Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) Records
The Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC), formally established in 1951, is one of the oldest library consortia in the United States. The institutional members of the consortium were the geographically adjacent Amherst, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges later joined by the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and by Hampshire College when it opened in 1970. HILC was intended to foster library cooperation and resource sharing, and maintained a shared collection of less used and expensive reference and periodical material for the use of those institutions of higher education. HILC's Governing Board originally consisted of the Presidents and chief Librarians of each institution, as well as a faculty member from each. In 1968 the Presidents delegated their membership to the Coordinator of Five Colleges, Inc. The Librarians, known as the Management Committee, administered HILC and also selected its material. In 1971, the Librarians delegated acquisitions responsibility to a new HILC Selection Committee, consisting of a representative from each institution (usually a reference librarian or bibliographer), and renamed themselves the Librarians Council, which maintained administrative oversight of HILC, but became more concerned with Five College library cooperative activities.
In 1977, the Librarians came to the conclusion that HILC's separately housed and staffed collection was no longer cost effective. The collection was dispersed among the member libraries. The then HILC librarian, Gregory Wilson, gathered material from HILC's office files and from the member institutions to form an archival collection documenting the history of HILC. This material forms the first part of this collection.
In 1981, the Librarians Council submitted a Library Automation proposal to the directors of Five Colleges, Inc. (the Presidents of the the Colleges and Chancellor of the University). The records of this project form the remainder of the archive. They were contributed by Gai Carpenter, Director of Library and Information Services at Hampshire College, and Project Manager of the Five College Library Automation Project from 1981-1996.
HILC continues to exist as a library consortium. The daily courier service between the libraries is the one remaining service it provides. The Librarians Council has continued to meet and serves as the governing body for all library cooperation among the five institutions. At this writing (2002), the Five College Library Depository, a storage facility for little-used items, is fast becoming a reality, but it will be operated under the auspices of Five Colleges, Inc., not the HILC consortium.