The University of Massachusetts Amherst
Robert S. Cox Special Collections & University Archives Research Center
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University of Massachusetts Amherst. Libraries

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University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries Records

75 linear feet
Call no.: RG 008

Beginning in a room in the first South College building, filled with books donated by faculty, staff, and students, the University Library has grown to include over three million items. After expanding into larger quarters in the Old Chapel Building in 1884 (the first campus building designed as a library), the library was relocated to Goodell Hall (1935) and the University Library tower (1973), named the W.E.B. Du Bois Library in 1996. Other library facilities on campus have included libraries for the biological sciences, physical sciences, and the Music Library, as well as the Integrated Science and Engineering Library in the Lederle Graduate Research Center.

The collection consists of basic administrative records of many library departments, the records of the Library Director (1924-1975), other materials that document the library, its staff and activities, and information about the design, construction, and dedication of the W.E.B. Du Bois Library tower, the Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC), and Five College cooperation.

Historical Note

Massachusetts Agricultural College housed its first library in a room in the first South College building. When this building burned and the collection was destroyed in 1885, the faculty, students, and alumni donated their own books and journals to re-establish a collection which was then moved into the newly constructed combined chapel and library. In 1883 an Alumni Library Committee was established to raise funds for the construction of a Stone Chapel, which was built between 1884 and 1885. Now called Old Chapel, it was the first campus building designed for use as a library. Main library facilities have been housed in Old Chapel, Goodell Library (1935), and the University Library (called the “tower library”) (1973), which was named the W.E.B. Du Bois Library in 1996. Other library facilities on campus included libraries for the biological sciences, physical sciences, and the Music Library. The Integrated Science and Engineering Library has combined the services of the biological and physical sciences and is housed in the Lederle Graduate Research Center.

Henry Hill Goodell was the first official Librarian (1885-1899). He was succeeded by:

  • Ella Frances Hall (1899-1908)
  • Charles R. Green (1908-1921)
  • Henry S. Green (1921-1924)
  • Basil Boise Wood (1924-1952)
  • Hugh Montgomery (1952-1966)

From 1966-1972 David Clay held the title Director of Libraries. Merle Boylan, Jr. held the title of University Librarian and Director from 1972-1973. The title Director of Libraries was established in 1973, and has been held by Richard Talbot (1973-1996), and Margaret L. Crist (1997-2003). The current Director of Libraries is Gerald Jay Schafer.

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of reports, meeting minutes, budget and planning documents, correspondence, policies and procedures, staffing records, photographs, news clippings and releases, catalogs, bibliographies and special events information. The Director / Librarian’s records (1924-1975) consist of accession lists, alphabetical and subject files, correspondence, and other materials. In other series detailed information can be found about the tower library design and construction, dedication, naming, brick problem, and the Mass Transformation and Class Act. Also included in the records is a significant amount of information on the Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) and 5 College Cooperation.

This record group is organized into eleven major series:

  1. Publications (1888-2007)
  2. Director Librarian (1900-2007)
  3. Collection Development (1885-2007)
  4. Public Services (1876-2007)
  5. Technical Services (1870-2007)
  6. Library Buildings (1869-2007)
  7. Committees (1883-2007 [bulk 1954-2007])
  8. Hampshire Inter-Library Center (HILC) and 4/5 college cooperation (1951-2007)
  9. Friends of the Library (FOL) (1956-1971)
  10. Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials (SALALM) (1956-1975)
  11. Boston Library Consortium (1975-2007)
00. Publications (except as noted below)
A5. Annual Reports 1888-2007
L4. LS2000 Newsletter/Library Automation Newsletter 1998-1991
L5. Library Information Bulletin 1969-2007
M6. Monthly Reports 1965-1989
N3. Newsletters 1970-1980
S8. Statistical Reports and Summaries 1973-1985
1. Director/Librarian 1886-2007
1. Assistant to Director 1962-2007
2. Business Office (Business and Personnel) 1921-2007
3. Special Collections and University Archives 1867-2007
4. Systems Office 1964-2007
5. Audio-Visual Department 1948-1998
6. Security 1963-2007
7. Management Assistant (no records in Archives)
8. Massachusetts Film Co-op (no records in Archives)
2. Collection Development 1885-2007
3. Public Services
1. Office 1953-2007
2. Circulation and Reserve Services 1915-2007
3. Government Documents 1955-2007
4. Interlibrary Loan 1959-2007
5. Reference 1919-2007
6. Special Collections and Rare Books 1904-2007
8. Music Library 1975-2007
9. Biological Sciences Library 1962-2007
10. Physical Sciences Library 1961-2007
11. Former Departmental Libraries 1880-1975 (bulk 1858-1878)
12. Reading Rooms 1957-1978
13. Exhibits 1973-2007
4. Technical Services 1965-2007
1. Acquisitions 1870-2007
2. Books for College Libraries 1967-1974
3. Cataloging 1961-2007
4. Information Processing 1975-1978
5. Library Buildings
1. Old Chapel 1869-1899
2. Goodell Library 1899-1961
3. W.E.B. Du Bois Library 1961-2007
6. Committees and Other Groups 1973-1985
7. Hampshire Interlibrary Center (HILC) and 4 / 5 College Cooperation 1951-2007
8. Friends Of the Library (FOL) 1968-2007
9. Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American library Materials (SALAM) 1956-1976
10. Boston Library Consortium 1975-2007


Academic libraries--Massachusetts


University of Massachusetts Amherst. Library