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University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Libraries | Martha Blakeney Hodges Special Collections and University Archives

Name: University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Libraries

Historical Note:

This first library at the State Normal and Industrial School (now The University of North Carolina at Greensboro) was confined to one small room in the Main building (now the Foust building) in 1892. The collection of the library was relatively small, consisting of only several hundred books.By 1900, the collection had grown to over 3000 volumes and necessitated a move to a larger room in the Main Building.In 1901, the President of the School, Charles Duncan McIver, asked philanthropist Andrew Carnegie for funds to build a new structure dedicated solely as a library.The result was the construction of the Carnegie Library (now Forney building) in 1905 which become home to the library and its 5000 volumes.

Carnegie Library's presence on campus grew exponentially from 1905 until 1950 as its uses by students increased along with its total collection of books.By 1950, there were over 134,000 volumes held by the library.It was also during this period that the library faced several challenges.The worst was a fire in September 1932 that destroyed part of the Carnegie Library.Fortunately, the book stacks were fireproof and therefore most of the collection survived, although with some material suffering heavy water damage. The building was repaired and the library opened again in September 1933.

Beginning in the early 1940s, there were calls by the Head Librarian and others for a larger building as the library was quickly outgrowing is current space in the Carnegie Library. Due to World War II and the restricted university budgets, there was no plan to construct a new location.By the late 1940s, the situation was desperate as student enrolment increased along with more library acquisitions.The result was the construction of a new library building which opened in June 1950.It would be named Jackson Library in 1960 to honor former Chancellor Walter Clinton Jackson.

The library would continue to flourish in its new building as the number of volumes checked out annually grew from 50,000 in 1950 to 70,000 in 1960. The total number of books in circulation would reach 220,000 by 1963. In 1962, Head Librarian Charles M. Adams converted the library's small collection of historical documents related to the campus, known as the "College Collection" into the college archives. He had hoped to build on the archives by adding new records and documents from the faculty and various academic departments.Growth of the collection remained slow as campus offices were reluctant to turn over records and the library staff did little to encourage such transfers.Adams also encouraged the creation of a Friends of the Library organization for the library which first met in 1959.

In 1965, the Jackson Library was approaching capacity and plans were drawn up by Adams for expansion.The result was the construction of nine-story tower added onto the existing library in 1973 and also renovation of the current building in 1974.This new space allowed for the library to continue growing such that by 1979, the entire collection of books reached over 556,000.In 1977, the library offered its first "computerize bibliographic literature" searches. By 1993, the library's catalog of books was completely electronic and the paper card catalogs were removed. In 2001, the library formally celebrated the additions of its 1,000,000th volume, a first edition of William Blake's Illustrations of Book of Job, one of only 315 copies produced.

The first librarian hired by the school to oversee the library was Annie Petty who arrived in 1895.Finding her duties to be undervalued and underpaid, she left the school in 1898 to go study at the Drexel Institute Library School in Philadelphia. She returned to the school the following year as the first trained librarian in North Carolina and served at the head of the library until 1920. The following list documents the transition of Head Librarians/Library Directors/University Librarians at the school:

1896--1920  Annie Petty

June--August 1920  Charles B. Shaw, Acting

September 1920--1927  Charles B. Shaw

1927--1935  Charles H. Stone

1935--1936  Vacant

1936--1944  Guy R. Lyle

1944--1945  Vacant

1945--1969  Charles M. Adams

1969--1970  Elizabeth Holder, Acting

1970--1988 James H. Thompson

January--June 1989  Doris Hulbert, Acting

July 1989--June 2004  Doris Hulbert

July 2004--August 2004  Dana Sally, Acting

August 2004--Present  Rosann Bazirjian

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