A Guide to the Virginia Tech University Libraries Records, 1925-2006 Virginia Tech University Libraries Records RG 23

Virginia Tech University Libraries Records, 1925-2006

A Collection in
Special Collections
Collection Number RG 23


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Special Collections, Virginia Tech

Special Collections, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
USA
Phone: (540) 231-6308
Fax: (540) 231-3694
Email: specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu/

©2017 By Virginia Tech. All rights reserved.

Processed by: Special Collections

Repository
Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.
Collection Number
RG 23
Title
Virginia Tech University Libraries Records, 1925-2006
Physical Characteristics
173.4 Cubic Feet; 204 boxes
Creator
Bechanan, H. Gordon
Creator
Brown, Ralph Minthorne
Creator
Gherman, Paul M.
Creator
Hitchingham, Eileen
Creator
Robb, Seymour, 1901-1961
Creator
Rudolph, Gerald A.
Creator
Shirk, Frank
Creator
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. University Libraries
Creator
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. University Libraries. Special Collections Department
Creator
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. University LIbraries. Collections and Technical Services (CTS)
Location
Please note: This collection is located in off-site storage and may require 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Contact Special Collections for more information.
Language
English
Abstract
This collection includes minutes, correspondence, meeting notes, and more from departments, committees, and individuals in the Virginia Tech University Libraries.

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish material from Virginia Tech University Libraries Records must be obtained from Special Collections, Virginia Tech.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: Virginia Tech University Libraries Records, RG 23, Special Collections, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Accruals

Additional materials will be added to the finding aid as they are received and processed.

Acquisition Information

The Virginia Tech University Libraries Records was transferred to Special Collections.

Processing Information

The description of Virginia Tech University Libraries Records was completed in June 2017.


Historical Note

When the college began in 1872, V.E. Shepherd was appointed as librarian (as well as treasurer, secretary of the faculty and Board of Visitors, and to teach foreign languages). The library started with 500 volumes, which were primarily gifts from congressmen, publishers, and government agencies. Students supervised the library from 1875 until Mary Lacy was appointed as the first full-time librarian in 1903. She was followed by her sister, Ethel Lacy, from 1910-13, and then Eleanor Jones, 1913-23. After two years of acting librarians, Ralph M. Brown was appointed in 1925 and served until 1946. He was succeeded as director by Seymour Robb (1947-61), Frank Shirk (1961-70), Gerald Rudolph (1970-74), Gordon Bechanan (1974-84), Paul Gherman (1985-92), Joanne Eustis (interim, 1992-94), and Eileen Hitchingham (1995-2011). Tyler Walters began his term as Dean of the University Libraries in 2011.

The first branch library was established in 1907 in Agriculture Hall (now Price). In 1955, a new building was opened and named for Carol M. Newman, a professor of English at Virginia Tech for 38 years. At that time, two branch libraries (Agriculture and Engineering) and about twenty departmental collections closed and were integrated into the main collection. During Rudolph's tenure, two new branches were created: Geology (1972) and one in Reston, Virginia, for the Northern Virginia Graduate Program.

Scope and Content

The University Archives contains a large volume of the records of the University Libraries. This collection continues to grow on almost a daily basis. Records of each department within the library, committees, taskforces, the faculty association, and the staff association are included in this collection. Since the records of past library directors are central to this collection, their descriptions are given below.

Click here for a box-level inventory of these materials.

Arrangement

The collection is divided by RG subgroup number.

Related Material

Separated Material

The University Archives also holds newspaper clippings, publications, annual reports, and photographs concerning the library, which have been separated to the Rare Books Collection, Virginia Tech Buildings Architectural Collection, RG 6/3/2e, Record Group Vertical Files, and Historical Photograph Collection.


Index Terms

    Subjects:

  • University Archives
  • University History
  • Organizations:

  • Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College and Polytechnic Institute
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. University Libraries
  • Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. University Libraries. Special Collections Department

Contents List

Click here for a box-level inventory of these materials.

RG 23 - Virginia Tech University Libraries
box: 1-84
69.6 Cubic Feet; 84 boxes
RG 23/1 - Virginia Tech Office of the Dean of the University Libraries
  • RG 23/1/1 - Ralph M. Brown, Library Director, Records, 1925-1947
    box: 1-2
    0.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
    Biographical Note

    Ralph Minthorne Brown was appointed as librarian in 1925. During his tenure, the library collection doubled in size. Brown retired in 1946.

    Scope and Content

    This collection includes budget material (1943-52), statistics (1928-45), proposed library plans (1935-40), Library Committee material (1925-26), and correspondence (1925-47).

  • RG 23/1/2 - Seymour Robb, Library Director, Records, 1947-1961
    box: 1-2
    0.6 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
    Biographical Note

    Seymour Robb succeeded Brown in 1947. In an effort to correct some of the deficiencies of the library, Robb called for a library survey. Funds were received in 1949 for a survey to be conducted by Maurice Tauber of Columbia University Library School and William Jesse of the University of Tennessee Library. Their conclusions led to immediate improvement in funding for the library. Beginning in 1951, funds were sought from various sources for the construction of a new library building. Carol M. Newman Library was completed in 1955. After fourteen years of service, Robb died in office in 1961.

    Scope and Content

    This collection includes correspondence (1947-61), the Library Survey (1949), and records relating to the construction of Newman Library.

  • RG 23/1/3 - Frank Shirk, Library Director, Records, 1955-1970
    box: 1-3
    4.2 Cubic Feet; 3 boxes
    Biographical Note

    Frank Shirk assumed the duties of head of the library upon Seymour Robb's death in 1961. Shirk had been with the library since 1948 and had been Associate Library Director since 1955. Accomplishments of his tenure included an increased book budget, beginnings of automation, and adoption of the Library of Congress classification system to replace the Dewey Decimal system. Shirk stepped down in 1970.

    Scope and Content

    This collection contains budget material (1961-70), gifts and memorial funds (1960-71), Library Committee minutes (1962-70), Library Committee self-study reports and memoranda (1966-68), memoranda to faculty (1964-68), policy statements (1965-69), VPI Interschool Library Committee report (1961), and correspondence dealing with the VPI Archives (1949-70). Also included are the correspondences of the Associate Library Director (Frank Shirk, 1955-61, and Robert Stephenson, 1964-70).

  • RG 23/1/4 - Gerald A. Rudolph, Library Director, Records, 1970-1974
    box: 1-2
    2.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
    Biographical Note

    Gerald Rudolph became Library Director in 1970. Accomplishments of his administration included: creation of a subject-divisional organization for the library with separate reference desks for science, social sciences, and humanities; formation of two branch libraries (Geology and Northern Virginia); and approval of an addition to Newman Library.

    Scope and Content

    This collection includes annual reports (1970-72), budget material (1970-72), correspondence (1970-74), Daily Bulletin Notices (1970-71), various committee reports (1970), memoranda concerning automated library system (1971), questionnaires on library (1969-70), student surveys and reports on library system (1971), organizational charts and policy revisions (1970), and correspondence and reports of Dr. Stuart Forth (Library Consultant, 1970). Also included are: State Council of Higher Education Library Advisory Committee material (1968-70); Report of the Subcommittee for Renovation and Addition to the Library (13 October 1970); "A Research Proposal Submitted to Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University" by G.A. Rudolph and M.H. Agee; "The Redesign of Technical Services for Carol M. Newman Library" by G.W. Creasy, W.L. Root, and A.G. Yates (submitted 6 March 1972).

  • RG 23/1/5 - H. Gordon Bechanan, Library Director, Records, 1974-1984
    box: 1-21
    27.4 Cubic Feet; 21 boxes
    Biographical Note

    H. Gordon Bechanan became Library Director in 1974, after serving as an Assistant Director since 1972. Accomplishments during his tenure included: expansion of the microforms and rare books and manuscripts collections; the library's involvement in several cooperative projects with other research libraries; the library's membership in the Association of Research Libraries and SOLINET; construction of an addition to Newman; and development of an on-line catalog (VTLS). Bechanan retired in 1984.

    Scope and Content

    This collection includes annual reports (1974-84), budget material (1970-85), building plans for addition to Newman (1970-71), Chemistry Branch Library proposal, Council on Library Resources material (1972-84), items concerning space (1973-80), VPI audits (1978-84), branch libraries policies (1971-82), Manuscript Committee materials, and VTLS materials. Also included are materials dealing with the American Library Association (1951-83), Association of Research Libraries (1976-84), Association of Southeastern Research Libraries (1976-83), Southern College and University Libraries statistics, SCHEV, and Virginia Libraries Association (1971-79).

  • RG 23/1/6 - Paul Gherman, Library Director and University Librarian, Records, 1985-1991
    box: 1-9
    10.6 Cubic Feet; 9 boxes
    Biographical Note

    Paul M. Gherman became Library Director in 1985. In 1991 the title of the position was changed to University Librarian. Gherman stepped down from the position in 1992.

    Scope and Content

    This collection includes correspondence (1985-91), Library Administrative Council minutes (1989-90), minutes and literature about the International Archive of Women in Architecture (1989-90), memos and reports of the Association for Research Libraries (1985-89), the University Libraries Stategic Plan (1985), and memos from various departments within the Libraries.

  • RG 23/1/7 - Eileen Hitchingham, Dean of the University Libraries, Records
    box: 1-4
    2.6 Cubic Feet; 4 boxes
    Biographical Note

    Eileen Hitchingham served as Dean of the University Libraries from 1995 until her retirement on February 1, 2011.

RG 23/3 - VTLS Operations Group Minutes, c. 1984-1989
box: 1-5
3.8 Cubic Feet; 6 boxes
RG 23/4 - Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center Resource Center Records, c. 1975-1985
box: 1
0.4 Cubic Feet; 1 box
RG 23/6/1 - Virginia Tech University Libraries Albania Project
box: 1
0.4 Cubic Feet; 1 box
Historical Note

In the early 1990s, the Virginia Tech University Libraries had an employee exchange with a university in Albania.

RG 23b/1 - Virginia Tech Newman Library Renovations and Additions Records, c. 1978-1981, c. 2004-2006
box: 1-4
1.5 Cubic Feet; 4 boxes
Historical Note

Virginia Tech's Carol M. Newman Library was opened in 1955. An addition was added in 1981. Another major renovation was completed in 2009.

Scope and Content

These records contain files related to the 1981 renovation and addition as well as renovations made in the mid-2000s.

RG 23c - Virginia Tech Library Faculty Association Records, c. 1990-1991
box: 1-4
3.6 Cubic Feet; 4 boxes
Scope and Contents

These records contain the files of the Virginia Tech Library Faculty Association Records and its presidents.

  • RG 23c/1 - Virginia Tech Library Faculty Association's Faculty Affairs Committee Records
    box: 1
    0.4 Cubic Feet; 1 box
RG 23dd - Virginia Tech Friends of the University Libraries Records
box: 1-2
0.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
RG 23f - Virginia Tech University Libraries Self Study, 1975-1976
box: 1
1.4 Cubic Feet; 1 box
RG 23g - Virginia Tech University Libraries Departmental Annual Reports 1991-1992
box: 1
0.2 Cubic Feet; 1 box
RG 23h - Virginia Tech University Libraries Committees and Departments Records
box: 1-4
2.6 Cubic Feet; 4 boxes
  • RG 23h/1a - Virginia Tech Library Council Minutes, 1970-1985
    box: 1-5
    3 Cubic Feet; 5 boxes
  • RG 23h/2 - Virginia Tech Library Administrative Committee Records, 1975-1992
    box: 1-3
    1.2 Cubic Feet; 3 boxes
    Historical Note

    Library Administrative Committee was formerly University Libraries Management Committee and formerly Library Advisory Council.

    • RG 23h/2a - Library Administrative Committee Minutes and University Library Bulletins, c. 1991-1995
      box: 1-2
      0.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
  • RG 23h/4 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Advisory Committees Records
    box: 1-6
    3.4 Cubic Feet; 6 boxes
    Scope and Contents

    These records contain records from the Virginia Tech University Libraries' Advisory Committees on professional development, InterLibrary Cooperation, and LOCAS.

  • RG 23h/6 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Reference Division Records, c. 1975-1980
    box: 1-3
    1 Cubic Feet; 3 boxes
    • RG 23h/6/1 - Virginia Tech Special Collections Records, c. 1970s-1980s
      box: 1-5
      3.8 Cubic Feet; 5 boxes
      Scope and Contents

      This collection contains registers and permission forms, which may be restricted, and the files of Glenn McMullen and Stephen Zietz.

    • RG 23h/6/2 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Humanities/Social Sciences Reference Department Records
      box: 1-2
      2.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
  • RG 23h/7 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Technical Services Department Records
    box: 1-2
    0.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains the records of the Virginia Tech University Libraries' Technical Services Department, including Staff Affairs Committee and Bibliographic Services Supervisors Meeting.

    • RG 23h/7a - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Binding and Preparations Department Records, c. 1973-1976, undated
      box: 1-2
      0.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
      Scope and Contents

      This collection contains minutes and index for the Preparation Section Supervisors meetings and records for the Public Relations Task Force.

    • RG 23h/7b - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Cataloging Department Records, c. 1957-1983
      box: 1-6
      3.4 Cubic Feet; 6 boxes
      Scope and Contents

      This collection contains cataloging manuals, statistics, indeces, Cataloging Committee on Committees annual reports, and serials information.

  • RG 23h/8/1 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' CFS/LOCAS Cataloging Systems Records
    box: 1-11
    12.4 Cubic Feet; 11 boxes
  • RG 23h/9 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Acquisitions Department Records, 1971-1980
    box: 1-6
    4.4 Cubic Feet; 6 boxes
  • RG 23h/12 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Library Automation Services Department Records, c. 1995-1996
    box: 1-2
    0.8 Cubic Feet; 2 boxes
    Scope and Contents

    This collection contains materials related to online search databases, CFS, TULIP project, and librarian Dave Beagle.

  • RG 23h/13 - Virginia Tech University Libraries' Personnel Services Records
    box: 1
    1.4 Cubic Feet; 1 box

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Bechanan, H. Gordon
  • Brown, Ralph Minthorne
  • Gherman, Paul M.
  • Hitchingham, Eileen
  • Robb, Seymour, 1901-1961
  • Rudolph, Gerald A.
  • Shirk, Frank