The University Library at Berkeley began
with a collection of slightly over 1,000 volumes inherited from
the College of California. Helped by extensive gifts from Michael
Reese and F. L. A. Pioche of San Francisco, the library numbered
11,800 volumes when it was moved to Berkeley in 1873 and was housed
in South Hall.
The first offer of private funds for a University
building was made in November, 1877, when Henry D. Bacon of Oakland
proposed to donate $25,000 to be matched by legislative appropriation
for a library. The Bacon Art and Library Building was occupied in
1881 with a collection of 17,000 volumes.
President Wheeler's Leadership
In spite of this auspicious start, library
funds were scant and the collections grew slowly until the arrival
of President Wheeler in 1899. One of his first and continuing concerns
was the upbuilding of the library. On his retirement in 1919, the
collections had increased from 100,000 to 400,000 volumes. In the
summer of 1911, the library was moved to the newly completed white
granite Charles Franklin Doe Memorial Library, also in part a private
gift. The Doe Library, better known as the "University Library"
or the "Main Library" became the center of the campus library system.
The pressure of growth on the main building
was relieved by establishing branch libraries on the campus. The
first of these, the Lange Library of Education was opened in 1924
in Haviland Hall, then the home of the School of Education. The
Biology Library, established in 1930 in the Life Sciences Building
combined the holdings of departments in the life sciences with collections
in the same fields transferred from the Main Library. This pattern
was followed in other multiple-department branches such as earth
sciences and engineering.
The first full-time librarian was Joseph
C. Rowell '74, who was appointed in 1875. Rowell served 44 years
and is noted for his foresight in establishing exchange relations
with the learned societies and institutions of Europe in 1888, thereby
founding the library's renowned collection of scientific serials.
He also initiated the first system of inter-library loan in 1894.
Upon his retirement in 1919, he was succeeded by Harold L. Leupp,
who had been assistant librarian since 1910. Leupp organized the
first two branch libraries; cooperated with the faculty in surveying
the collections for underdeveloped areas and in deciding which fields
the library would collect extensively; and aided in the establishment
of the School of Librarianship. Before he retired in 1945, the American
Library Association Board on Resources of American Libraries rated
the Berkeley collections best in 53 of 75 fields of knowledge.
Succeeding Leupp as the third University librarian
was Donald Coney, formerly librarian of the University of Texas.
On his arrival in 1945, the library contained 1,260,500 volumes.
In his 20 years of administration, the collections more than doubled,
and the library stood sixth in size among university libraries in
the United States. Coney supervised the completion of the Main Library
stack area (delayed by World War II), the planning and building
of the Library Annex in 1950, the establishment at Richmond of the
storage library for the northern campuses, and the planning of the
projected Moffitt Undergraduate Library.
In 1965, the library system consisted of 3,113,024 bound volumes,
4,766,304 manuscripts, 142,225 maps, 885,432 pamphlets, 19,715 musical
recordings, 4,457 speech recordings, 85,306 reels of microfilm,
and 274,910 micro cards housed in the Main Library and 20 branch
libraries, together with three specialized libraries: the School
of Law, Giannini Foundation, Institute of International Relations
and several smaller bureaus. Over 46,600 serials were received regularly,
excluding government documents.
The most distinguished of the larger collections
were the Bancroft Library of western Americana and Latin America,
University archives, and California writers (137,400 volumes and
approximately 4,500,000 manuscripts); and the East Asiatic Library
of Oriental materials in the vernacular, including the Mitsui Library
of 100,000 volumes of early printed books in Japanese, manuscripts,
and Chinese stone-rubbings (196,844 volumes). The Alexander F. Morrison
Library, a recreational reading room, is noted for the beauty and
comfort of its appointments as well as the variety of its 10,200
A selection of other existing collections, circa
1965, were: the Otto Bremer and Konrad Burdach library of seventeenth
and eighteenth century German writings concerning the Middle Ages
and the Renaissance (10,000 volumes); the Leon Clerbois collection
illustrating the development of journalism and history of the press
in France and Belgium, 1789-1914 (24,000 titles); the Charles A.
Kofoid library of the history of science and medicine, including
530 volumes of Darwiniana (31,000 volumes and 46,000 pamphlets);
the Beatrix Farrand library of horticulture, landscape design, and
city planning--the working library of the Reef Point Gardens, Maine,
a horticultural research institute (2,700 volumes and 2,000 herbarium
specimens); and Mark Twain papers--11 four-drawer filing cases of
letters, manuscripts and business records, together with books from
Mark Twain's own library annotated by him, and an extensive collection
|Joseph C. Rowell
|Harold L. Leupp