Lee Ann Eades
Director's Office of the Libraries Records
Eastern Kentucky University ArchivesRichmond, Kentucky 40475-3102
This collection is open for research.
[Identification of item], Records of the Director's Office of the Libraries, 1907-1992, University Archives, Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond.
The Eastern Library was born nearly sixty years ago when, on June 4, 1907, less than five months after the doors of Eastern Kentucky State Normal School were opened, President Ruric Nevel Roark placed a collection of 300 books in an old building that was used to store baled hay.
Upon being named first president of Eastern in 1906, Roark found in Richmond a campus consisting of twenty-three and one-half acres, two brick buildings--University Building, a stately landmark which still serves as a classroom building, and old Memorial Hall, a men's dormitory, which has been razed--and a frame gymnasium. An old brick building, the Preparatory School Building, which had been deeded to Walters Collegiate Institute by Central University and was rented to a private family and used to store hay, was rented by President Roark as the first library. It stood directly in front of what is now the Buchanan Little Theatre in Keen Johnson Student Union Building and near the northeast corner of the present Crabbe Library.
Miss Ada Barter, who held a library science degree from the University of Illinois, was hired as the first librarian at a salary of $40 a month. Thus, began the Eastern library.
Although a modest start, the Eastern Library, nonetheless, was begun before the A & M College (now the University of Kentucky) had a central library. The library occupied one large room in the old Prep School Building. A pot-bellied stove in the center of the room provided the only heat, and it was the responsibility of the librarian to keep the fire going. Window space provided natural light by day. Four light bulbs suspended from the ceiling did not provide enough light for the library to remain open at night. There was no water or other conveniences in the building. Furniture included four tables and some wood-bottom chairs and bookcases. One piece -- an ornate, solid oak table -- is still preserved in the Kentucky Room.
On March 15, 1907, the Board of Regents made its first library appropriation -- $500. In 1909 the librarian was requested to purchase additional books, the cost not to exceed $200.
The year 1918 was significant in the history of the Eastern Library. It was then that the first Library Committee was appointed: Dr. E.C. McDougle, dean, Education; Dr. James D. Bruner, English; Dr. Wren J. Grinstead, Latin; Mr. Charles A. Keith, History; Mr. R.A. Edwards, Training School; and President Thomas Jackson Coates, third president, ex-officio. It was also during this year that the first definite policies regarding expansion of the library were made. An emergency fund of $1,000 was appropriated. The budget for 1919 was increased to $2,500 and there since have been steadily increasing annual appropriations for the purchase of books.
In the fall of 1918, around Thanksgiving, the library was moved from the Preparatory School Building into the new Cammack Building, occupying two large rooms, with small rooms on either end, on the second floor.
It was moved again in the summer of 1924 upon completion of a new building constructed especially to serve as a library -- the John Grant Crabbe Library, named in honor of Eastern's second president. Cost of the two- story building, designed to accommodate 200 students, was $55,342. It contained 16 fireproof rooms. The library holdings had grown from the original 300 to 16,854.
In 1935, under the administration of President Herman Lee Donovan, an addition costing nearly twice as much as the original structure was completed. The original John Grant Crabbe Library and this addition served Eastern's students -- from 811 enrolled in 1935 to 6,949 in 1965 -- until work began on a sprawling new addition. Serving as temporary quarters during the 19-month construction period were the first floor of the Bert Combs Building and the basement of Case Hall, a women's dormitory. The new addition nearly quadrupled the library's space from 38,000 square feet to 147,780 square feet. The vast increase in size was necessary to accommodate large enrollment increases as Eastern's status moved from that of a college to a university.
The first library policies were formulated by Miss Mary Estelle Reid, Eastern's second librarian, who served from 1912 to 1929. She wrote, in part:
A most essential factor in the life of Eastern State Teachers College is its library. It contributes to the efficiency of every department of instruction. It is a place where every member of the faculty and every student, to the smallest pupil in the Training School, may come for information and for recreational reading... The library is not a mere adjunct to the school, but an integral part of the educational system... Real students are no longer satisfied to follow mere textbooks in the investigation of a subject... The library reflects in its collection and service the aims of the institution of which it is a part, its development being influenced by that of the school, which in turn is dependent upon the development of the library...
The third librarian was Miss Mary Floyd, who was appointed by President Donovan upon the death of Miss Reid in 1929. It was during Miss Floyd's tenure as librarian that the valuable John Wilson Townsend Collection was secured for the Kentucky Room of the library.
Upon Miss Floyd's retirement in 1957, Mrs. Lucile Whitehead was named acting librarian, a position she held for one semester. In the summer of 1957, Dick M. Allen was named permanent successor of Miss Floyd. Ernest W. Weyhrauch, who had served as education librarian in the Indiana University libraries complex, was appointed director of libraries December 1, 1966.
In addition to the growth of the book collection (194,000 to 858,000 volumes), several other developments occurred at Crabbe Library during Dean Weyhrauch's tenure. In 1969, the Government Documents Section was moved to the previously empty fourth floor of the library. That same year, the Law Library was created in conjunction with the Madison County Bar Association; and the Music Library, located in the Foster Building, became the first branch library. The Law Enforcement Library in the Stratton Building became the second branch library in 1975.
Also in 1975 Crabbe Library joined the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). This decision ultimately led to changing the Library's classification system from Dewey Decimal to that of the Library of Congress. Consequently, Crabbe Library was the first library in Kentucky to convert its entire holdings to a LC MARC format database and to have its entire collection classified according to the LC system. In 1985 an annual Book Fest was instituted to honor campus authors and local and regional writers.
When Dean Weyhrauch retired in 1991, he was replaced by Dr. Marcia Myers in 1992. During the 1991-1992 academic year, Mr. Ken Barksdale served as acting director of libraries. Significant changes have occurred during Myers's leadership. In 1990 the Kentucky General Assembly appropriated $11.7 million for expansion of Crabbe Library. By late 1994 the new 70,000-square foot expansion, which also included a complete renovation of the University Building and its incorporation into the Crabbe Library, had been completed. In addition, the library began automating its services in 1993 with the introduction of an online public access catalog. A $1.5 million private fund-raising campaign to assist in refurbishing the old part of Crabbe Library, purchasing new equipment, and establishing a book endowment was initiated in 1994. The new Crabbe Library is poised to meet the challenges of the information revolution in the 21st century.
The majority of the Library Director's Office Records cover the years from 1966. For earlier information on the history of the library, consult the president's office records.
The Accession Series contains one box of four bound volumes containing the accession records for the Crabbe Library from 1907 through 1924. The series is arranged in chronological order. This series tracks book purchases, loses, and discontinuations.
The Budget Series includes two boxes of material arranged in chronological order from 1966 to 1992. The annual budgets from each section of the library for the inclusive years are contained in this series.
The Library Organization Series contains five boxes of materials covering the years 1952-1992. The material is arranged in alphabetical order for each folder and chronological order within each folder. This series deals with each section of the library and contains general records dealing with the section. The Special Collections section of this series contains letters regarding such historical personalities as Daniel Boone, Cassius Clay, and the Townsends.
The Personnel Series contains four boxes of records arranged in alphabetical and chronological order. The series covers the years 1962- 1991 and includes a complete record of all library employees during Ernest Weyhrauch's tenure as Dean of Libraries.
The report series contains two boxes of materials arranged in chronological order. This series houses the annual report on library activities from the years 1965-1991.
The Statistics Series contains one box of materials arranged in chronological order. This series contains statistical analysis of library usage for the years 1960 through 1985.
The Subject Series contains twelve boxes of materials arranged in alphabetical, chronological order. The material contains a diverse selection of records including such items as general office correspondence, security problems, standing committees, and student affairs.
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