Records of the Colorado State University Libraries
Scope and Contents
The Records of the Colorado State University Libraries consists of documents dated 1891 to 2019, 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: 1891-2019
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1950-1999
- Colorado State University Libraries (Organization)
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.
158.5 linear feet (94 record cartons, 16 flat boxes)
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, 1978-2014 and undated
Series 2: Committees and organizational records, 1905-2019 and undated
Subseries 2.1: Tenure and Faculty Committee, 1967-2008 and undated
Subseries 2.2: Library Faculty Council, 1957-2019 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.
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.
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.
- Anderson, LeMoyne W. (Person)
- Baker, Charlotte Agnes, 1867-1947. (Person)
- Bush, Carmel. (Person)
- Makepeace, Laura I. 1891- (Person)
- Schmidt, Fred. (Person)
- Colorado State University. Libraries (Organization)
- Colorado Agricultural College. (Organization)
- Colorado Agricultural and Mechanical College. (Organization)
- Colorado State College. (Organization)
- 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.
- 29 August 2022: Accrual - scrapbook - added
Part of the CSU Libraries Archives & Special Collections Repository
Fort Collins Colorado 80523-1019 USA