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Berkeley: Libraries

Library Origins
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.

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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.

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Branch Libraries
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.

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University Librarians
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.

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The 1960s
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.

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Special Collections
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 volume collection.

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 of criticism.

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Librarians

Joseph C. Rowell 1875-1919
Harold L. Leupp 1919-1945
Donald Coney 1945

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