Scope and Content Note
The Library Records were generated by and pertain to the development and administration
of the Library at Oregon State University. In addition to the documentation
of policy formulation, compilation of departmental information, committee activity,
and other day-to-day administrative tasks these records reflect the Library's
interaction with other institutions of higher education, libraries, and professional
organizations. Records of the Oregon State System of Higher Education's (OSSHE)
centralized library system, housed on the OSU campus from 1932 to 1965, are
The Library Records are organized into two subgroups; see Subgroup and Series Outline.
Subgroup 1 is organized into 22 series: I. Correspondence; IIa. Library Advisory Council; IIb. Staff Meetings; III.OSSHE-Education Correspondence; IV. OSSHE-Statistics; V. Central Library Office; VI. Personnel Files; VII. Scrapbooks; VIIIa. KOAC Lectures by Staff and Departmental Reports; VIIIb. Departmental Reports; IX. Library Statistics and Inventory; X. Circulation Statistics; XI. Reports; XII. Library Committees; XIII. Faculty Senate Library Committee; XIV. Subject and Reference Files; XV. Library History Essays and Notes; XVI. Buildings and Facilities; XVII. Policies and Planning; XVIII. Publications; XIX. Artifacts; and XX. Sound Recordings. Subgroup 2 consists of one series: I. Subject and Reference Files.
Series I is primarily made up of correspondence, but also includes reports and publications. The correspondence documents interaction between library administration and various departments within the library, OSU colleges and departments outside the library, other libraries in the OSSHE system, professional library organizations, the Oregon State Library, Oregon Historical Society, and OSU committees and other administrative bodies. Included among the topics covered in this series are: budgets, gifts and grants to the library, library policies, computer networks and databases, and library collections. Series II consists of minutes and correspondence from the Library Administrative Council and minutes from library staff and faculty meetings.
Records documenting the administration of college and university libraries in OSSHE constitute the materials in series III through V. OSSHE Libraries (other than OSU) represented in these records include those at the University of Oregon, Oregon College of Education (now Western Oregon University), Southern Oregon of College Education (now Southern Oregon University), Eastern Oregon College of Education (now Eastern Oregon University), and the University of Oregon Medical School (now Oregon Health Science University). Most of the records in these three series were generated by the Central Library Office of OSSHE when it was located on the OSU campus from 1932 to 1965.
Series III consists of records generated by various OSSHE committees and the Chancellor for Higher Education regarding policy formation, planning, and the compilation of bibliographical information among the system's college and university libraries. Including records from the Interinstitutional Committee, the OSSHE Library Council, and several of the OSSHE campus presidents, this series chiefly contains reports, correspondence and meeting minutes. Statistical information compiled monthly by OSSHE regarding circulation, books lost and withdrawn, reference usage, and additions to the collections make up the records in series IV.
Series V contains records generated by the Central Library Office of OSSHE while administered at OSU by Librarian Lucy Lewis. Consisting primarily of correspondence, reports, and statistical reports, this series documents systemwide centralization planning and budgetary matters.
The personnel files of library staff constitute series VI and includes correspondence, curriculum vitae, grade transcripts, and photographs. The scrapbooks in Series VII were compiled by the Public Relations Committee and contain newspaper clippings about library staff, collections, and events that were clipped from the Barometer, Corvallis Gazette-Times, and Oregonian. Also contained in these scrapbooks are photographs, brochures, and newsletters relating to events sponsored by the Friends of the Library.
Series VIIIa contains chronologically arranged program lists and transcripts of lectures delivered by library staff on the university radio station KOAC. In addition to reviews of books and periodicals newly acquired by the library, there are also lectures on various topics such as health and travel intended to highlight library collections. Series VIIIb constitutes annual and monthly reports generated by various departments of the library.
In addition to budget and reference statistical information, the library statistics and inventory records in series IX document the inventory and valuation of library equipment and supplies and consist primarily of used property release forms, correspondence, and memoranda. Information on the holdings of the Map Room can also be found in this series. The circulation statistics consist of microfilmed ledger entries documenting circulation of books and periodicals, reading and reference room attendance, and overdue book fines.
In addition to Annual and Biennial Reports of the Librarian, series XI includes analyses of the library collection and circulation system, budget estimate reports, an evaluation of the library holdings for materials relating to speech communication, and a progress report on an early microfilm demonstration project at OSU. Series XII consists of records generated by library committees and includes committee membership lists, correspondence, meeting minutes, memoranda, publications, reports, and survey data. Included among the subjects addressed by these committees are building expansion, conservation, human resources, on-line catalog, promotion and tenure, public relations, safety, and the Library Staff Association.
The Faculty Senate Library Committee records in series XIII contain correspondence, meeting minutes, memoranda, and reports which pertain primarily to administrative matters such as the formation of policies and procedures. The subject and reference files in series XIV contain correspondence, a grant proposal, meeting minutes, reports, and publications generated mostly by computer companies and library- oriented committees and organizations. The records relate to library databases and networks, computer software, and the Oregon Library community. Materials regarding the Linus Pauling Collection can also be found in this series.
Series XV consists of handwritten notes on index cards regarding Librarian Ida Kidder and various library-related events and stories from 1896 to 1926 gleaned from correspondence, the Barometer, and the Beaver Yearbook. This series also includes a reprint of an essay on the history of the OSU Library by Library Director William Carlson that was published in the 1977 edition of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information Science.
The Buildings and Facilities records pertain to the construction, renovation, and maintenance of two of the buildings that have housed the library on campus as well as the Hatfield Marine Science Center Library in Newport. They include architectural drawings, brochures, correspondence, notes, reports, specifications, and studies. Records in this series referring to Kidder Library pertain to the library when it was housed in Kidder Hall. Records pertaining to the construction, renovation, and addition to the Kerr Library refer to the structure that was constructed in 1963, now known as the Valley Library.
Series XVII documents long-range planning, accreditation, survey research, policy formulation, and other administrative tasks of library management. The series includes correspondence, reports, manuals and handbooks, self-studies, and survey data. The publications include brochures, handbooks, newsletters, and other informational media generated for distribution to library users with information on library resources, layout of the library building, and use of the collections. This series also contains a two-part index of the OSU student newspaper, the Daily Barometer, compiled by the Social Sciences/Humanities Department of the Library. Covering the years 1896 to 1980, the index is divided into two sections that are searchable by subject or personal name of student or faculty/staff member.
The artifacts consist of three printing blocks for bookplates (mid 1930s) and two plastic goblets created for receptions and other events involving the OSU centennial celebration in 1968. The sound recordings are self-guided audio tape tours of the library and include the accompanying tour scripts.
Subgroup 2 consists of materials generated by the OSU Centennial Committee and the Charter Day Committee in the planning and publicity of the OSU centennial in 1968. Consisting of award records, certificates of congratulations, correspondence, meeting minutes, newspaper clippings, publications, and reports, the records in this subgroup document the development of the centennial logo, the writing of department histories to honor the anniversary, and the invitation of guests to the centennial celebration events.
Multiple Accessions, 2004
Multiple Accessions, 2005
New Accession, 2006
The first "official" college library was likely that of the Adelphian Literary Society, which in 1880 had acquired the Corvallis Library Association's Library. Ten years later, the Adelphians transferred their 605-volume library to the college. By 1899, when the first full-time, nonstudent librarian, Arthur Stimpson, was appointed, the collection had grown to 3000 volumes and 500 pamphlets and bulletins. The first professional librarian, Ida A. Kidder, was appointed in 1908.
Initially housed in the Administration Building (now Benton Hall), a structure for the library was constructed in 1918 with funds appropriated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly passed a year earlier. Named Kidder Hall in honor of Ida Kidder, the library was re-named in 1954 for William Jasper Kerr, president of OSU from 1907-1932 and first chancellor of the State System of Higher Education.
Despite the construction of a west wing to the library building in 1941, space needs continued to become increasingly acute with the expansion of collections and staff. In the late 1950s, planning began for a new structure that was completed in 1963 and expanded in 1971 with the addition of two floors. A branch of the Library at the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center was completed in 1976 and eventually named for Marilyn Potts Guin, the first librarian there.
Increasing demand for space drove plans for further expansion and renovation of the library building that began in 1988 but really gained momentum with the approval of funds from the Legislative Assembly in 1993. Owing to the success of a fundraising campaign to raise private money to match state funds, expansion efforts began in 1996 and were completed in 1999. The Kerr Library was renamed the Valley Library in 1995 in honor of the Wayne and Gladys Valley Family, whose foundation donated $10 million to library expansion efforts.
Librarians subsequent to Kidder were Lucy M. Lewis (1920-1945), William H. Carlson (1945-1965), Rodney K. Waldron (1965-1984), Melvin R. George (1984-1996), and Karyle Butcher (1997-).
The Central Library Office for the Oregon State System of Higher Education (OSSHE) was administered by Lucy Lewis and William Carlson at OSU from 1932 from 1965. Upon Carlson's retirement in 1965, the directorship of the office was transferred to the University of Oregon under the guidance of Dr. Carl Hintz.
In addition to institutional records, the Archives also has Library publications which include staff newsletters (PUB 8-41a: News Notes; Rod and Line, The Kerrier); Library Booklists (PUB 8-42a), and the Library Foundation newsletter (PUB 249). There is also a photographic collection (P 83) for the Library. Records of the support organization for the Library, The Friends of the Library (RG 2), are available. Architectural drawings and book plans for the Kerr Library building (in addition to those in series XVI) can be found in the record group for Facilities Services (RG 193). There are additional building project files for the Kerr Library in RG 193. Information pertaining to the construction of the Library in 1917-1918 is available in the Snook and Traver Ledger. Records of the University Archives, an administrative unit of the Library, can be found in Budgets and Planning Records (RG 125) and University Archives Records (RG 220).
The Archives has several collections of personal papers and records from library staff members, including Bertha Herse and University Librarians William Carlson and Rodney Waldron.
The personnel files in series VI may contain confidential information. Access is subject to review by the University Archivist.
8/1/10/31-letter size document box
8/1/9/21; 8/1/10/61-legal size document boxes
SR 1/4/5/b-20x24 oversize box
SR 1/4/4/a; 10/2/4/-24x31 oversize boxes
SR 1/4/4/back a-b (telescoping boxes)
Oversize Drawer 2
Subgroup and Series Outline