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Amherst College Library Records, 1833-1977 (Bulk: 1876-1933)
10 records storage boxes, 1 half archives box, 18 volumes (14.5 linear ft.)

Abstract:
The Library Records document the development of the Amherst College Library. Despite the time span (1833-1977), the records provide incomplete information about the administration of the Library. The records best document the library holdings (1833-1938), and particular functions, such as classification. The Records include correspondence, accession logs, annual reports, in-house manuals and procedures statements, some financial records, printed catalogs, and shelf lists. The administrative files of Librarian Newton F. McKeon (1939-70), Charles Laugher (1970-75), and Willis E. Bridegam, Jr. (1975- ) are not part of this collection.

Terms of Access and Use:

Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Amherst College Library Records for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Amherst College Archives and Special Collections

Historical Note
1821-1823 Joseph Estabrook, Professor Latin and Greek, Librarian
1821 Alexandrian and Athenian Societies, student literary societies, established; society libraries soon follow
1822 Library located in North College, 4th floor room
1823-1824 Zenas Clapp, Tutor and Librarian
1824-1827 Samuel M. Worcester, Professor and Librarian
1827 First library catalog published
1827-1853 Library located in Johnson Chapel, 3rd floor
1827-1852 Ebenezer Snell (AC 1822), Professor and Librarian
1831 Substantial increase to the Library because of John Tappan gift of $500
1836 Athenian Society publishes catalog
1844 Sears Fund of Literature and Benevolence established
1850 Library holdings are approximately 6,000 volumes
1851-1965 Memorabilia Room established
1852-1863 Lucius Boltwood (AC 1843) named first full-time Librarian
1853 New building opens, houses library; later named Morgan Hall
1855 Library holdings are approximately 12,000 volumes; Second library catalog published; second Athenian Society catalog also published
1863 Julius H. Seelye, Teacher and Librarian (without pay)
1864-1878 William Montague (AC 1855), Librarian, Registrar, and Professor of French, Italian, and Spanish
1864 First alphabetical author card catalog
1867 Merger of Athenian, Alexandrian, and College libraries discussed
1871 Supplement to library catalog published; open hours change from 3 hours/week to 6 hours/day except closed Sunday
1874-1876 Melvil Dewey (AC 1874) Assistant Librarian, starts subject catalog on cards
1878 Thomas P. Field, (AC 1834) Librarian
1879-1883 Walter Biscoe, (AC 1874) Acting Librarian
1883 Library expands; building named for Henry T. Morgan
1883-1911 William I. Fletcher, Librarian
1885 Library holdings are approximately 43,000 volumes
1891-1905 William I. Fletcher runs Summer course in Library Economy
1908 Robert S. Fletcher (AC 1897, son of W.I. Fletcher) named Assistant Librarian
1911-1939 Robert S. Fletcher, Librarian
1917 Converse Memorial Library opens
1935-1939 Henry deForest Smith, Library Director; Robert S. Fletcher on medical leave
1938 Addition built on Converse Memorial Library; First rare book room established in Converse addition (
1939-1970 Newton F. McKeon (AC 1926), Library Director
1951-1978 Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) established (initially Amherst, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, later Hampshire College) to provide cooperation among the libraries
1964-1965 Charles T. Laugher, Assistant Library Director
1965 Robert Frost Library opens; Friends of the Amherst College Library founded; Memorabilia Room moves from the Hitchcock Room in Morgan Hall to the Frost Library and renamed the College Archives
1965-1970 Charles T. Laugher, Associate Library Director
1968 Merrill Science Library opens; Music Library opens
1970-1974 Richard J. Cody, Librarian of the College
1970-1975 Charles T. Laugher, Library Director
1971 Audio-Visual Department established in Frost Library
1974 Library joins OCLC for cataloging purposes (substituted Library of Congress classification system for Dewey Decimal Classification System)
1975- Willis Bridegam, Librarian of the College
1978 College Archives given mandate by Board of Trustees
1980 House libraries discontinued
1986 Frost C-level opens (compact shelving installed 1985; Deweys moved to C-level 1986)
1988 First Five College on-line catalog system (LS/2000) installed (provides access to holdings at the University of Massachusetts and Hampshire, Mount Holyoke, and Smith Colleges, as well as Amherst)
1994 Second Five College automated library system (III) installed
1994 Amherst College Depository opens
Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Library Records document the development of the Amherst College Library. The bulk of the records date between 1876 and 1933, but span the years 1833 to 1977. The quantity totals 12.5 linear feet. Despite the time span, the records provide incomplete information about the administration of the Library. The records best document the library holdings (1833-1938), and particular functions, such as classification. The Records include correspondence, accession logs, annual reports, in-house manuals and procedures statements, some financial records, printed catalogs, and shelf lists. The administrative files of Librarian Newton F. McKeon (1939-70), Charles Laugher (1970-75), and Willis E. Bridegam, Jr. (1975- ) are not part of this collection.


Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

There is no restriction on access to the Amherst College Library Records for research use. Particularly fragile items are restricted for preservation purposes.

Restrictions on use:

Requests for permission to publish material from the Papers should be directed to the Archives and Special Collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.

Preferred Citation

Please use the following format when citing materials from this collection:

[Identification of item], in Amherst College Library Records, 1833-1977 [Box #, folder #]. Amherst College Archives and Special Collections, Amherst College Library.

History of the Collection

Processing Information

As part of the College Archives ongoing efforts to arrange and describe all holdings, the scattered Library Records were centralized during September, 1992. There was little documentation indicating how the materials came into the Archives and little evidence of their original order. As part of processing, records that were created for a similar function were identified and organized together (e.g. serials, bibliographic instruction, classification, etc.). Within each series, suitable arrangement was imposed.

As a part of this project, Library records concerning library operations to 1970 were organized and described. Library records documenting library administration after 1939 were not processed at this time.

Processed: September 1992-July 1993
By: Anne Ostendarp, Project Archivist
Daria D'Arienzo, Archivist of the College
Emily Silverman, University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of Library and Information Studies, Intern
Tanya Chebotarev, Simmons College School of Library Science, Intern
Revised: 1994 April
By: Donna Skibel, Archives Associate
Finding Aid: March 2002
Prepared by: Sarah Sorscher '05, Student Assistant
Edited by: Peter Nelson, Assistant Archivist
Funding: The processing of the Amherst College Library Records was supported by the McGoun Fund


Additional Information
Contact Information
Amherst College Archives and Special Collections
Robert Frost Library
PO Box 5000
Amherst, MA 01002-5000

Phone: (413) 542-2299
Fax: (413) 542-2692

Email Reference Form: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives/askus
URL: http://www.amherst.edu/library/archives

Language
English.