library of the Dental College, 13.
(R.P., 1886-91, p. 467.)
In 1891 the policy of supporting the Library by a series of special appropriations from the legislature came to an end. With the increase of the general tax from one-twentieth to one-sixth of a mill in 1893, the Regents fixed the annual appropriation for the Library at $15,000 annually.
Davis began a policy of securing capable assistants. It is not generally known that Professor Fred Newton Scott, later so well-known to students of English, was Assistant Librarian from October, 1888, to October, 1889. Frederick Parker Jordan ('79) held the same post from 1889 to 1922. He became Assistant Librarian in 1889 and Associate Librarian in 1920. He had charge of the preparation of books for the shelves, and subsequently he took over the entire burden of classification. Trained as a philologist at the University and in Germany, Jordan brought to his seemingly routine work an extensive knowledge of languages, a wide acquaintance with classical and modern literature, and a long experience which rendered his services extraordinarily valuable to the Library. Byron A. Finney ('71) was Reference Librarian from 1891 to 1916. Anderson Hoyt Hopkins (Ph.B. '92) was Assistant Librarian from 1892 to 1895, when he left to help in the organization of the John Crerar Library in Chicago.
Under Davis gifts of important special collections were made to the Library. In 1870 Philo Parsons of Detroit bought and presented to the University the library of Professor Karl H. Rau of Heidelberg, a valuable collection of books and pamphlets relating principally to the science of political economy. Mr. Parsons also paid for the continuation of several of the serial publications contained in the collection, and added still other works. In 1898 the Parsons Collection contained 4,325 bound volumes and 5,000 pamphlets.
The gift of the McMillan Shakespeare Collection from James McMillan in 1883 was perhaps even more important. Though funds for keeping it up by additions of newer materials have been insufficient, this collection is one of the important Shakespeare collections for scholarly research in this country. The valuable Goethe Collection, fathered by Professor Calvin Thomas, of the Department of German, and largely the gift of the German citizens of Michigan, while smaller than the Shakespeare Collection, has also been of much service. The private library of Dr. Edward Dorsch, of Monroe, Michigan, also added during Davis' term as Librarian, and the small but very valuable private collection of W. W. Murphy, long Consul-General of the United States at Frankfurt-am-Main, were notable acquisitions.
In 1896 the University established its own bindery, set up in the Library under the superintendence of William Charles Hollands. From modest beginnings this bindery grew to considerable size. (The printing which had earlier been a function of the bindery was transferred to the Press Building in the early nineteen thirties.) By 1940 the establishment had specially designed quarters in the northeast corner of the basement of the Page 1374present Library Building and still profited from Mr. Hollands' supervision, notwithstanding his partial retirement from active duty in 1929. It was not until 1944, when Mr. Hollands was eighty-two, that the Regents relieved him of all duties and responsibilities, though continuing his salary and commending "his long, expert, and devoted service to the University."
The two decades from 1890 to 1910 were marked by slow growth in the book stock of the General Library. Careful selection was a necessary result of strictly limited funds for book purchases, but the most careful selection could not meet the problems presented by an expanding curriculum, an enlarged faculty, and a student body growing by the proverbial leaps and bounds. Noticeable also was the growing pressure caused by increased reading for research work being carried on by faculty and graduate students. The policy of extensive purchase of periodical sets begun by Dr. Vaughan for the Medical School and so amusingly described by him in his autobiography, A Doctor's Memories (pp. 205-6), was followed in other disciplines, particularly in the Literary College and in the nascent Graduate School.
The Coyl and Ford-Messer bequests proved to be a great boon to the Library. Though small ($10,000 and $20,000, respectively) from the standpoint of a later day, these two endowments enabled the Library to purchase sets and journals which could not otherwise have been acquired. The income of the Coyl Fund, the gift of Miss Jean L. Coyl, of Detroit, in 1894, in memory of her brother, Colonel William Henry Coyl, was devoted chiefly to the purchase of expensive books and sets in the field of the arts and archaeology. The Ford-Messer Fund was established in 1894 by Dr. Corydon L. Ford, for many years Professor of Anatomy in the Medical School. The income from this fund was used mainly to buy sets of the publications of the major European learned societies and academies. Unfortunately, as these purchases grew in number, and as the current subscriptions for the annual additions to these transactions and proceedings were charged to these funds, the income became practically mortgaged. The Coyl and Ford-Messer funds, however, continue to yield each year most happy and beneficent fruits to the Library. Already the total income expended has far surpassed the original sums received as endowments and has added steadily through the years materials of prime importance to University study.
The contribution of Edward Lorraine Walter, long an energetic and most influential teacher of French, should not be forgotten. After his tragic death in the sinking of "La Bourgogne" in 1898, Professor Walter's private library was given to the University in 1900. It continues to be very useful, furnishing many sound editions of the French and Italian classic and modern writers. To many of the older men on the faculty his bookplate with his favorite motto recalls a beloved teacher. Many collections, the fruit of ripe judgment gained in years of University life, have enriched the Library. These include the philosophical library of Professor George Sylvester Morris, presented by his widow in 1896, and added to generously in later years by gifts of money.
The practice of reserving certain books, frequently several copies of each title, for the use of classes began at Michigan in the autumn of 1889, when Professor Francis W. Kelsey arranged for about a hundred and fifty books to be held on shelves near the loan desk for the use of the students in his well-attended course in Roman Archaeology and Antiquities. From this modest Page 1375beginning, regarded as a great innovation at the time, the practice grew until by 1915 it became evident that special provision would be required for outside reading in connection with undergraduate courses. Two rooms had been provided in the building erected in 1881-83 for the use of advanced students: the East Seminary Room for history and the West Seminary Room for classics. Thus, a beginning was made in that differentiation of service to groups within the University which has so marked the developments in recent years.
With the advent of Theodore Wesley Koch (Pennsylvania '92, A.M. Harvard '94) as Librarian, a period of rapid development began for the Library. After service at the Library of Congress and at Cornell, where he published a large and detailed catalogue of the Willard Fiske Dante Collection, Koch was appointed Assistant Librarian at the University of Michigan in 1904, becoming Chief Librarian the following year when Davis became Librarian Emeritus. He held the post until the summer of 1915, when serious illness compelled him to resign. Later, he became librarian of Northwestern University.
The Library Building was enlarged in 1910 by the addition of bookstacks at the south. A part of the space formerly occupied by the Art Gallery was also set aside for stacks. The remainder was made into a Graduate Reading Room for advanced students including those of the Medical School. The south part of the Gallery, which was used for stacks, presents a novel architectural solution of a most difficult problem. The original cast iron stacks were not designed to carry the weight of additional stories, hence trusses were used to bear the weight of the two floors. The trusses themselves were supported by columns of brickwork embedded in the walls. The additional shelving thus ingeniously installed was completely filled by 1915.
In 1900 the General Library counted 258,633 volumes and for its size was unquestionably one of the best in America. By June, 1915, the number of volumes had grown to 352,718. Funds had never been large, and only constant care and supervision of expenditure had kept the Library properly supplied with books.
Certain innovations of importance brought about by Koch put the Library in line with modern practice. The Reading Room on the first floor was furnished with a large and carefully selected collection of reference books, and the students were given the privilege of "borrowing books from the General Library for use in their own rooms." In early days the reference collection had been meager in the extreme — a few dictionaries, atlases, and encyclopedias contained in a small case in the center of the room. To these were added some three thousand books of reference placed in cases against the outer walls of the semicircular Reading Room, available for consultation by any reader. How great this change was can be understood only by those who as students had to apply for reference books at the loan desk. Home use of books by students soon grew to large proportions. The privilege has been valued and has been very little abused.
Byron A. Finney joined the staff as Reference Librarian in 1891, and it was found possible after 1900 to add to the Library staff a small number of professionally trained librarians. A Catalogue Department was created, and later an Order Department. It is noteworthy that before the end of the nineteenth century, the Library had been arranged on the Dewey Decimal System, and before 1910 the use of printed cards bought from the Library of Congress had been thoroughly established. Subject cataloguing had been introduced by Hopkins and Jordan Page 1376before 1895. Shelf-lists for inventory purposes were begun equally early. Technically, the Library's methods were in conformity with modern practice, but the force was always too small to permit the application of these methods with full satisfaction either to the Library staff or to the University.
Further service to advanced students was attempted in the upper Reading Room following the removal of the art collections to Alumni Memorial Hall after it was completed in 1910. The limitations of the Library Building, however, prevented any considerable enlargement of the service in either direction.
Perhaps the most significant of various changes and improvements was the adoption in 1913 of the principle of segregating rare and costly books in the Rare Book Rooms, with consultation rooms adjoining the storage space. This was accomplished with some difficulty by enclosing the southern half of the third floor of bookstacks and providing metal doors and metal window coverings. The principle was undoubtedly sound, but implementation was difficult because the more valuable books were locked up, and every time they were needed it was necessary to apply at the loan desk or the Librarian's office. Until 1917 it was not possible to provide special service for the rare books, to keep the room open, and to give expert supervision. Professor Isaac N. Demmon ('68, M.A. '71), who had been instrumental in acquiring many of the rare books for the Library, was made Curator, and Miss Eunice Wead (Smith '02, New York State Library School [Albany] '03, A.M. Michigan '27), Assistant Curator. On Professor Demmon's death in 1920, Miss Wead, later Associate Professor of Library Science, was made Curator, resigning in 1924 to become Assistant Librarian of the William L. Clements Library of American History.
A new building was imperatively needed long before the insistent efforts of President Hutchins finally secured from the Legislature of 1915 an appropriation of $350,000. The sum was far too small. The legislature added $200,000 and later provided another $65,000 for furniture and equipment. Only the genius of the architect, Albert Kahn, of Detroit, an expert in concrete construction, permitted building with this comparatively modest sum a structure which, despite great increases in the student body, in the faculties, in the number of books, and in the service itself, proved to be adequate for two decades. The architect was obliged to keep the old bookstacks, which were weakly built but fireproof, and to limit his designs. Before the plans had passed beyond the stage of preliminary sketches, Koch's illness resulted in his resignation, and William Warner Bishop was called from Washington to succeed him in September, 1915.
The University of California, early in the century, had built a library of stone embodying a central stack, a large reading room on the second floor across the front of the building, offices, and special reading and study rooms situated on either side of the main entrance. Harvard, in 1915, because of its greater need for book storage and for space for diverse classes of readers, had carried the principal features of this design much further. Kahn, in developing the design, used the central axis for the approach of readers and the delivery of books to the main loan desk. The design is simple in the extreme, and years of experience have shown it to be thoroughly workable. The cruciform stack with a book conveyor in the center provided a means of rapid service along the shortest possible lines.
A faculty committee composed of Professors Wenley and Demmon and Dean Guthe aided the Librarian and the architect in perfecting the designs finally Page 1377carried out in the building. Professor John F. Shepard represented the University in practical details of construction. The University owes a great debt to his unwearying labors, ingenuity, and practical sense. The architect also brought to his task great experience and a resourcefulness unmatched among his colleagues (see Part VIII: The General Library Building). The new stack units at right angles to the old stack were built first, and the Library services were housed in them temporarily while the old structure in front of and beside the bookstacks was torn down. Begun in April, 1917, before World War I was declared, work on the building lagged owing to lack of men and materials. The Library was finally dedicated on January 7, 1920. Meantime, the west bookstack, furnished with concrete floors, was used for reading rooms, while the east bookstack housed the Order Department and the cataloguing staff, as well as the books which had been stored in those parts of the old building torn down to make room for the new structure.
Between 1910 and 1920 the number of volumes grew from 270,998 to 430,000. In the next decade the total reached 765,516, and the accessions in 1938 reached the million mark. This rapid growth is by no means unusual. In fact, the major university libraries of the country have all grown with equal or greater speed. The significance of the large additions to the University Library lies in their character fully as much as in their size. Files of important journals and newspapers, such as the London Times from 1817 to date; imposing series of transactions of learned societies both general, as the great European academies, and special, as the Japan Society of London; monumental works of fundamental importance in research, such as Pertz, Monumenta Germaniae Historica and the Humboldt-Bonpland Voyage; rare books, such as the Shakespeare and incunabula collections; and highly valuable special collections, best typified perhaps by the Vignaud Collection, have marked the increase as the years have gone by. While much ephemeral material and much of secondary importance has of necessity been acquired, the bulk of the great additions is of enduring value, much of it printed on the older paper stock which is fairly permanent. By the end of the academic year 1940, the stacks of the main Library Building were practically filled, despite the establishment of several additional "departmental" libraries.
One great factor in maintaining the high level of acquisition was the addition of two more trust funds. Another lay in the richness and size of certain gifts of books and of money for their purchase. The Octavia Williams Bates Fund with a principal of approximately $17,000 became available in 1917. This fund has been devoted to purchases of important and valuable books and sets in certain fields, chiefly the publications of museums and libraries, the writings of the Renaissance humanists, and of valuable books in archaeology and the arts. Few continuations have been permitted to burden this fund; thus, its usefulness has not been circumscribed in emergencies. The Silas Wright Dunning Fund will ultimately have a capital of more than $250,000. It has been used to establish a great collection of publications of French and Belgian local academies and societies. This field was chosen in agreement with the library of the University of Minnesota, which had gathered similar publications of the Scandinavian countries and those Baltic regions once under Scandinavian control, and with the John Crerar and New-berry libraries of Chicago, which agreed to gather German and Austrian society publications of a local and general character. By means of interlibrary loans this material is serviceable in all four Page 1378libraries and in others as well. Both the Bates and the Dunning funds are the gifts of alumni. Other funds have been raised by certain alumni groups and classes for the endowment of book purchases by the Library.
Perhaps of even greater value have been the gifts by alumni and others of the fruits of their own collecting in special fields. In 1914 Dean C. Worcester gave his Philippine Collection, which included many unpublished manuscripts. He also gave a large sum of money to be used in adding to the collection.
Regent William L. Clements not only gave his extraordinary collection of Americana to the University but also a beautiful building in which to house it; he also presented many valuable books to the General Library. For more than twenty years Clements was chairman of the Library Committee of the Regents, giving freely of his experience and knowledge. Much of the successful development of the Library since 1910 is owing to his guidance and aid. While technically he did not give the Henri Vignaud Library to the University, it was bought by the Regents in 1922, after inspection by the Librarian, upon Clement's urging. His gift of money to arrange and catalogue this valuable addition almost equaled the purchase price. The Americana in the Vignaud Collection provided the Clements Library with an indispensable critical apparatus and thousands of books second in importance only to the great treasures Clements had already secured; the remainder of the collection came to the General Library. The Vignaud library was particularly rich in the European philosophical writings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, in books on geographical discovery, and in the older works on anthropology. There were also some thousands of pamphlets which were arranged for binding by Dr. George E. Wire. Every year adds to our sense of the value of these materials, gathered in a long lifetime spent chiefly in the service of the United States in its Paris embassy.
Another Regent whose benefactions have enriched the Library was Lucius L. Hubbard, of Houghton. Serving on the Library Committee with Regent Clements for years, he became thoroughly familiar with the Library's needs and its work. In 1923, some time before his retirement from the Board, Dr. Hubbard gave the Library a remarkable collection of imaginary voyages, which naturally included the two most famous in English literature, Robinson Crusoe and Gulliver's Travels. The Crusoe collection is unusually large and complete, from an exceptionally fine copy of the first edition of 1719 to recent illustrated editions. It contains a long series of British editions, another series of American editions, and translations into many languages. It includes in a dozen languages an outstanding lot of "Robinsonades," imitations of Defoe's famous classic. The Gulliver collection includes not only large and ordinary paper copies of the first edition (1726) but a number of collected editions of Swift's works, gathered by Mr. Hubbard in the course of his studies on the bibliography of Gulliver's Travels. It also includes a long sequence of editions and translations. Other imaginary voyages, chiefly in English, Dutch, and German, figure in the collection. Regent Hubbard also gave the Library a group of books which he called "Men and Manners in America." This consists of impressions of European travelers to America and covers a period from the end of the American Revolution to the end of the Civil War. By his direction these have not been kept separately but have been incorporated in the Library's general collections, distinguished only by a special bookplate.
Two physicians have greatly aided the Page 1379Library by gifts of books gathered with care over long years. Dr. Lewis Stephen Fisk Pilcher, of Brooklyn, one of the foremost surgeons of the country, in 1926 presented the greater part of his private library of important older medical works. This collection, which serves to trace the history of surgery and anatomy, contains many unusual and rare works. Later, the Library received the Haass collection of incunabula in the field of internal medicine, given in honor of the memory of Ernest William Haass, of Detroit, by his brother, Walter Ferdinand Haass. This collection, selected by Professors R. S. Warthin and C. V. Weller of the Medical School, although small, containing only twenty-eight volumes, is very choice. Dr. Warthin had previously secured from Regent Peter White, of Marquette, a fund with which certain very important works in the history of medicine were bought. Dr. Le Roy Crummer, of Los Angeles, built generously on these foundations by adding books from his private library. His gift was later enlarged by his widow. He began with an extraordinary series of editions of the Regimen Sanitatis of the Salerno School, followed this by an almost complete collection of editions of the various writings of Sir Thomas Browne of Norwich, and then gave more than one thousand books, most of them very rare and all of them significant in the history of medicine. Taken together, these gifts form a notable foundation for a study of medical history.
It is, however, important to observe that none of these special gifts which have so greatly enriched the Library carried with it any provision for endowment. An effort has been made to add to the collections in Shakespeare, Carlyle, Goethe, and others by drawing upon the various book funds at the disposal of the Librarian and of the department concerned. The lack of sufficient funds earmarked for this purpose has greatly reduced with the passage of time the value for research purposes of many of these special collections.
Failure to note the debt of the Library to faculty members would be inexcusable. Ziwet, Beman, Scott, Taylor, Warthin, as well as Morris and Wenley, are only a few of the Michigan benefactors whose gifts of books still serve the University.
The total of important gifts which the Library has received is impressive. Each year among the thousands of volumes there are many of prime value. Among alumni of the University who have made a practice of securing unusual items for the Library should be mentioned Colonel Thomas M. Spaulding who, with Mrs. Spaulding, not only has given the Library a book fund endowment for the Stephen Spaulding Collection in history in memory of their son but has also presented more than a thousand books, among them many incunabula, a large collection on Hawaii, and many illustrative of the history of the military art.
Funds for purchase have likewise grown steadily, though suffering a reduction after 1932 through the depression years. Earlier purchases were carefully selected works. With easier means the character of the selection has not greatly changed. Permanent value has been sought, to the exclusion of the trivial or temporary. The various departments and individuals selecting books have spent their money carefully. The fashion of the last sixty years in the world of learning has been periodical publication in highly specialized journals and in transactions of societies. These the Library has sought and obtained in large numbers. Perhaps a third, certainly a fourth of its bulk lies in bound newspapers, transactions of learned societies, general and technical periodicals, series of monographs, university publications, and the serial publications of governmental bodies. Page 1380The emphasis on collecting periodicals of all sorts and in many fields marks the greatest change from the Library of an earlier day.
In its early years the Library failed to gather systematically the publications of governments. Long a depository of the documents published by the United States, the Library made little attempt to secure the publications of other governments or of the several states of our own country. Much of this material, so valuable for the social sciences, can be secured only at the time of issue and generally only from the office of publication, but seldom through the ordinary book trade. Early in 1915 a beginning was made in securing the British parliamentary papers. Imperfect but still fairly complete files dating from the beginning of the century were bought in London, and subscriptions were entered for the complete series. A systematic attempt was made in 1917 to get back issues of publications of the state of Michigan. This effort was successful largely through the co-operation of the State Library and through the personal exertions of James H. Russell. A beginning was made at that time in procuring files of Canadian, French, and German official documents, partly by way of exchange. For some years the success of the Documents Section of the Order Department in gathering the publications of American states and cities has been marked. There is still room for great development in this field. Research work in certain of the social sciences depends in large part on this material.
The card catalogues of the Library have necessarily become intricate and numerous. The public catalogue in the second-floor corridor and the official catalogue in the Catalogue Department record under author and subject and, when desirable, under title as well, all books owned by the University. The shelf-list kept in the Classification Department is also a systematic catalogue by subjects, maintained for purposes of inventory. Each outlying library is furnished with a shelf-list and catalogue prepared in the Library. In 1940 there were over two thousand trays in the public catalogue, containing more than one and three-quarter million cards.
The card catalogue was used here before 1870, following the then novel system begun at Harvard College Library. Of course, all the cards were written by hand. For two decades this simple catalogue of author cards sufficed. About 1890 subject cards began to be made. Later, typewritten cards were introduced, and, after 1900, printed cards from the Library of Congress. The growth of the Library after 1900 resulted in an excessive cataloguing burden. After 1915 numerous changes in the cataloguing staff reduced the quality of the cataloguing despite vigorous efforts on the part of the senior cataloguers. By 1920 it was painfully evident that a recataloguing task would be necessary.
The Library originally used a "fixed location" system of arrangement of its books. Each book was given a number which showed the floor of the bookstack, the range of shelves, the section in the range, and the shelf on which the book belonged. This method was fairly satisfactory until the shelves or sections were filled, when it was necessary to begin a new group in another place. Systems of "relative" location which numbered the books according to prepared schedules and made the shelving a matter of convenience, came into vogue in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The Dewey Decimal classification was by far the best known and most widely accepted of these systems. Though designed originally for the library of Amherst College, this system proved better Page 1381adapted to the needs of public libraries than to those of large university libraries. A great many improvements were made to adapt the system to the needs of the University of Michigan Library. Unfortunately, these changes made it impossible to apply the modern European expansions of the decimal system.
In 1924 work was begun on recataloguing and reclassifying the Library in accordance with the system of the Library of Congress, already in use in many large university libraries, and in 1926 the Regents provided a force of specially trained people under the direction of the Assistant Librarian, Rudolph H. Gjelsness (North Dakota '16, B.L.S. Illinois '20) to carry on this task (see Part IV: Department of Library Science). This work by 1940 had progressed to a point where more than three-quarters of the books had been arranged on the new system and each book recatalogued. It would have been an easy task merely to change the numbering and arrangement of the books. But to carry out a thorough and systematic recataloguing has taken time. Every advantage has been taken of the cooperative cataloguing of the larger libraries of the country, thus incorporating the cards for many extensive and intricate monograph series. The Library of Congress deposits in the Library a complete set of its printed cards. In this file, up to World War II, were placed cards from various other libraries, European as well as American, thus creating an unrivaled bibliographic apparatus of great value in research as well as in cataloguing. The collection of books in the field of bibliography was greatly enlarged and strengthened. The Catalogue and Reference departments were equipped as well as or better than other libraries of a comparable size.
In the nineteen thirties all of the libraries organized as part of the General Library system — those of the professional schools as well as those of more restricted scope, such as Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy — were furnished with separate complete card catalogues. The books were, of course, also recorded in the central catalogue. The contents of the Law and Clements libraries were gradually represented in the General Library catalogues.
In 1917 the Library purchased a photostat camera and the necessary equipment for making photographic reproductions on a large scale. Its first undertaking in this field was the Kentucky Gazette. This, the first newspaper issued west of the Allegheny Mountains, was published at Lexington, Kentucky, from 1787 on. The entire eighteenth-century series of this newspaper, an invaluable source for the student of the political and economic history of the Ohio Valley, was photostated and furnished in bound form to subscribers. Regent Clements underwrote the enterprise. The Lexington Public Library lent its file, a volume at a time, for photographing. Missing numbers were supplied in part from other sources, though some pages have never been discovered. The Detroit Gazette from 1817 to 1830 was reproduced later, chiefly from the files in the Burton Collection in the Detroit Public Library, and in the Buffalo Public Library. These two newspaper reproductions were made without cost to the University, save for supervision, the subscriptions covering the entire expense. By 1940 the Library owned two photostat machines which produced more than 30,000 prints annually, about two-thirds of which were made for various units and offices on the campus. It is fitting to take note of the care with which this work has been done and the excellence of the workmanship, which is under the direction of Mrs. Page 1382Alvina M. Woodford. This department of the Library is self-supporting.
Of the various collegiate and departmental libraries of the University, the largest, the Medical Library, housed in the main Library Building, in 1940 numbered more than 61,194 volumes. In addition, there were, in 1940, three libraries in the College of Engineering and one each in the College of Architecture, the School of Dentistry, the School of Business Administration, and the School of Forestry and Conservation. As new buildings afforded space, the libraries of Natural Science, Chemistry, Physics, and Astronomy were also established. Reading rooms with modest book collections in Angell Hall served the departments of Economics and Mathematics and the needs of the graduate students in the departments of Philosophy, Education, History, and Political Science. The ancient and modern languages were taken care of in the main Library Building. A determined effort was made to offer direct library service for different groups of readers having common interests, allowing the Main Reading Room, the Periodical Room, and the loan desk to give service of a more general type.
The Main Reading Room has been equipped with ten thousand volumes for reference work of a general character. The more highly specialized reference work centers in the departmental libraries. Books and journals for all the libraries in the system are purchased, bound, catalogued, and classified in the General Library Building by the Library staff. An organized distribution service takes books to and from the departmental libraries. Circulation is permitted in most of these libraries.
In 1916 Superintendent of Public Instruction Fred L. Keeler pointed out the need for a Library Extension Service, primarily to aid the high schools of the state. Begun very modestly, this service has grown to large proportions, serving 100,000 individuals in 1940. It provides pamphlets and magazines on topics of current interest to schools, clubs, granges, societies, colleges, and individuals. It has gathered, arranged, and sent out thousands of pamphlets, newspaper clippings, and other materials. The service has drawn heavily on the knowledge and experience of experts on the campus for aid and counsel. By its "Alumni Reading Lists" and other publications, aided by the Bureau of Alumni Relations, Library Extension has rendered help to thousands of alumni at home and abroad. The work has been done on a modest annual budget, but it has grown into an indispensable part of the Library's services.
It is not generally known how valuable and how numerous are the Library's book rarities. Aside from special collections, the Library has in its Rare Book Rooms hundreds of first and early editions of British and American authors, hundreds of rare and early books, including those printed before 1501, in addition to manuscript collections of importance, such as the Lucius Lyon papers (now transferred to Clements Library). Any book printed in less than three hundred copies goes into the Rare Book Room, as do most books printed before 1550. Modern private presses and limited editions, historic bindings, and a modest group of prints are only a few of the collections represented. A Curator of Rare Books and an Assistant Curator oversee the collections and perform a great variety of bibliographical services. The University also owns more than a thousand specimens of the Elzevir Press including the famous Copinger Collection.
The Library inaugurated, in 1927, a Department of Manuscripts and Papyri. Page 1383The papyri collection in 1940 numbered more than ten thousand pieces and the manuscripts more than eight hundred, of which two hundred were Greek or Latin. The basis of the manuscript collection was the purchase, in 1922 at a sale in London, of the greater part of the Greek New Testament manuscripts of the library of the Baroness Burdett-Coutts. Professor Kelsey secured the funds for this and other purchases of manuscript material. Many of the additions were purchased by him in the Levant and in Europe with funds given by various friends of the University. A large share of the papyrus collection resulted from the University's excavations in Egypt; many others were bought in London in conjunction with the British Museum. Scholars working on these collections have published a large part of them in the University's Humanistic Series. There is a Curator of Manuscripts and Papyri and a special study room for work on these documents.
The Map Collection, which in 1940 numbered more than fourteen thousand maps and atlases, is housed in cases on the third floor of the Library and is adequately indexed for purposes of quick reference. The extraordinary collection of rare maps and facsimiles in the Clements Library requires the backing of an adequate collection of modern maps in the General Library.
Another special group is the University of Michigan Collection of writings of faculty and alumni. Were it better known among the alumni, it would undoubtedly be larger. No article, pamphlet, or book by, or photograph of, an alumnus or professor which comes into the Library has been allowed to escape this collection. With no funds set aside for building it up, it has grown chiefly by gift. It is arranged on a separate classification scheme, the writings of each class in the several colleges and schools being kept together. In addition, every effort has been made to complete the files of official and student publications, a task far more difficult than would at first appear. Harvard still has the only known copies of some of the earliest official publications of this University.
The Library has had a somewhat unusual relation to the various governing bodies of the University. For many years, until 1934, there was a Library Committee of the Regents which exercised an active and wholesome influence on the Library's growth and expansion. The long services of Regents Clements and Hubbard on this committee merit grateful remembrance. For years the Library's budget was prepared by the Librarian in consultation with this committee, and the chairman appeared, generally with the Librarian, before the Finance Committee of the Regents to present the budget. The presence on the Board of such distinguished book collectors as Regents Hubbard, Clements, and Beal unquestionably was favorable to an understanding of library needs. At the same time, the Library Committee of the College of Literature, Science, and the Arts for many decades apportioned the book funds voted by the Regents to the Library, caring for general needs as well as for those of individual departments and giving the Librarian counsel on general matters of administration. The growth and extension of the Library's services to other colleges, however, inevitably went beyond the knowledge and experience of a committee from a single faculty. When the Regents' Library Committee was discontinued, it was necessary to establish another body to take its place. Accordingly, the University Council, in 1933, voted to recommend the creation of a Council of the General Library, consisting of four members of the Senate, with the Librarian as chairman. The Page 1384Council proved a valuable aid to the Library administration.
In 1938, the entire stock of books owned by all the libraries of the University passed a million volumes. This figure did not include unbound pamphlets, maps, or materials as yet uncatalogued. Annual accessions were 32,863, a smaller figure than that reached in the several years before 1932.
In 1940 there were ten reading and study rooms, seating about one thousand readers, in the General Library. In addition, there were thirteen collegiate and departmental libraries, besides the Law Library, the Clements Library, and the Bureau of Government Library. Service was given in most of these libraries from twelve to fourteen hours daily. After 1920 the Main Reading Room and the Periodical Reading Room were open from two to nine on Sunday. In the academic year 1939-40, between 5,000 and 5,500 readers used the General Library each day. At least 2,000 more used the outlying departmental libraries. Thus, more than 7,000 readers used the libraries daily.
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.
Adams, Charles K.Historical Sketch of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1876.
Farrand, Elizabeth M.History of the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Register Publ. House, 1885.
Gray, Jane L., ed., The Letters of Asa Gray. London: Macmillan, 1893.
Hinsdale, Burke A.History of the University of Michigan. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1906.
Michigan. Joint Documents, 1841, No. 9, pp. 420-69 (Detroit).
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1853-1909, 1920-54.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1864-1954.
Ten Brook, Andrew. American State Universities: Their Origin and Progress. Cincinnati: Robert Clarke and Co., 1875.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings… Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.
Vaughan, Victor C.A Doctor's Memories. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill Co., 1926.
THE LAW LIBRARY
THE history of the Law Library dates from the establishment of the Law School in 1859. In June of that year, having in mind the Law Department that was to open the following October, the Regents appropriated $2,000 for the purchase of law books. That any books were actually bought before the department opened seems unlikely. It is more probable that the first Law Library was composed of a small collection of about 350 volumes donated by Judge Thomas M. Cooley, and duly accepted by the Regents in October, 1859. This first collection is said to have included ten volumes of Michigan Reports, the reports of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, and those of some of the New England states.
The original collection was housed in a room in the building that became the South Wing of University Hall. This same space was later occupied by the offices of Controller John C. Christensen and Vice-President Shirley Smith. The room was furnished with a rough deal table and a few wooden chairs and was heated by a box stove. Here the collection remained until 1863, when it was moved to the Law Building, which had just been completed. By 1931 the collection occupied all of the third floor and most of the second. In June of that year the Library was moved to the handsome new building donated by William W. Cook. The William W. Cook Legal Research Building, which forms a part of the Law Quadrangle, now houses the law collection and is probably the largest building in the world devoted exclusively Page 1398to a law library. It has accommodations for 500 readers in the main study room; carrells in the stacks for graduate students; and approximately eighty studies for members of the faculty, visiting lawyers and judges, and research workers.
In 1860 the Regents appropriated a sum "not to exceed $10" for the publication of a circular requesting the donation of law books. In that same year the Regents granted fifteen dollars "to pay for the services of … [a] Law Librarian," and during the ensuing years various small sums were appropriated for books. Members of the Law School faculty frequently requested additional aid for the Library, but their requests, although invariably granted, were so modest that no very great improvement to the Library resulted. The necessity for a large collection of books seems not to have been appreciated fully at the time. With a collection of about 1,000 volumes, the Law faculty in its Announcement of 1861 was able to say: "A well selected and very useful law library has been purchased and arranged for the use of students."
Whether as a result of the ten dollars spent for advertisement in 1861 or for some other reason, the Library in 1866 received a gift of almost 800 volumes from the Honorable Richard Fletcher, formerly a justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court. Justice Fletcher had no connection with the University, and seems to have been moved entirely by his admiration for this institution. In return for his gift he received a copy of a resolution by the Regents which read in part:
Your Committee hail this beginning of liberal things toward this growing seminary of learning. The wise foresight which laid the foundations of a University in the wilderness has already deserved and will receive the applause of the world; but we yet need the contributions of private munificence, in order to secure and perfect the glorious work so well begun. We would manifest our appreciation of Judge Fletcher's donation, and perpetuate his memory by engraving it upon the history of the University of Michigan.
(R.P., 1864-70, p. 139.)
Between the time of the Fletcher gift in 1866 and the year 1885 the Library increased to more than 4,000 volumes. In 1885 a gift of 5,000 volumes that is said to have more than doubled the size of the collection was received from Christian Buhl, a Detroit businessman. From the same donor came a bequest of $10,000 in 1894. The condition of the Library at the time of the Buhl gift is well set out in a letter of thanks written by the Law School faculty to the donor. The letter said in part:
We have worked under great disadvantages in being confined for the students' means of reference to a comparatively small collection of works of prime necessity. We have never had the facilities needful for the extended study of jurisprudence in the library. Our own work has had to be done by the aid of other libraries, and members of our classes who wished to follow out and verify doctrines fully, have had to do much of that work elsewhere.
To show you that it [the collection] will be of great use to us, I may say that it will fill many sad gaps in our Law Library. How serious these gaps are I almost hesitate to say. But the truth is that although we have law students from all over the Union, there are thirty States and Territories which are absolutely unrepresented by a single volume of Reports. The Canadian Reports and the Irish Reports are wanting, and our English Reports and U. S. Circuit Court Reports are very defective. More text-books are also needed. Many other serious wants might be specified.
Page 1399The first law librarian was a student, Isaac Marston, who later became a justice of the Supreme Court of Michigan. Other law students who served as librarians in the early days were Levi L. Barbour, later Regent and benefactor of the University, and William R. Day, who afterwards became a justice of the United States Supreme Court. The main duties of the student-librarian in those days were to open and close the Library and to keep order in the reading room. The librarian had no part in the selection of books. He was a custodian, pure and simple. It was not, in fact, until 1883 that a permanent librarian was appointed, with the title of Assistant Librarian, who was to give his full time to the care of the law collection. Several years later, in 1889, this first full-time Librarian, Joseph Hardcastle Vance ('61l), was saddled with additional duties. He was "to render such assistance as may be required by the Law Faculty, to the Dean of the Law Department, in the matter of the correspondence of that Department, and to the Law Faculty in connection with the Moot Court Cases."
Joseph H. Vance served until 1899, when Judge Victor Hugo Lane ('74, LL.B '78) was appointed Librarian. Vance continued to hold the title of Assistant Librarian until his death in 1900.
In 1901 Lane very wisely procured the appointment of a trained Assistant Librarian, Gertrude E. Woodard, a woman of unusual ability and tireless energy. She started an accurate record of accessions — the first the Library had ever had; she also began work on the Library's first catalogue. In addition to those duties Miss Woodard did all of the ordering, assisted in the selection of materials, and worked at times at the reference desk.
Unfortunately, much important material readily procurable in the first two decades of the present century was rejected by the faculty on the ground that there was no room to shelve it — material which is now unobtainable. Judge Lane, although he continued as Librarian until 1926, devoted most of his time to teaching and research and took little active part in the administration of the Library. Nevertheless, he did render valuable assistance in building up the collection, which increased during the twenty-six years of his administration from about 18,000 to 55,000 volumes. A large part of the credit for the development of the Library during this period must go to Dean Henry M. Bates, who had been at one time librarian of the Chicago Law Institute, and who brought with him to Michigan a genuine appreciation of the value of research material in a library. Although his own time was, of necessity, given largely to teaching and to the administration of the Law School, he showed from the beginning a keen personal interest in the development of the law collection, and saw to it that his colleagues obtained the materials necessary for their research.
In 1925, Hobart R. Coffey (Ohio State '18, LL.B. Michigan '22, J.D. ibid. '24) was appointed Assistant Law Librarian. He had spent the preceding year as a Carnegie fellow in international law at the University of Paris, and by action of the Regents was permitted to remain in Europe for another year to fit himself better for the work of Law Librarian. He spent the year 1925-26 at the universities of Berlin and Munich studying foreign and international law, preparing bibliographies, and locating and purchasing foreign materials for the Law Library.
On his return to Ann Arbor in 1926 Coffey was made Law Librarian and Assistant Professor of Law, succeeding Judge Victor Lane. In 1927 his title was changed to Professor of Law and Law Librarian, and in 1944 he was made Director of the Law Library.
Page 1400During the early period of development of most American law libraries little attention seems to have been given to the importance of statutory material. Judicial decisions were regarded as law, but the same could hardly be said for the acts of legislatures. At Michigan no effort to collect statutes seems to have been made before 1886. In that year the Dean was able to secure as gifts the latest compilations of statutes for about one-fourth of the states. No organized effort was made to secure the early statutes or session laws of the states until almost twenty years later. By that time many of the old laws had become very scarce, and copies could be acquired only at considerable cost in effort and money. The accession records for the period show, however, that all statutory material was selected with the greatest care and discrimination. One may regret that more money could not have been provided for staff and books in those early days, but at the same time one must admit that somehow the foundations were laid for a truly great collection.
Although Harvard began to collect foreign law materials as early as 1841, our Law Library seems to have had few, if any, books dealing with foreign law until about 1897, when part of the Buhl bequest is said to have been used for the purchase of foreign material. The accession records, which began in 1900, reveal that the "foreign material" referred to was books (principally statutes and court decisions) for England and her colonies. Because of the common-law background of most British possessions we should today scarcely regard their legal materials as "foreign." No works on German, French, or Italian law appear in our accession records until the first two decades of the twentieth century, and there were very few of those. Even as late as 1920 the foreign law collection occupied only a few shelves in the workroom of the order department.
Between 1920 and 1925 three large foreign libraries were purchased: the Star Hunt Collection of Spanish and Mexican Law; the Heinrich Lammasch Collection, devoted largely to international law; and the Viollet Collection, which for the most part related to French law and legal history. In 1929 the Library acquired the collection of private international law which formerly belonged to Professor Antoine Pillet of the Faculty of Law of the University of Paris. In 1935 we acquired the library of Professor Francesco Carrera, eminent criminologist, of the University of Pisa. All of these purchases greatly enriched the Library.
No attempt seems to have been made to acquire an international law section until about 1919, when Edwin De Witt Dickinson was added to the staff of the Law School. Professor Dickinson, whose main interest had been public and private international law, immediately recognized the inadequacy or, in fact, the almost total lack of books and documents in his field. He prepared bibliographies and want lists and was instrumental in helping the Library to acquire many of the important and fundamental source materials in international law and relations. The systematic effort begun in 1919 has been continued through succeeding years and has resulted in the University's having the most complete collection to be found west of the Atlantic seaboard. It has attracted scholars not only from this country but from many other parts of the world.
Professor Joseph Horace Drake, a member of the Law School faculty from 1907 to 1930, had a lively interest in both Roman and Comparative Law. In 1923-24, while on a leave of absence in Europe, spent principally in Germany Page 1401and France, he helped the Library to acquire its first important materials from those countries. In the following three decades great emphasis was placed on the acquisition of the constitutions, codes, laws, and judicial decisions of all important foreign countries. To find this material and arrange for its purchase the Director of the Library made several trips to the various countries of Europe, including the Soviet Union, two trips to Mexico and Central America, and one to the Caribbean and South America. The foreign law section of the Library is now one of the outstanding collections of the world.
After 1926, the Library staff was gradually increased, new methods were introduced, and plans were made and carried out for the development of the Library on a scale which had become necessary owing to the greatly expanded needs of the School. As of 1954 the staff consisted of twenty full-time and twenty-three part-time employees.
When the present Director took over the administration of the Library in 1926 the collection numbered about 55,000 volumes. In 1954 the figure was approximately a quarter of a million. Serial publications currently received number more than three thousand. The annual increase in books is now approximately ten thousand volumes.
The achievements of a library can rarely be attributed solely to the wisdom and competence of the director. Without generous support from the administration and without a competent staff most libraries would make little progress. Although the Law Library was never well supported during the first sixty years of its history, appropriations for books and staff over the past thirty years have been reasonably adequate. A small amount of support from trust funds has supplemented the regular University appropriations. Dean E. Blythe Stason has continued the wise policies of his predecessor, Dean Henry M. Bates, and has seen to it that the Library has received its fair share of the funds available to the School.
No sketch of the Library would be complete without some mention of the staff members who, while working quietly behind the scenes, have contributed so much to the achievements of the Library. Of these staff members, Gertrude E. Woodard, already mentioned, was outstanding. She was succeeded as Assistant Law Librarian by Elizabeth Beal Steere ('10, A.M.L.S. '30) who served until 1918. Miss Steere was followed by Blanche E. Harroun who occupied the position until 1924, when she was succeeded by H. Rebecca Wilson ('21, A.M.L.S. '28). She served until 1927. In 1928 Esther Betz ('15, A.M.L.S. Michigan '29) was appointed Assistant Law Librarian and has continued in that position until the present time. Bessie Margaret Johnson (Park College '17), Chief Reference Librarian, has served since 1929; H. Rebecca Wilson returned as Chief Order Librarian in 1931. Catherine Maria Campbell ('15, A.M. '24), Chief Catalogue Librarian began her work in the Library in 1924.
The Law Library is part of the University Library system, but from the moment of its establishment it has been autonomous, operated as a part of the Law School, with its own administration and staff. The Director reports to the Dean and faculty of the Law School. He is aided by a committee of the Law School faculty and a staff of technically trained assistants. With the General Library and all other libraries on the campus there has existed from the earliest times the closest co-operation.
The Law Library is maintained primarily as a research collection, which means that practically any volume that the Library owns can be made available Page 1402to the reader on a few minutes' notice. Circulation outside the building is limited to a small part of the collection which is not of a strictly reference character.
While the Library is intended to serve the research and teaching needs of the Law School, it is open not only to the students and faculty of the University generally, but to lawyers and other members of the public who have a legitimate use for legal materials. Lawyers now come from all parts of the country to use the extraordinary collection of books and documents available.
Lane, Victor. MS, Law Library.
Law Library Accession Books.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1865-1954.
University of Michigan Regents' Proceedings …, 1837-64. Ed. by Isaac N. Demmon. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1915.
THE WILLIAM L. CLEMENTS LIBRARY OF AMERICAN HISTORY
THE William L. Clements Library of American History had its origin in the collecting activities of William Lawrence Clements ('82, LL.D.hon. '34), who served as a Regent of the University from 1910 through 1933. Influenced by Professors Thomas M. Cooley and Moses Coit Tyler, Regent Clements retained a deep interest in American history and literature, at the same time pursuing a successful business career in Bay City, Michigan. Upon graduation he joined the firm founded by his father, which became known as the Industrial Brownhoist Corporation, manufacturer of heavy cranes and railroad equipment, and later succeeded his father as president of the company.
In the 1890's Regent Clements began collecting books. He found a fellow enthusiast who abetted him in Aaron J. Cooke, a Bay City merchant and one-time city librarian, who also had a passion for American history. From 1903, with the purchase of Mr. Cooke's library, Clements' hobby became his absorbing interest. He devoted himself to gathering rare books relating to America, printed before 1800. His collection covered the period of discovery and exploration of the New World, the early settlement of North America, the Indian wars, colonial disputes, the American Revolution, and the beginnings of our federal government. The second decade of the twentieth century saw the dispersal at auction of some remarkable libraries gathered by distinguished collectors. Regent Clements made noteworthy acquisitions from the sales of books belonging to such Americans as Robert Hoe, George Brinley, Samuel L. M. Barlow, Marshall C. Lefferts, and from the Huth, Rowfant, Devonshire, Bridgewater, and Britwell Court libraries in England.
As a Regent of the University and an ardent alumnus, Clements formed a warm friendship with Claude H. Van Tyne, at that time chairman of the Department of History, whose interest in American history coincided with that of Clements. As a collector Clements enjoyed the friendship of scholars elsewhere and of eminent antiquarian booksellers. As his private library grew, he began to think of its ultimate preservation and future use. He was a builder and a connoisseur, and he wanted to share his fruits with others. The example Page 1403of other collections given to universities was before him, and affection for his own alma mater was not lacking. In 1921 he offered to the University his collection of about 10,500 books and atlases, and the Shelburne manuscripts, and announced that he would build a proper building on the campus to house them. A gift agreement was drawn up in 1922 by which the University pledged itself to maintain the building, to provide an adequate staff, and to furnish an annual sum for the acquisition of additional rare Americana.
The William L. Clements Library was dedicated and opened in June, 1923. The building, two stories high, is Italian Renaissance in style and executed in Indiana limestone (see Part VIII: The William L. Clements Library Building). The interior bears little resemblance to the conventional library.
At the dedication ceremonies Regent Clements spoke of his gift as being a new kind of library, saying:
It must not be supposed that this library is for the use of the undergraduate, or for others who have not exhausted the facilities of the General Library. It is primarily a library for advanced research on the part of scholars already well equipped, rather than a library to serve as a vehicle of instruction for either the undergraduate or the ordinary graduate student. Above this is independent investigation, deep and exhaustive, of historical facts.
Administration of the Library was put in the hands of a Committee of Management composed of the president of the University, the donor during his lifetime, the director of the General Library of the University, the senior professor of American History, and two members-at-large, known for their interest in American history. Regent Clements was promptly elected chairman of the committee and never missed a meeting. After his death in 1934, the committee remained five in number. William Warner Bishop, Director of the General Library and one of Regent Clements' friends, served until his retirement in 1941. Professor Claude H. Van Tyne served until his death in 1930. Members with their dates of service on this committee include presidents of the University: Marion Leroy Burton, 1923-25, Clarence Cook Little, 1925-29, Alexander Grant Ruthven, 1929-51, Harlan Hatcher, 1951-; librarians of the University: William Warner Bishop, 1923-41, Warner G. Rice, 1941-53, Frederick H. Wagman, 1953-; professors of history: Claude H. Van Tyne, 1923-30, Verner W. Crane, 1930-; members-at-large: George Parker Winship, 1924-33, Tracy McGregor, 1933-37, Lawrence Reynolds, 1937-; William S. Mason, 1924-37, James O. Murfin, 1937-40, John W. Watling, 1942-51, Renville Wheat, 1952-.
The Library opened without a director. Regent Clements wanted a scholar in American history who regarded books with the zest of a collector; he did not insist upon a graduate of a library school. His old friend and adviser, George P. Winship, librarian at Harvard, called his attention to Randolph Greenfield Adams (Pennsylvania '14, Ph.D. ibid. '20, LL.D. Albion '38), assistant professor of history at Trinity College, North Carolina (now Duke University). Clements went to see the young man. He was undoubtedly struck by the fact that here was a man with a doctor's degree in history, whose dissertation Page 1404had been on the American Revolution, and who spoke the language of a book collector and reciprocated his enthusiasm for rare books. Clements recommended Adams for the appointment; it was tendered; and Adams arrived in Ann Arbor in October, 1923. He served as Director until his death in January, 1951. He also held the appointment of Professor of History.
Adams, a Philadelphian by birth and schooling, was born in 1892. During his early life he was a neighbor to A. Edward Newton, the eminent bibliophile who communicated to many others his enthusiasm for book collecting. Adams spent the summer of 1914 touring Europe. He held a fellowship in history at the University of Chicago in 1916-17 and served with the American Expeditionary Forces from 1917 to 1919. While studying for his doctorate he completed his Political Ideas of the American Revolution (1922, reprinted 1939) and wrote A History of the Foreign Policy of the United States (1924).
In carrying out the policies of the Committee of Management and the wishes of Regent Clements, Adams early recognized the fact that his task would be "one of mediating between being hospitable and being careful," and he intended to make his mistakes, he said, in the matter of hospitality rather than in the matter of care. The University students were puzzled by the existence on the campus of a library not meant for their use, and many professors were annoyed at not being able to make class assignments in the books or to take out any of the material on loan. The requirements for admission appeared to be bars. The public service concept of the public library had grown so strong that it was difficult for the University community to realize that books are not durable goods and that many of the Library's holdings were irreplaceable. Professors who had worked at similar institutions elsewhere did not find the rules irksome. Adams stood his ground and projected the unpopular idea that his first duty was to the material of which he had custody and that his duty to patrons was secondary. Some of his ideas were incorporated in a brochure The Whys and Wherefores of the William L. Clements Library (1925).
Both Clements and Adams agreed that in addition to its fundamental purpose of stimulating research in American history and American historical bibliography, the Library existed to inspire the art of book collecting. For the first few years of his tenure, Adams spoke and wrote frequently on the merits of book collecting as a hobby, the debt that scholars owe to collectors, and the treatment that librarians should accord them.
At the dedication of the building the only statement Regent Clements made which turned out not to be true was his opening remark: "This day and hour mark the conclusion of a book-collector's career." Bereft of his beloved books, he did not stop collecting. He turned his attention to historical manuscripts. Knowing that the papers of the principal figures who had shaped this country and won its independence were for the most part already in eastern libraries, he wondered about the correspondence of the British officials who had ruled or misruled the American colonies and conducted the unsuccessful effort to suppress revolution. Having already acquired the papers of Lord Shelburne, prime minister during the peace negotiations of 1782-83, he returned to the British field in the ensuing decade and assembled a series of manuscript collections as remarkable for their integration as for their separate importance.
The time was fortunate. Coincident with his search, high taxes, made necessary by World War I, forced many old Page 1405English families to sell off their libraries and the contents of their muniment rooms. Thus, he was able to obtain the papers of Lord George Germain, colonial secretary throughout the Revolution; of William Knox, his undersecretary; of Alexander Wedderburn, attorney general; of John Lee, solicitor general, who handled Loyalist claims; of Viscount Sydney, secretary of war; and of the two British peace commissioners, Richard Oswald and David Hartley.
On the military side he acquired the papers of General Thomas Gage, commander-in-chief of His Majesty's forces in North America, 1763-75; of Sir Henry Clinton, commander-in-chief, 1778-82; and of Sir John Vaughan, commander in the West Indies. From Germany he obtained the papers of Baron von Jungkenn, war minister of Hesse-Cassel, containing letters from the Hessian officers employed in the Revolutionary War by the British.
The pre-Revolutionary period was illuminated by the papers of Admiral George Clinton, governor of New York, 1743-53; of Sir Peter Warren, naval commander who took Louisburg in 1745; of Sir William Mildmay, commissioner of claims growing out of the Treaty of 1748; of John Wilkes, liberal friend of the Colonies; and of George, Marquess Townshend, lord-lieutenant of Ireland, 1767-72.
Regent Clements extended his interest through the War of 1812 and was able to secure the papers of the first and second Viscounts Melville, who served as secretary of war and first lord of the admiralty, respectively; of John Wilson Croker, secretary of the admiralty, 1809-30; of the Earl of Sheffield, privy councilor; and of Baron Brougham, member of parliament and lord chancellor. On the American side of the Revolution, he purchased the largest collection extant of General Nathanael Greene's papers, covering the Southern campaign.
Several of the smaller collections were sent at once as gifts to the Library for arranging and cataloguing, the others going to Bay City, where Mr. Clements enjoyed studying them and where he employed a private librarian to work on them. Between visits to Ann Arbor he pored over catalogues and attended auctions in the East. His enthusiasm and his interest in the Library never diminished. He died suddenly on November 6, 1934, and was buried in Forest Hills Cemetery in Ann Arbor.
The passing of so staunch a friend and so generous a benefactor of the University did not go unnoticed by his fellow regents. At their December meeting they incorporated into the minutes a tribute to him that said in part:
Regent Clements commanded the respect of his associates not only by his capacity for constant and loyal friendship but also by his integrity and ability and by that appreciation of intangible, but real, values which expressed itself in his idealism, his delight in the beautiful, and his active interest in history and the assembling of its underlying records.
(R.P., 1932-36, p. 508.)
After his death the manuscripts and books in his house at Bay City were purchased by the Library with generous assistance from the McGregor Fund, of Detroit. Meanwhile, for a dozen years the Library had been adding to its holdings by means of the book fund provided by the University. Books, maps, and prints were regularly acquired. Newspaper runs and manuscript collections were less frequently offered, but these also were obtained from time to time. In the period, 1936 to 1948, however, the book fund was used almost entirely for installment payments to the Clements estate for the collections mentioned above.
Growth of the Library brought about the normal changes to be expected in a Page 1406dynamic institution. The offices provided for the history professors were repossessed, and in 1931 Adams, for administrative purposes, organized the Library into three divisions and appointed a curator for each division. The Division of Printed Books (including newspapers and broadsides), which spread over the three floors of the building, was the largest. The Division of Manuscripts filled two rooms on the second floor. The Division of Maps (atlases and sheet maps) occupied part of the lower Library. Prints were in the Division of Manuscripts and later in the Division of Maps. The three curators, a secretary, an assistant in the Division of Printed Books, and a part-time student helper comprised the staff under the Director.
Elizabeth Beal Steere ('10, A.M.L.S. '30) was appointed Assistant Custodian in 1925. She became Assistant Director and Curator in 1936, but resigned in 1945 to do rehabilitation work among veterans of the war. She and her successive assistants catalogued all the new acquisitions, arranged the books in the Library, solved bibliographical problems, and served readers. After a year's interim under Francis L. D. Goodrich ('03, M.A. '16, B.L.S. N. Y. State Library School '06, M.Ed. hon. Michigan State Normal '36), Professor and Librarian Emeritus of the College of the City of New York, the division was placed under the charge of Robert Benaway Brown ('37, Ph.D. '51), who was appointed Curator of Printed Books in 1946. Goodrich continued as Bibliographical Consultant until 1953. Brown served until his death in 1950. More detailed cataloguing practices were introduced, and the first shifting of books in the cases became necessary. Brown's assistant, Georgia Campbell Haugh (Jamestown College '33, A.M.L.S. Michigan '48), became Curator in 1951. Edna Vosper ('23, B. Litt. Oxon. '27) was employed in 1928 as Manuscripts Assistant in the Library. She became the first Curator of Manuscripts in 1936 and devised a new system of cataloguing letters for scholarly use. She resigned to join the staff of the National Archives in the same year, and Howard H. Peckham ('31, A.M. '33), who became Assistant Curator of Printed Books in 1935, succeeded her. He received the immense bulk of manuscripts from the Clements estate and organized them. He also published the Guide to the Manuscript Collections in the Clements Library (1942). On his resignation in 1945, Colton Storm (Oberlin '30) who had been appointed Curator of Maps in 1942, became Curator of Manuscripts, and the next year Curator of Manuscripts and Maps. When he was promoted to Assistant Director in 1948 the division was placed under Margaret Elizabeth Larson (Delaware '45, Ph.D. Michigan '53). William Sterling Ewing ('35, A.M.L.S. '49) was appointed Curator in 1951, and he brought out a revised Guide to the Manuscript Collections in 1953.
The Map Division in 1934-35 was separately administered by James Clements Wheat ('09, M.S. '10), a nephew of Regent Clements. When Wheat could no longer give time to the work, Lloyd Arnold Brown ('33) was appointed Curator in 1935. He inaugurated certain practices which he described in a manual on The Care of Old Maps. When he was appointed director of the Peabody Library in Baltimore in 1942, he was succeeded by Colton Storm. The Manuscript Division was not separately administered after 1948 until Christian Brun (Washington '48, A.M.L.S. Michigan '52) was appointed Assistant Curator in 1952.
Adams liked to give his curators a free hand in their work, but he expected expert knowledge from them. He encouraged them to correspond with inquiring Page 1407scholars and to utilize the materials in their custody as a means of advertising the Library among research workers.
Three or four exhibitions a year of Library materials were offered to the public, and the building remained open for visitors on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. Pamphlets explaining the exhibitions, printed for important displays, also served to publicize the unusual holdings of the Library in the subject fields concerned. Student reporters, newspaper feature writers, and the University radio station all found "stories" of interest to the general public. Scholars from other universities soon exceeded those from the University of Michigan in making use of the source material. Historical monographs, bibliographical essays, biographies, magazine articles, edited letters, and historical novels emanating from work done at the Library testified to its riches. Invited audiences heard distinguished scholars speak at the Library or met eminent University visitors at teas.
In 1931 Adams was appointed state chairman of the George Washington Bicentennial Commission, giving the Library a role in the national celebration in 1932. Several pamphlets were issued by the Library, and Adams spoke frequently on the man who had been his boyhood hero. In 1937 the University observed its centennial in Ann Arbor. An aroused interest in the history of the University had prompted formation of the Michigan Historical Collections in 1935, under Professor Lewis G. Vander Velde of the Department of History. Adams offered quarters in the Library in 1936 and immediately began buying rare Michigan items to strengthen the new collections, which outgrew the space and moved to the Rackham Building in 1938.
In 1937 Adams was named Rosenbach Fellow in Bibliography, to deliver three lectures at the University of Pennsylvania early in 1938. He spoke on Henry Harrisse, bibliographer; George Brinley, book collector; and Thomas Jefferson, librarian. The lectures were published in 1939 under the title of Three Americanists.
Having contributed several articles to the Dictionary of American Biography from source materials in the Library, Adams was asked to serve on the Advisory Council for the Dictionary of American History, the first volume of which appeared in 1940. Early in the same year he was called by President Roosevelt to serve as a member of a committee to advise him concerning the future disposal of his papers, his naval collection, and the memorabilia that every president accumulates. Out of the discussion emerged the plan for the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial Library at Hyde Park, which is administered as a branch of the National Archives.
In 1939 Albert H. Greenly, of Hoboken, New Jersey, presented to the Library his collection of books on Abraham Lincoln, amounting to nearly 1,000 titles. These books, contemporary and modern rarities, including many early campaign biographies, were kept as a separate unit. Subsequently, both Mr. Greenly and the Library enlarged the collection. In 1942 William A. Vawter II and his son, William A. Vawter III, of Benton Harbor, Michigan, gave the Library a collection of books and manuscripts on Theodore Roosevelt, including the President's own writings and books about him and his many interests. The collection numbered 582 pieces and a small group of Roosevelt letters. The Vawters have continued to enlarge the collection.
In 1944 John W. Watling and Mrs. Herbert C. Ely, of Detroit, established a fund in memory of Mr. Ely for the purchase Page 1408of books on early American drama. Further contributions have been made to the fund, and thus, a choice collection of plays has been acquired.
Adams' annual reports record the growth of the Library, as they deal almost exclusively with the more important or spectacular acquisitions. The titles and collections mentioned also exemplify the kind of material the Library was created to secure.
In his twentieth report (1942-43) Adams made several observations about the Library:
If there is one thing we have learned it is this: quantitative measurements misrepresent the aims and accomplishments of an institution such as this … we lay less emphasis on the number of pieces added per annum and upon circulation statistics, than is common in the reports of all public libraries and most of the university and college libraries…
Likewise in an ordinary public library report, one finds statistics and data on what the librarian and his staff have done to stimulate the use of the library. This, as we conceive it, is not one of our functions. We are part of a great University. This University has nearly a thousand men and women teachers whose principal function it is to stimulate its students to want to read books…
In its conception, this Library was to be a connoisseur's library, available to all serious investigators. The original and present collections actually cover a period of nearly five hundred years, but for an excellent reason we have tended to restrict our purchases (not our gifts) to the earlier period of American history. The reason is this: we have conceived it to be one of our functions to help the University of Michigan overcome the handicap of being born four hundred years too late. After all, printing was invented, and America was discovered, in the fifteenth century — while the University of Michigan was not founded until the nineteenth century.
In his report for the year 1944-45, Adams mentioned the visit to the Library of Sir John Forsdyke, director of the British Museum, accompanied by Mr. Henry Thomas, the keeper of printed books in that institution:
At a little reception given to these gentlemen in the Library, we received a formula for which we have long sought. Said Sir John: 'The function of the Clements Library is to collect the archetype.' That, as we understand it, justifies us in what we have been doing these twenty-three years. We are not satisfied with facsimiles, photographs, or microfilms. We strive to acquire the originals from which these useful copies may be made.
In 1947 an organization of friends of the Library was developed and named the Clements Library Associates. This group received authorization from the Regents, who appoint the governing body, an executive committee consisting of two members from the Library's Committee of Management and three other members of the Associates. The organization now has more than five hundred members, who receive all Library bulletins and are invited to Library events. Later, the publishing of an annual gift book, a reprint, was inaugurated for them. Their dues and contributions provide the Library with additional funds for acquisitions. In the first six years of the existence of the Associates purchases were made amounting to more than $20,000. Storm served the executive committee as its first secretary.
The completion of payments to the Clements estate from the book purchasing fund in 1948, the diverse interests represented by the Associates, and the postwar growth of the University caused the Library to expand its field of collecting. Regent Clements had concentrated on the early periods through the War of 1812. From time to time a rare item of later date was added. Adams found that he could secure donations of middle nineteenth-century books from collectors who had little interest in the earlier centuries. Page 1409He continued to insist on rare Americana, but he sought to remove any restrictions on date, particularly after the late Senator Vandenberg presented his copy of the United Nations Charter of 1945. Consequently, the Library forged ahead with acquisitions on the anti-slavery movement, overland narratives, Texas and the Mexican War, sporting books, Confederate imprints, and highlights of the late nineteenth and even early twentieth centuries. The Committee of Management did not halt the acquisition of such material, but it did not endorse a statement of policy that made room for material of more recent date. The new development was the subject of much fruitful discussion, without conclusion.
The Director's health became a matter of growing concern in 1949. His working day was shortened, but in the fall of 1950 he entered the University Hospital. His condition did not respond to treatment, and on January 4, 1951, he died. Other changes were in store for the Library. President Ruthven retired in 1951, and John W. Watling, a member of the Committee of Management and chairman of the executive committee of the Associates, died. Storm as Assistant Director carried on the administrative work of the Library during the difficult interim.
Adams' value to the Library can hardly be overstated. Chosen by Mr. Clements for the position, he worked closely with him for eleven years. He carried on with his contagious enthusiasm, quick perception, amazing knowledge of rare books, and insistence upon the special role of the Library. In January, 1951, the Board of Regents adopted a resolution that said in part:
Under his guidance the Clements Library has attained, and maintained, the position envisioned for it by its donor as the repository of a unique collection of rare books and original documents relating to certain phases of American history and as a center for the researches of historians. Dr. Adams' rare personal qualities have contributed to this end… His acumen and scholarly judgment were usefully exercised in directing the acquisitions of the many additions to the Library which have been made since Mr. Clements' death, and his unfailing cordiality has given it an atmosphere of hospitality all too uncommon in an institution whose treasures must of necessity be jealously protected and safeguarded.
(R.P., 1948-51, p. 1174.)
The Clements Library Associates established in his memory a Randolph G. Adams Lecture, to be given each fall. The series opened auspiciously in October, 1952, with Luther H. Evans, librarian of Congress, as the speaker. The next year Lawrence Clark Powell, librarian of the University of California at Los Angeles, addressed the Associates and their friends.
In 1952 the Committee of Management took up the task of re-examining the relationship of the Library to the University and of filling the vacant directorship. The new President of the University, Harlan Hatcher, had taken his place as chairman of the committee. Renville Wheat, Detroit attorney and a nephew of Mr. Clements, was appointed to succeed Mr. Watling. It was recognized that an era in the Library's growth had come to an end and that more active responsibility must be taken by the Committee of Management. The Library was firmly established as a distinct and distinguished institution; the first director had shaped it according to the ideals of the founder and had fathered its dynamic growth. The committee proceeded slowly to orient its new members, to consult members of the Department of History and others, and to make sure of its own feelings and expectations about the Library in the Page 1410University complex. In the summer of 1953 the Regents appointed Howard Henry Peckham, director of the Indiana Historical Bureau, who had formerly served the Clements Library as Curator of Manuscripts, as the second Director.
Surveys of the Library's holdings in certain fields revealed that serious lacunae in the early period still existed. Potentialities of the Library's growth and use were discussed. The capacities of the building were reviewed. Cognizance was taken of the fact that the book fund remained at the same figure as was originally granted in 1923, despite the great increase in prices of rare Americana.
Out of the committee's long deliberations and the recommendations of the Director, an acquisitions policy statement was framed: from University funds the Clements Library would collect the contemporary documentation on all aspects of American life, not merely political and military history, up to 1830, the terminal date to be subject to review from time to time. Frederick H. Wagman, the new Director of the University Library, co-operated by offering to transfer to the Clements Library early rare Americana not in special collections. An advisory committee on acquisitions was appointed from the faculties of those departments interested in the holdings of the Clements Library to advise the Director on desirable acquisitions in the fields of which they had expert knowlledge.
In 1953-54 Mrs. Hubert S. Smith, of Bay City, gave her husband's collection of rare books and manuscripts on Anglo-American naval affairs to the Library. Mr. Smith had been a neighbor of Regent Clements and a fellow collector. This important gift consisted of five hundred manuscripts and three hundred books, in addition to certain items that could be sold in order to provide funds for further purchases.
At the end of 1953 the William L. Clements Library held approximately 35,000 books, 200,000 manuscripts, and 25,000 maps, in addition to newspapers and prints.
Adams, Randolph G.The Whys and Wherefores of the William L. Clements Library. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1925.
Clements, William L.The William L. Clements Library of Americana at the University of Michigan. Ann Arbor: Univ. Mich., 1923.
President's Report, Univ. Mich., 1923-54.
Proceedings of the Board of Regents …, 1923-54.
"William Lawrence Clements,"Dictionary of American Biography, Vol. XXI.