Library Timeline, 1921-1940

1921

  • Henry Kendall College merges with the proposed Robert McFarlin Methodist College to become Tulsa University.

1922

  • The 1922 Bulletin reports that the library is located on the second floor of the Administration building contains 6400 volumes plus large number of pamphlets and government publications; the Dwight von Thurn Memorial Shelf has been recently given and the S.V. Fait Library has been acquired through the generosity of the Hattie Graybill Missionary Society of the First Presbyterian Church of Tulsa.

1923

  • Mrs. Margaret Willson is the university's librarian.
  • To supplement the university's library holdings, the students and faculty use the books in the Carnegie Public Library, which contains about 60,000 volumes and is growing rapidly.

1924

  • Lawrence S. McLeod is the university's librarian.
  • The library now contains 7000 volumes.

1925

  • The library now contains 9000 volumes.
  • Gifts within last year included Foster Y.M.C.A. Shelf of Books (inspirational), Alpha Gamma Donation of Books (classical and modern drama), Delta Chi Omega gift (classical and modern fiction), and the Theta Beta Phi Book Collection (historical).

1926

  • Gertrude Richards is the university's librarian.
  • The Collegian reports that $1400 a year has been allocated for purchase of books.
  • Bonnie Todd is the university's first student librarian.
  • The library now contains 8000 volumes.
  • Margaret Radcliffe Memorial has been given by Sigma Alpha Iota. Gifts are presented to the library from Alice Robertson, A.B. Patterson, Sam Renberg, George Ratcliffe, A.W. Hurley, W.R. Holway, Mr. and Mrs. J.C. Chatfield, Mrs. David R. Miller, Mrs. Lola Covington, Mrs. Mona Waters, Mr. Forrest Fields, Glenn Beaty, Robert McBirney, Mrs. Harold Rowe, E.N. Holrnes, Miss Emma McClure, Claude Brownfield, the Alumni Association, and the University Guild.

1927

  • The Collegian reports that the library has begun cataloging the library's holdings using the Dewey Decimel System, and the work is progressing rapidly.

1928

  • The library now contains 10,000 volumes.
  • Mary D. Nettles is the university's librarian.

1929

  • A.G. Oliphant buys Solon Shedd 8000 volume geology collection for the library. This gift forces the University to plan for a dedicated library building.

January

  • Mr. and Mrs. Robert M. and Ida McFarlin are announced to be the previously anonymous donors of the proposed Library Building. The building is expected to cost $175,000 and the plans are currently being drawn up.
  • The library is designated a Government Depository Library (however, see 1933).

April

  • The McFarlin Family promises $275,000 to furnish the library.
  • The building contract is awarded to W. S. Bellows of Oklahoma City.
  • The library is now described as having four wings and a four story tower. One of the wings promised to be a luxuriously furnished “browsing room” with leather upholstered rocking chairs and settees as well as artistically painted walls and individual round tables. It will also have a real log burning fireplace inscribed with Emily Dickinson saying “There is no Frigate like a book to take us lands away”.

May

  • A golden shovel was used to break ground for the new McFarlin Library. The first dirt was turned by J. A. Hull, Chairman of the Board of Trustees.
  • The library is the first of 3 buildings: McFarlin Library, Tyrrell Hall and Phillips Hall.
  • Miss Alice M. Robertson, a member of the original Kendall College faculty who later served as Postmistress of Muskogee and was the second women elected to the U. S. Congress, is the speaker at the groundbreaking.

June

  • It is announced that the library will hold 180,000 volumes and the basement will have 1000 lockers to hold the property of individual students.
  • 70% of the outer walls will be constructed of Tennessee stone. Arkansas stone will make up the remaining 30 percent. Green slate from Vermont will also be used.

July

  • Basement floors are completed and outer walls are under construction. Fancy trimming stone for the basement windows is being shipped in from Bedford, Indiana.
  • Work begins on the first floor

August

  • The second floor of the tower is laid and work begins on the second floor south wing.
  • The building is being built of standing stone with no steel framework. Skilled masons are very difficult to find and the building is taking longer to construct than originally expected.
  • Mrs. Mary Nettles, Head Librarian, is studying at the library school at the University of Virginia. The Assistant Librarian, Miss Bonnie Todd, is studying at Simpson Library School in Boston.

September

  • The Junior class donates money for the purchase of books for the library.

October

  • The YWCA lounge has been completely furnished.

November

  • Collegian: basement of new building will contain vault for 6,000 rare books and documents. South basement entrance is labeled "Girls", north "Boys", because these rooms were used as meeting spaces for the YWCA and YMCA clubs. Per BGH, this use had lapsed by 1931. The two room were separated by thick walls (to get from one to the other required a trip outdoors around the building). The center part of the building, under the tower, was likely library space.

December

  • Local newspapers claim that the library should be open by February 1, 1930.

1930

  • A museum space is established on the 2nd floor, north (now the Student Study), to showcase Alice Robertson's Native American artifacts. More collections were acquired to further populate the museum. Among these were the Ellis Clark Soper Collection, the Bright Roddy Collection (of Navajo weaving and beadwork), and the James Wolfe Collection of artifacts from Borneo.

April

  • McFarlin Library is “most nearly finished” of the three buildings going up.

May

  • Students who have not paid their library fines are not permitted to take their final examinations.

June

  • McFarlin Library is dedicated June 1, 1930. Tyrrell Hall and Phillips Hall are also dedicated at this time.
  • All books in the new building have been classified.

July

  • Edna M. Brown is named acting librarian. Miss Fern Antel will act as her assistant.

August

  • The three new buildings are put into use for summer classes.

September

  • Collegian: Edna M. Brown, Acting Librarian; Oscar W. Hoop, new Registrar.

October

  • The library is not open during the dinner hour or on Saturday or Sunday afternoons.

December

  • John Rogers donates one hundred volumes of modern fiction to the library.

1931

  • Alice Mary Robertson bequeaths her library and family papers to TU.
  • The first floor North Reading Room is designated for Engineers and the South room is for Arts and Sciences students.
  • During the year, over 1200 volumes are given to the library by 36 individuals and organizations.

April

  • Collegian: Grant Foreman gives a 600 volume law library. Browsing Room is open only 1 to 4 p.m. Dean Langenheim asks that library "be held open between the hours of 5:00 and 7:00P.M."

December

  • Collegian: "See the Museum Week" began at noon, December 14: "first opportunity to visit one of the greatest collections of Oklahoma relics in existence." The University of Tulsa museum, which is housed in the north wing on the second floor of McFarlin Library, opens to the public. The museum contains items representing the American Indians and the headhunters of Borneo. Former TU graduate, Mrs. Kathryn Armstrong is librarian. In order that "students may have access to newer and more popular books, a rental shelf will be opened" with a charge of five cents a week to faculty and students; "as soon as a book has paid for itself, it will be removed to the reserve shelf".

1932

  • 100 students are on the library’s “black list” because of fines and books still out, so they can’t take exams.
  • 1,314 new books are catalogued to bring the library total to 24,301 volumes. 19,439 books were issued for home use and 14, 042 were used in the library.

January

  • Mary Kathryn Armstrong, librarian; Bonnie Todd and Fern Antel, Assistant Librarians; [McLeod is dean of arts & sciences as well as professor of psychology.]

November

  • Collegian: TU library receives $10,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation.

1933

January

  • More than 25,000 volumes. Library is official depository for all publications of the Federal Government. Library adds more than a thousand of the best books on the subjects taught as they come from the press each year. $10,000 grant from Carnegie Corporation in 1932. Kayser German Collection given by C.E. Kayser of Tulsa.

April

  • Collegian: YWCA lounge refurbished with six beds, a mirror, study facilities, chairs and a cabinet. Second "See the Museum" week reports mention over 15,000 articles on display: Ellis Soper, Bright Roddy, Wolfe Collection of Borneo trophies, Alice Robertson collection, and the Pennet pictures depicting Mexican life, loaned by the Sinclair Petroleum Corp.

September

  • Collegian: new hours: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m,. M-F, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday; Browsing Room open 11 to 4 p.m. rather than 12 to 3 as formerly. Armstrong introduces lectures on library use as part of freshman orientation.

1934

  • The libraries summer hours are 8:30 – 3:30pm Monday through Friday and 8:30 to 12:30 pm on Saturday.
  • Emily Phelps joins the library as Assistant Librarian and Head of Circulation.
  • Library posts regulations that outline the fees for the rental collection. You may check out a book for one week for a nickel.
  • The letters and newspapers of the Alice Robertson Collection are catalogued.

January

  • ditto staff (with Bonnie Todd = Bonnie Brown). Harlan I. Smith Anthropology and Archaeology Collection purchased for $500 from library funds.

November

  • Collegian: Alice Robertson letters and newspapers, bequeathed five years earlier, being organized. by students working in the library.

December

  • Collegian: letter of complaint: "The students are watched like a pack of thieves... some of those in charge carry their duties and authority to extremes". Previous year south reading room had been silent, north room for "students who wanted to study in collaboration with someone else."

1935

  • McFarlin Library celebrates the centennial of printing in Oklahoma with a display.
  • Between 150 and 200 books are added to the Browsing Room.

January

  • ditto staff (with Antel replaced by Emily Phelps). 27,000 volumes and 15,000 documents.
  • Collegian: drinking fountains out of order.

1936

  • ditto staff (with Phelps replaced by J.R. Foster). 31,000 volumes, 15,000 documents, 205 current periodicals. Among collections: "Alice Robertson Collection of Oklahoma documents and publications". John Rogers "has also made substantial provision for additions to the Library..."

April

  • World: article on restocking of Browsing Room with popular literature; picture of room.

1937

  • Armstrong librarian. 43,376 catalogued volumes, 10,580 uncatalogued documents, more than 200 periodicals.
  • Elizabeth Hunt becomes the new Head Librarian. Bonnie Brown is the new Assistant.
  • The museum in the library closes.

1938

  • The library circulates a notice that absolute quiet is to be imposed in all reading rooms. Also, eating, drinking, sleeping, sitting or lying on the tables is prohibited. “Normal library decorum” is to be expected.
  • Seniors donate two streetlights for the front of McFarlin.

January

  • Collegian: Elizabeth Hale Hunt, librarian. The library collection is 49,106 catalogued volumes. $10,000 Carnegie grant "was expended during the period 1933-1936 in systematically supplementing and rounding out the collections."

1939

February

  • Collegian: Library hours extended. New closing hours are Monday through Thursday the library is open until 10:00 pm. On Fridays, it closes at 8 pm.
  • New equipment is added to the library including 2 typewriters (one for foreign languages), a book press, a heavy stapling machine, 2 book cabinets, a paper cutter, and a system of pigeonholes for readers guides. New flexifile equipment is being used for filing pamphlets that couldn’t otherwise be classified.
  • 51,099 cataloged volumes, ''a large number of pamphlets and government documents, and files of both bound and unbound periodicals." 275 periodicals received.