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Records of the Colorado State University Libraries

Identifier: ULIB

Scope and Contents

The Records of the Colorado State University Libraries consists of documents dated 1891 to 2023, with the bulk falling from 1950 to 1999. The collection documents events, people, and organizations associated with the libraries at Colorado State University, and contains committee and organizational minutes and memos, publications, project files, photographs and slides, scrapbooks, and papers of administrators and staff. Much of the collection is comprised of meeting minutes and agendas from varying committees associated with the library, as well as correspondence, memos, letters, and emails. There are a large number of photographs of Morgan Library, many pertaining to the flood of 1997.

Information relating to the construction and renovation of Morgan Library is detailed and there are many photographs that show the progress of construction. The accession ledgers included in Subseries 1.1 are the earliest records in the collection and show some of the original books owned by the library.


  • Creation: 1891-2023
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1999


Restrictions on Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection. However, the collection is stored off-site and advance notice is required.

Restrictions on Use

Not all of the material in the collection is in the public domain. Researchers are responsible for addressing copyright issues.


Colorado Agricultural College (now Colorado State University) established a college library soon after opening. A room in the Main Building was set aside and funding from the State Board of Agriculture and student fees were used to purchase magazines, newspapers, reports from land-grant colleges, and technical bulletins in the agricultural sciences. In March 1880, the faculty authorized the hiring of a librarian to oversee the collection. For many years, the person holding this position was not a trained librarian, but a family member of a college administrator. In 1893, Annie L. Jones bequeathed to the college a fund to purchase books. Then college president Alston Ellis used the funds to purchase general literature and books in the areas of history, travel, poetry, and biographies.

Joseph F. Daniels was hired as librarian in 1901, after serving for five years as the librarian for the State Normal School. Beginning in 1904, the library at CAC was designated a depository library for federal government publications. Daniels spent many hours gathering current and historical government publications, as well as books related to the courses offered at the college, including agriculture, engineering, domestic science, and public health. The growing library moved out of the Main Building in 1905 into its own building (currently Laurel Hall), though the veterinary sciences department laboratory was in the basement.

Charlotte Baker became the college librarian in 1910. Coming to CAC in 1906 as the assistant to Daniels, she served as librarian for thirty years. During her tenure, an addition was made to the library in 1915 doubling its space, and she helped plan a new library building on the west side of the oval during the late 1920s. Noting a lack of training for many librarians in small towns and rural areas across the state, Baker began a summer library school at CAC in 1919 and ran the successful program until 1932 when the University of Denver instituted a degree granting program.

The new library building on the Oval (now the TILT building) was completed in 1928. After years of growth, especially the rapid expansion of the college after World War II, the library was too small to support all the departments on campus. Library director James Hodgson and his successor, LeMoyne Anderson, created a network of branch libraries to ease the pressure on the main library.

Beginning in the early 1960s, planning and construction of a new centralized library was initiated. The William E. Morgan Library opened in 1965, giving the university a large enough space to close all the branch libraries and increase holdings in areas such as the liberal arts and social sciences. Soon after construction, Morgan Library was filled to capacity and branch libraries were again established: an engineering branch in 1974, a veterinary medicine branch in 1979, and an atmospheric science branch in 1984. A book storage facility was constructed in 1984 to house the ever growing collection until the expansion of the library in 1995. The expanded library would go from 150,000 to 259,000 square feet and compact shelving was installed in the basement level to increase storage capacity.

On July 28, 1997, a severe thunderstorm hit Fort Collins producing between 5 and 10 inches of rain, depending on location, in six hours. Colorado State University was heavily impacted by the resulting flood waters. Thirty buildings sustained damage, including Morgan Library. A low lying area on the west side of the library allowed water to build up against a temporary plywood construction wall. When the wooden wall collapsed water flowed into the basement of the library, rapidly rising to the 10 foot ceiling and submerging the book collection, a computer lab, staff offices, and other areas. The basement housed all of the bound periodical collection and part of the book collection, specifically social science, humanities, and science related publications, totaling approximately 430,000 volumes.

Construction activities on the library expansion and flood recovery took until 1998 to complete. Another major renovation took place in 2011, along with the creation of a new wing on the Book Storage Facility on Lake Street to ease in volume storage in the library. Currently, Morgan Library offers expansive seating for studying, a 24-7 study space, collaborative group learning spaces, computer labs, Internet video conference rooms and classrooms, quiet study areas, and offers access to over two million books and journals.


159 linear feet (94 record cartons, 15 flat boxes, 1 portfolio)

117.7 Megabytes

Language of Materials



The Records of the Colorado State University Libraries documents events, people, and organizations associated with the libraries at Colorado State University. The library at Colorado State University was established in 1880 in the Old Main building; today library services are centralized in the William E. Morgan Library, constructed in 1964. The collection includes information relating to the construction and renovation of Morgan Library, administrative correspondence, memos, letters, emails, annual reports, committee minutes and reports, and photographs documenting the history of the libraries.


The collection consists of 9 series in 94 record cartons and 15 flat boxes:

Series 1: Alphabetical files, 1891-2014 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Alphabetical files 1, 1891-1992 and undated

Subseries 1.2: Alphabetical files 2, 1966-1991

Subseries 1.3: Alphabetical files 3, 1954-2014 and undated

Subseries 1.4: Alphabetical files 3, 1966-2014 and undated

Series 2: Committees and organizational records, 1905-2023 and undated

Subseries 2.1: Tenure and Faculty Committee, 1967-2008 and undated

Subseries 2.2: Library Faculty Council, 1957-2023 and undated

Subseries 2.3: Miscellaneous Committees, 1917-2009

Subseries 2.4: Library Development Office, 1989-2005 and undated

Subseries 2.5: Research Libraries Group, 1978-1990

Subseries 2.6: Special Collections, 1964-2006

Subseries 2.7: Staff Development Committee, 1975-1989 and undated

Subseries 2.8: Library information and holdings, 1905 and 1958-2007

Subseries 2.9: Statistics and surveys, 1974-1990

Subseries 2.10: Z-Group, 1997-2008

Subseries 2.11: Catalog Department, 1921-2006

Subseries 2.12: Handbooks and guidelines, 1952-2014 and undated

Series 3: Histories, 1922-1998 and undated

Series 4: Projects, 1954-2014 and undated

Subseries 4.1: Guest scholar, 1988-1996

Subseries 4.2: Reports, 1954-2014 and undated

Subseries 4.3: Wei T'o, 1985-2009

Subseries 4.4: Art in the library, 1995-2000

Subseries 4.5: Miscellany, 1974 and undated

Series 5: Publications, 1980-2015

Series 6: Construction, 1927-2011 and undated

Subseries 6.1: Building program, 1979-1996 and undated

Subseries 6.2: Computer assisted instruction and multimedia, 1992-1994

Subseries 6.3: Depository, 1987-1996

Subseries 6.4: Library construction and occupation, 1927-1970, 2006, 2008 and undated

Subseries 6.5: New building, 1994-1999 and undated

Subseries 6.6: Phipps Contractor, 1996-1998

Subseries 6.7: Plans and reports, 1951-2006 and undated

Subseries 6.8: Shelving, 1991-1996

Subseries 6.9: Task forces, 1964-1995 and undated

Subseries 6.10: Miscellany, 1964-1998 and undated

Subseries 6.11: Stones, 1995-2001 and undated

Subseries 6.12: Studiotrope, 2010-2011

Series 7: Media and scrapbooks, 1939-2008 and undated

Subseries 7.1: Cassette tapes, 1965-1994

Subseries 7.2: Compact discs, 1997-2004 and undated

Subseries 7.3: Floppy disks, 1994-2000 and undated

Subseries 7.4: Photographs, 1976-2001 and undated

Subseries 7.5: Preview CSU, 1971-1982

Subseries 7.6: Reel-to-reel tapes, 1961-1976 and undated

Subseries 7.7: Scrapbooks, 1939-1964; 1995-c.2002 and undated

Subseries 7.8: Miscellany, 2007-2008 and undated

Series 8: Administrators and librarians, 1913-2007 and undated

Subseries 8.1: LeMoyne Anderson, 1950-1981 and undated

Subseries 8.2: Charlotte Baker, 1912-1927 and undated

Subseries 8.3: Carmel Bush, 1979-2007

Subseries 8.4: Douglas J. Ernest, 1943-2007 and undated

Subseries 8.5: Laura Makepeace, 1910-1969 and undated

Subseries 8.6: Fred Schmidt, 1976-1992 and undated

Subseries 8.7: Miscellany, 1915-2001 and undated

Subseries 8.8: Irene Godden, 1979-1999 and undated

Series 9: 2020 accrual, 1969-2016 and undated


The Records of the Colorado State University Libraries was transferred at various times from individual library employees and departments. Transfers are ongoing.

Online Materials

Some materials have been scanned and are available through the Colorado State University Libraries website. In the electronic version of this document, direct links appear in context. Later digital objects, specifically Library Faculty Council minutes from 2005 to the present, are available by searching the collection in Mountain Scholar.

Related Collections

Records of the Library Flood, University Archive, Archives and Special Collections, Colorado State University.


Processing was originally completed in August 1994 by Andrea E. Russo. Additional materials were received in June 1995 and October 1996. The remainder of the collection was processed in May 2015 by Sarah Lillis, although accruals to the collection continue and are placed in the appropriate series. A large accrual in 2020 was processed as a separate series. Documents were rehoused in acid-free folders and boxes. All paperclips, metal fasteners except paperclips, and rubber bands were removed. With few exceptions, documents were taken out of binders and some comb bindings were removed for space reasons. Photographs, slides, and negatives were sleeved in archival pages and then housed in archival folders.

Guide to the Records of Colorado State University Libraries
Edited Full Draft
Prepared by Sarah Lillis
Copyright 2015
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository

Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA