Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. University Libraries. | Southern Illinois University Special Collections Research Center
In 1874 when Southern Illinois Normal University was established, the Library was located in the first Old Main building, called "Old Normal." It was administered by Granville Foster, who taught courses in addition to serving as Librarian. After Old Normal burned, the library was moved into a temporary Main building, then into the new Main building (Old Main) when that building was completed in 1867. In 1896 the Library moved again, this time to Altgeld Hall. Wheeler Library, completed in 1904, was the first separate library building.
The library was administered by "head librarians" until 1937, when Howard E. Bosley was appointed Director of the Library. He was succeeded in 1949 by Robert Muller. In 1949, the library was organized into two units: Public Services and Technical Services. Elizabeth Opal Stone became Assistant Director for Public Services, and Harry Dewey was made Assistant Director for Technical Services. Public Services included Circulation, Reference, the Education and Psychology section, the University School Library, and the Tilton-Lincoln Collection. Technical Services included Cataloging, Serials, and the Order Department. The Textbook Rental Service was put under library administration in 1953, as was Audio-Visual Aids.
Dr. Ralph McCoy was appointed Director of Libraries in the summer of 1954, and assumed office in February, 1955. A new library building, Morris Library, opened in January, 1956. The library building was designed for division by subject area. Accordingly, Public Services was reorganized into Education, Humanities, Science, Social Science, University School Branch, Vocational Technical School Branch, Circulation, and the Textbook Service. University Libraries also maintained branches at the Alton and East St. Louis Residence Centers.
Director Ralph McCoy was renamed Dean of Library Affairs in 1971. He retired in 1976, and Dr. Kenneth Peterson succeeded him as Dean.
The University Library operates as a single unit responsible to the Vice-President for Academic Affairs and Research. University Libraries no longer maintains branches at Alton or East St. Louis, and the University School and Vocational Technical Institute libraries no longer exist. The Ulysses S. Grant Association, and the Center for Dewey Studies, originally under the supervision of Research and Projects, was transferred to library administration in July, 1971. The former Public Service Division and Technical Services were combined under Library Services. Interlibrary Loan and the Undergraduate Library were also part of this division. Other divisions within Library Affairs were Special Collections and Learning Resources. Prior to 1972, Special Collections was a part of Humanities. Documents and Archives were part of Social Sciences, and Instructional Materials was part of the Education Library. The Special Collections Room opened April 19, 1956, as part of the Humanities Division in the new Morris Library. In March, 1972, Rare Books and Archives were combined to form a separate unit, Special Collections.
Learning Resources, formerly Audio-Visual Aids/Instructional Aids, which had been set up in the late 1940's, was made an agency of the Library in the revised 1953 Statutes of the Board of Trustees. Donald Ingli was appointed Director. In 1956, the Audio-Visual Aids instructional department and the Library service department (which had been established in June, 1951 to develop course offerings in library curriculum) were combined to form an Instructional Aids Department in the College of Education. Instructional Aids was retitled Instructional Materials, and became part of the Education and Psychology Library. Non-text instructional aids then became part of Learning Resources. Learning Resources incorporated a media center, and Instructional Design and Evaluation. Learning Resources was dissolved (pending approval of Illinois Board of Higher Education,) by action of the Board of Trustees in November, 1992.