University Archives
UC Davis Library Timeline

by John Skarstad

1908
  • Library is established in one room of the Creamery Building.
1913
  • Margaret Mayberry becomes Librarian.
1915
  • Classroom Building completed. Library occupies two rooms.
1916
  • Agnes Elizabeth Brown becomes Librarian.
1922
  • Dorothy Deming becomes Librarian.
1924
  • Library holds 1,840 volumes.
  • Nelle U. Branch becomes Librarian.
1925
  • Formal arrangement for the ordering of books on approval is established.
  • Periodicals room is opened.
  • Reserve book system is set up.
1926
  • Library cataloging changes from Dewey to Library of Congress call numbers.
1938
  • Classroom Building condemned. Library occupies five rooms. Students form human chain to move the collection to temporary quarters in the recreation building behind West Hall.
1940
  • New library/administration building is completed (current north wing).
1943
  • U.S. Army Signal Corps takes over the campus.
1948
  • First commencement ceremonies on the Davis campus held in the Library courtyard (Sunken Garden).
1950
  • Veterinary holdings transferred from UC Berkeley to Davis.
1951
  • J. Richard Blanchard becomes Librarian.
  • Microforms are made available.
  • Agricultural Economics Library is established.
1955
  • New stack addition built.
1956
  • Veterinary Medicine Library is made a branch of the library system.
1957
  • Library course in bibliographic research offered.
  • Food Technology holdings are transferred from UC Berkeley to Davis.
1958
  • C.K. Ogden Library is purchased: Davis' share includes a second folio of Shakespeare.
  • Air conditioning is installed in the main library.
1959
  • F. Hal Higgins Library of Agricultural Technology is acquired.
1961
  • 200,000th book — Lowie's Selected Papers in Anthropology by DuBois — is acquired.
1964
  • Library's east wing is added.
  • Government Documents Department is established.
1965
  • Rare books are transferred from Loan Desk to Reference Department.
  • Library Associates formed.
1966
  • 400,000th book — Principia Philosophiae by Descartes — is acquired.
  • University Archives is established.
  • Veterinary Medicine Library becomes Health Sciences Library with founding of School of Medicine.
  • Special Collections Department (rare books, archives, and the Higgins collection) is created.
  • Serials Department is formed.
  • Collection Development Department is established.
1967
  • Library's south wing is added.
  • 500,000th book — Illustrations to the Bible by William Blake — is acquired.
1969
  • Library becomes a member of the Association of Research Libraries.
1970
  • 750,000th book — Compendius Dictionary of the English Language by Noah Webster — is acquired.
  • Medical Center Library is established at UC Davis Medical Center.
1971
  • New Physical Sciences Library built.
1972
  • University Library named for Judge Peter J. Shields.
  • Remote Searching of Medline database is operational in Health Sciences Library.
1973
  • Library begins formal participation in the Mountain Valley Library System.
  • Library's first oral history is completed by Ben Madson.
1974
  • 1,000,000th book — Emil Mrak's oral history — is acquired.
1974
  • Bernard Kreissman becomes University Librarian.
1975
  • Library holds 1.2 million volumes.
1976
  • Automated circulation system is installed.
  • Library holds 1.4 million volumes.
1977
  • University of California Library Plan is presented.
  • New Health Sciences Library is opened.
  • Automated cataloging of new materials begins.
1978
  • Library holds 1.5 million volumes.
1979
  • Biological/Agricultural Sciences Reference Department is established.
  • Acquisition of Gary Snyder's papers begins.
1980
  • UC Davis becomes a member of the Research Libraries Group.
1981
  • Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center becomes part of the University Library.
  • Conservation and Preservation Department created.
1983
  • MELVYL, the on-line catalog, is made available for public use.
1984
  • Northern Regional Library Facility opens.
  • William F. McCoy becomes acting University Librarian.
  • Health Sciences Library is named for Loren D. Carlson.
1985
  • Marilyn J. Sharrow becomes University Librarian.
1986
  • 2,000,000th book — L'agriculture et maison rustique by Charles Estienne — is acquired.
1987
  • Endowment creates the Margaret B. Harrison Preservation Department.
1988
  • Ground-breaking ceremonies are held for west wing of Peter J. Shields Library.
  • Automated acquisitions system is installed.
1990
  • Library's west wing opens. Gary Snyder gives keynote address.
1992
  • Shields Library Renovation completed.
1993
  • E-mail accounts established for all staff.
1994
  • The Special Collections reading room named for J. Richard and Christine H. Blanchard.
1996
  • Cadet Hand Library at Bodega Marine Laboratory opens.
  • Gary Snyder gives the inaugural reading of Mountains and Rivers without End in the Shields Library courtyard.
  • The A.W. Noling Hurty-Peck Collection of Beverage Literature acquired.
1997
  • The Christine H. Blanchard Rudyard Kipling Collection acquired.
1999
  • Library Instruction Lab built for hands-on teaching of electronic catalog and databases.
2006
  • The Michael and Margaret B. Harrison Western Research Center moved to Shields Library.
2007
  • UC Libraries begin work on WorldCat Local pilot project, a next generation catalog interface that searches the holdings of UC Davis, the systemwide UC libraries, as well as libraries all over the world.
2008
  • UC Davis Centennial book: UC Davis Centennial book — Nuevo Y Sencillo Arte De Cocina, Reposteria Y Refrescos by Antonia Carrillo — was acquired.