Drake Library - Prior to 1937

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Originally submitted by Bethany Jackson on October 20, 2011, Drake University

Drake University

After planning an administration building (now “Old Main”) that included dormitory rooms, a kitchen, a dining hall, a chapel, offices, and classrooms, Drake University officially opened on September 20, 1881. The library at Drake University was also located in the administrative building and was well-furnished in 1881, containing many books, newspapers, and magazines. Approximately two hundred new volumes were added each year to the growing library.[4] Lyman S. Bottenfield was in control of the library at Drake University from the beginning in 1881 until 1887. When librarians were needed, the Chancellor of Drake University’s daughters were chosen to fill these positions. During the time when the Chancellor was in charge, the book collection was scarce. The medical school and law school didn’t have many resources to use in the library. Bottenfield served in the library from 1887 to 1893, and then he dedicated his life to teaching English literature.[5] The Chancellor’s three daughters, Henrietta D. Carpenter, Jennie Carpenter, and Mary Adelaide Carpenter were appointed the librarians until 1897. Henrietta was the librarian from 1887 until 1890, when her sister, Jennie took over the library and continued until 1897, and then Mary was selected as the librarian and Dean of Women.[6] The books that were in the library in 1881 were a pool of different collections that numerous people had donated. General Drake and A.I. Hobbs had added many different sources to this assortment of resources. In the library, maps, charts, and other useful equipment along with books were found. B.O. Aylesworth, the President of the University at the time, made his two thousand volume collection available to students.[7] Although Drake University’s library was lesser than others, it didn’t go without recognition. In 1898 the library received the title, The Library of the World’s Best Literature, which was made possible only by Governor Drake’s generous donation. Another award received was the English Men of Letters.[8]

The New Library

By the beginning of the century the library had been moved to the old chapel in the main administration building of the University. The first librarian for this new location was May Sedgwick. Although Drake had a growing library, the city of Des Moines was building a new public library and the facility would be available to Drake students, as well as the community of Des Moines. In 1904, new library hours were set in attempt to accommodate students’ studies more. The library was open from 8:00a.m. to 12:30p.m, 1:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. and on Saturday mornings from 8a.m. to 12:00p.m. The library contained 8,451 volumes and 551 of those had been added during the 1904-1905 school year. The total amount of money spent on books for the school year of 1904-1905 was $337.81; $114.00 of that had been spent on the Law Library alone. The total for salaries for that school year came to $665.00. During the 1904-1905 school year, Drake University spent $158,815 on total expenses. The library only totaled $1,722 of that. A this time, only 1219 students were enrolled at Drake.[9]

Also see Cowles Library for information about the building of the university's library.

References

1)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 2)Schachmurove, Y. (2011, June 1). A historical overview of financial crises in the United States. Pozna////ń University of Economics Review, 11 ( 1)//. Retrieved from http:''ehis.ebscohost.com/eds/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=ca1982d8-ff48-46a9-9e1d-4b2ce4b46774@sessionmgr110&vid=3&hid=101 3)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 4)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 5)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 6)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 7)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 8)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA. 9)Slavens, T. P. (1962). A History of the Drake University Libraries. (Unpublished Master of Arts dissertation). Drake University, Des Moines, IA.