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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. University Libraries


Historical Note

When the college began in 1872, V.E. Shepherd was appointed as librarian (as well as treasurer, secretary of the faculty and Board of Visitors, and to teach foreign languages). The library started with 500 volumes, which were primarily gifts from congressmen, publishers, and government agencies. Students supervised the library from 1875 until Mary Lacy was appointed as the first full-time librarian in 1903. She was followed by her sister, Ethel Lacy, from 1910-13, and then Eleanor Jones, 1913-23. After two years of acting librarians, Ralph M. Brown was appointed in 1925 and served until 1946. He was succeeded as director by Seymour Robb (1947-61), Frank Shirk (1961-70), Gerald Rudolph (1970-74), Gordon Bechanan (1974-84), Paul Gherman (1985-92), and Joanne Eustis (interim, 1992-94). Eileen Hitchingham began her term as Dean of Libraries in 1995.

The first branch library was established in 1907 in Agriculture Hall (now Price). In 1955, a new building was opened and named for Carol M. Newman, a professor of English at Virginia Tech for 38 years. At that time, two branch libraries (Agriculture and Engineering) and about twenty departmental collections closed and were integrated into the main collection. During Rudolph's tenure, two new branches were created: Geology (1972) and one in Reston, Virginia, for the Northern Virginia Graduate Program.

Found in 5 Collections and/or Records:

Beulah O. Allen Collection,

Identifier: Ms-2014-002
Abstract The Beulah O. Allen Collection contains a variety of materials from Allen's life. Her papers contain correspondence with a variety of friends and associates, primarily Lucy Lee Lancaster, the first female graduate from Virginia Tech. In addition, the collection also contains Virginia Tech Commencement programs, Cotillion Club Dance programs, resources related to the Virginia Tech Library, newspaper clippings about the construction of the new Newman Library, and a large collection of...
Dates: 1905 - 1992; Majority of material found within 1920 - 1970

Ann Heidbreder Eastman Papers,

Identifier: Ms-1991-053

The collection consists of papers concerning Eastman's work as Virginia Tech's Faculty Publishing Officer, her work as Head of the Steering Committee for the Virginia Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services in 1991, and information on funding and support for libraries in Virginia. Materials in the collection date from 1978 to 1991.

Dates: 1978 - 1991

Paul Metz Memo

Identifier: Ms-1982-020

The collection consists of a study conducted by Paul Metz that documents the use of subject collections for Faculty, Graduate students, and Undergraduate students. It includes a detailed description of the process and organization of programs used to analyze the frequency of use of library materials.

Dates: 1982

Virginia Tech University Libraries Photocopying Services Card

Identifier: Ms-2022-067

This collection contains a photocopying services card from sometime between 1980 and 2009 that could be used to pay for photocopies at Virginia Tech University Libraries.

Dates: ca. 1980s-2000s

Records of the Virginia Tech University Libraries

 Record Group
Identifier: RG-23

This collection includes minutes, correspondence, meeting notes, and more from departments, committees, and individuals in the Virginia Tech University Libraries.

Dates: 1925 - 2006