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KSU Libraries records

Special Collections and Archives

KSU Libraries records

Special Collections and Archives

KSU Libraries records

Kent State University Libraries and Media Services records

Finding Aid

Prepared by Barbara Bass, July 20, 2005; Last Updated: April 2024

Inclusive Dates: 1914-2024
Extent: 73.75 cubic feet (63 record storage boxes, 5 half-size record storage boxes, 1 oversized flat box, 1 textile box, 2 large audio boxes, 1 LP, 1 small audio box, 1 video box, 2 CD boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Physical Location: 11th floor, map case

Historical Note

The library for Kent State Normal School opened on May 19, 1913 in Merrill Hall. The school's first librarian, Margaret Dunbar, and her sister, assistant librarian Isabelle Dunbar, were charged with cataloging and making available the library's initial collection of 3,680 volumes which the school had acquired that same year. In the fall of 1914, the library was relocated to the new Administration Building where it remained until 1929 when a new library building was dedicated--Rockwell Hall. In 1958, an addition to Rockwell was completed that expanded its stacks space from 160,000-volume capacity to 550,000. Throughout the 1960s, as the University grew from a college to a university granting graduate degrees and focused on research activities, the need for expanded library collections and facilities became more acute. In 1962, the library was designated as a government documents repository. It was also during this decade that many of the subject-based branch libraries were established. In 1970 a new, 12-story library building was dedicated. In 1974, the KSU Libraries became members of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Today, Libraries and Media Services is made up of fourteen libraries in an eight-campus library system, providing university users access to a collection that includes both print and online resources numbering over 2.6 million volumes. It also includes media service departments including Teleproductions, Design Solutions, and Audio-Visual Services.

Scope and Content

This collection contains records produced by and about Libraries and Media Services at Kent State University (at present referred to as University Libraries). Included are annual reports, Deans' and Directors' files, governance and other committee records, subject files, audio-visual materials, and artifacts. The bulk of the material dates from 1966-1997. Material is added to this collection on a continual basis.


The Libraries and Media Services Records have been organized into the following series and sub-series. The series list links to more detailed finding aids for materials within each series.

Series 1: Artifacts

Series 2: Audio-Visual Materials, 1950-2006 (Includes audio recordings, films, photographs and other audio-visuals created by and about Libraries and Media Services.)

Series 3: Committees

Series 4: Directors' / Deans' Files, 1935-2003

Series 5: Facilities Files, 1966-2008

Series 6: Faculty Meetings, Minutes, 1967-2010

Series 7: Friends of the Libraries, Records, 1971-2005

Series 8: Oversized Material

  • Album made for John Cotton Dana Library Public Relations Award, 1993-1994
  • John Cotton Dana Publicity Award, 1947
    Physical Location: This item is oversized and is stored in the map case.
  • Poster, Special Collections and Archives 25th Anniversary, September 1993-April 1994
    Physical Location: This item is oversized and is stored in the map case.
  • Poster, The University and the Community of Learning Commager speech, 1971
    Physical Location: This item is oversized and is stored in the map case.

Series 9: Publications

Series 10: Reports

Series 11: Robert Lewis Dinner, Files, 1991-1998

Series 12: Subject Files, 1940-2015 (This series includes files on a wide range of subjects. Materials in this series may be separated into new series as additional material is acquired. At present, it includes a variety of department and unit files as well as policies, events files, budget information, and faculty and staff files.)

Series 13: Television Services / Teleproductions, 1981-1989