Category: Library History

Lux Reaches 300,000 Downloads!

People all over the world have accessed honors projects, issues of The Lawrentian, and convocations in the six years since Lux was implemented through the library.

We have now reached 300,000 downloads!

What is this Lux? Lux is the Lawrence University institutional repository, digital home to over 4000 scholarly and creative works of our students, faculty, and staff, as well as select historical documents.

If you are looking for interesting stories from student newspapers or alumni magazines, check Lux! You will find a rich and fascinating history.

Want to peruse recent honors projects? Lux is the place for you.

Interested in reading a Harrison Award paper? Studio Art senior exhibition artwork? Look in Lux. You will find these things and many more.

We hope you enjoy and are enriched by what you find in Lux! Let us know what you think.

Founders Day 2015 @ the Mudd

January 15th, 2015, Lawrence University celebrates its 168th birthday.  Join us in the library after 10 a.m. to celebrate with us and enjoy some delicious cake!

In the meantime, here’s a little history about our beloved Mudd and the libraries that came before it:

Sam Appleton-In 1854, Amos Lawrence’s uncle-in-law, Samuel Appleton died and left $10,000 in his will for the “the increase of the Library” at Lawrence. In Uncle Sam’s honor, the library was called the “Appleton Library of Lawrence University.”

-Before 1906, the library was in Main Hall. MH interior According to the 1855 catalog, access to the library was limited to one visit and one book per week, but by 1859, the Faculty Library Committee voted that “no students except those of the Senior Class shall be allowed to go into the Library to consult books.”

-The library catalog was handwritten and listed books as they were added to the Catalogcollection. To check out a book, “On a slip of paper write the title of the book desired, the letters and number, according to the Catalogue, together with the name of the person drawing, and hand it to the Librarian, or his assistant. It would be well to put down several, in the same way, so that if the 1st be not in, the 2nd, or if the second be not there, the third may be drawn, and so on.”

Zelia -Zelia Anne Smith, class of 1882, was Lawrence’s first full-time librarian and she served in that role from 1883 to 1924. This painting of her (to the right), commissioned by alumni on her death, hangs in the University Librarian’s office.

The Carnegie -In 1905, Lawrence received a donation from Andrew Carnegie for the construction of a new library building. That building, located on the site of the current library, was torn down in 1974 to make way for the Mudd.

Highlighting Lawrence’s Architecture

The newest display on the Mudd’s first floor features photos and information about the architecture and design of Lawrence University buildings.  The buildings featured are the design of architect George Mattheis, who has worked on the construction and remodeling of campus buildings from 1971 to his retirement in 2008.

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On display is information on Briggs Hall, Björklunden Lodge, the President’s house, and the Lincoln Reading Room (which can be found in the library). There are also many photographs to view. In addition to these buildings, Mattheis was instrumental in working on the majority of prominent campus buildings- especially the Seeley G. Mudd Library!

Make sure to stop by the display and to learn more about Lawrence’s architectural history!

Update: Miss the display? Take a look at our Flickr album, George Mattheis Architecture Displays, to see detailed images of the display content.

Founders Day at the Library!

There’s been a library at Lawrence since its founding lo, these many years ago. The first Lawrence catalog from 1850-51 says this:

“A commencement for a good Library and Cabinet has been made, and 250 volumes or more secured for the former. Additions will continue to be made and the friends of the institution are hereby requested to make donations to the Library and Cabinet that they may speedily take rank with those which grace and benefit similar institutions in the East.”

Sam AppletonIn 1854, Amos Lawrence’s uncle-in-law, Samuel Appleton died and left $10,000 in his will for the “the increase of the Library” at Lawrence. In Uncle Sam’s honor, the library was called the “Appleton Library of Lawrence University.”

Before 1906, the library was in Main Hall. MH interior According to the 1855 catalog, access to the library was limited to one visit and one book per week, but by 1859, the Faculty Library Committee voted that “no students except those of the Senior Class shall be allowed to go into the Library to consult books.”

Catalog The library catalog was handwritten and listed books as they were added to the collection. To check out a book,
“On a slip of paper write the title of the book desired, the letters and number, according to the Catalogue, together with the name of the person drawing, and hand it to the Librarian, or his assistant. It would be well to put down several, in the same way, so that if the 1st be not in, the 2nd, or if the second be not there, the third may be drawn, and so on.”

Zelia Zelia Anne Smith, class of 1882, was Lawrence’s first full-time librarian and she served in that role from 1883 to 1924. This painting of her (to the right), commissioned by alumni on her death, hangs in the University Librarian’s office.

The Carnegie In 1905, Lawrence received a donation from Andrew Carnegie for the construction of a new library building. That building, located on the site of the current library, was torn down in 1974 to make way for the Mudd.

The Name Game

From the Dec. 5-20, 1908 edition of the Lawrentian:

Alas! It is “L.U.” no longer – but “L.C.” This is the way it happened. The movement for changing the name of “University” to “College” was started years ago, but nothing definite was done until the annual banquet of the Lawrence Alumni Association at Milwaukee, Nov. 13. Such a meeting was the proper place for inaugurating a peculiar movement of this kind, and a motion made by Rev. Henry Coleman, a member of Lawrence’s first graduating class, to the effect of making the proposed change was unanimously carried by the members present – as noted in the last “Lawrentian.”

On Dec. 2, was held a meeting of the trustees, at which the recommendation of the alumni was brought up and formally passed. This is a unique case among American institutions of learning, so far as our observation goes, and has been the occasion of much comment, both frivolous and serious, all over the country. A large number of the Lawrence students do not favor the change, largely, perhaps, because of the strangeness of the new name; but we consider it one of the biggest things Lawrence has ever done.

The principal reason for the new name is the fact that Lawrence is not a university, nor does she pretend to be. To rank as a university would necessitate the establishment of colleges of medicine, law, etc., under a common head. This in turn would mean an endowment of eight or ten million dollars more than is in sight at the present time. It was simply the case of a small school sailing under the big name of university. Now we have the satisfaction to know we have one of the best “colleges” in the United States.”

In the “Nation” of Nov. 19, appeared the following interesting editorial pertinent to the subject in hand:

“Lawrence University at Appleton, Wisconsin, will henceforth be known as Lawrence College if the board of trustees acts favorably upon a petition presented by the alumni association. We chronicle this isolated phenomenon in the history of American higher education, because it is astonishing in itself, but, more than that, because it is not the act of some eccentric benefactor who has hit upon this condition for lending spice to his charity. In cool blood, or at least in a state of such coolness as is conceivable at an alumni banquet, Lawrence University’s graduates have decided that Alma Mater should no longer sail under false colors. Yet the institution has an attendance of nearly 600, and a faculty of thirty-three, which, as Western universities go, is doing well; and it is reported to maintain a college of liberal arts, supplemented by ‘schools of expression, commerce, music and correspondence.'”

Lawrence remained Lawrence College from 1908 until 1964 when, upon completion of the merger with Milwaukee-Downer College, the name changed back to Lawrence University.

Happy Birthday, Miss Smith!

Zelia October 15 is the birthdate of Zelia Anne Smith, Lawrence’s first full-time librarian. Miss Smith was born in Waupaca in 1859 and graduated from Lawrence in 1882. While at Lawrence, she was president of the Lawrean literary society, senior class poetess and vice president, as well as a student assistant in the library. After graduation, Zelia taught private school in Appleton and worked as library assistant at Lawrence. In September 1883, Miss Smith became chief librarian, the first to hold the position, in which role she served until she died suddenly in May 1924.

During the nearly 42 years Miss Smith was librarian, the library moved from its home in Main Hall to the new Carnegie Library and increased in size from fewer than 10,000 volumes to almost 45,000. She was known by students for her ability to “squelch” noise in the library merely by tapping her pencil. In addition to being the sole library employee for many years, Miss Smith served as Alumni Secretary. She was held in such high regard by the alumni that they took up collections to buy her a new desk and to send her on a vacation to Europe.

At an alumni event, Dr. James Arneil, ’90, toasted Miss Smith saying, “The one enduring and endearing bond between the old university and the new college is our beloved librarian, Zelia Anne Smith. God bless her! May she live to be a hundred! She is an institution all by herself, and has made everyone of us members of her faculty, her devoted constituency.”

A portrait of Miss Smith hangs in the University Librarian’s office.