The Library 155
102,055; the number of students 1937-38, not including summer
school students, was 976.
In this period, but chiefly since 1919, the Library has had a more
liberal support by the Trustees. A retrospect will reveal how meager
that support had previously been. As we have seen above the Library
when first taken over by the faculty was supported only by donations
of individuals and the fees, $4.00 a year, from each student, and fines,
an average total of not more than five hundred dollars a year. Out of
this sum were paid the salaries of the student librarians, $150 a year,
leaving less than $350 a year out of which to pay other necessary
expenses, such as those for chandeliers, stoves, carpets, chairs and
tables, while any remainder was to go for books and periodicals.15 But
for many years, even with this meager support, the College had a
library which justified the claim of the faculty that it compared
"favorably with that of any similar institution in the South."
15 Minutes of the Faculty, January 2, 1880. The money realized from library fees,
says the catalogue of 1878-79, will be "sacredly devoted to its improvement and
For the University of North Carolina Library at this period see Battle: History
of the University of North Carolina, II, 278, 356. In 1884 the visiting committee of
the Trustees made a rather amusing report on the University library proper: "The
University Library," they said, "numbers nine thousand volumes and two thousand
pamphlets. Many of these books are exceedingly rare and valuable, but are so
arranged as to be comparatively useless for consultation. Some of them are on
shelves twelve or fifteen feet from the floor. With nothing but a frail ladder to aid
one in reaching them, the sublime ascent is likely to end in a ridiculous fall. For
practical purposes these books might as well be with Alexander Selkirk on the
Island of Juan Fernandez 'They are out of humanity's reach'." However, at the time a
movement was started which resulted in the consolidation of the three libraries, that
of the University and those of the two literary societies, which was effected in
March, 1886, seven years after similar action at Wake Forest. This gave the
university a library, including duplicates, of about twenty-five thousand volumes.
For several years the two societies kept their books separate, those of the Di Society
occupying one side of the building pressed into service and those of the Phi Society
occupying the other. The amount available for books was about $500 a year. For the
library of Davidson College see the account in Miss C. R. Shaw's Davidson
College, pp. 216ff. The libraries of the societies and the College were consolidated
in 1886, the first mention of library fees was in 1900-01, four dollars a year. "In the
summer of 1907 a whole-time Librarian (Cornelia R. Shaw) was secured, but the
duties of Registrar were soon added and this arrangement continued until 1921." In
1909, Mr. Andrew
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