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University of Mount Union Library

 

Mount Union was founded in 1846 as a teacher preparation school affiliated with the Methodist Church.  In 1889 the collections of several college literary societies were merged to form the first college library collection which was housed on the main floor and basement of Chapman Hall, the original college building which is still in use today.  Mount Union’s founder, Orville Nelson Hartshorn, took turns with James Alpheus Brush, one of the college’s first professors, to serve as librarian in alternating years.  James A. Brush’s son, Louis H. Brush, was an Ohio newspaper magnate who established an endowment in his father’s memory which still generates a large portion of our book budget.

In 1903 electric lights were installed and by the 1920’s several trained staff members were hired.  In 1920 Robert E. Stauffer became the first professional librarian.  In 1926 the collection was reclassified in the Dewey Decimal System and a full catalog was created.  By 1930 the Library contained 32,000 books, 25,000 documents and 1,000 journals.  

In 1950 the first library building was constructed at a cost of $600,000.  It offered the capacity for 97,000 volumes and included classrooms, an audio-visual room, several lounges and conference rooms.  Student volunteers helped move 65,000 volumes from Chapman Hall to the new building.  The new library also included the Wagner Lounge and Shilts Rare Book Room which originally served as the faculty lounge, it now houses rare book collections including the Samuel Austin English Bible Collection and the Sutherin Classical Collection.  The Carr Historical Room houses the archives of the College as well as materials on the history of the college and the local community.  In 1975 a 13,000 square foot addition was added at a cost of $850,000. In 1983 the library joined OCLC.  During this period,  N. Yost Osborne served as Head Librarian and College Historian from 1955 to 1985

In 2000, the Kolenbrander Harter Information Center was constructed at a cost of $13 million.  This complex includes both the original library and a large addition which includes an expanded library facility, faculty offices, classrooms, and the IT department.  More than 65,000 square feet of library space is now available to provide space for 200,000 books, 350,000 government documents, and 500 current journals.  It also includes 450 study seats, 6 group study rooms, 4 computer labs, 40 public computers,  and  the Center for Writing and Oral Communication.  The library’s 15 staff members provide a full range of services and access to almost 200 databases, over 50,000 electronic journals, and 80,000 electronic books.

Chapman Hall

Chapman Hall, 1889

 

 

Library

Library, 1950

 

 

KHIC

KHIC, 2000