A Brief Library History

Revised layout for the Tyler State College library.

Revised layout for the Tyler State College library.

Processing of the Library Records collection began with four bankers boxes full of documents concerning the formation and development of the University Library. Many of the documents came from the personal files of University Librarian Olene Harned, a testament to her tremendous efforts in the establishment, operation, and improvement of the library.

The University Library has moved around quite a bit since opening in 1973. In the early days, Tyler State College was located in the Roberts Junior High School building on East Berta Street with the library housed in the gymnasium. While public services and the growing library collection filled the gym, technical services found a home in the locker rooms. Significant book accessions occurred in 1974 with the purchase of the Seton Hall and Kraus collections.

Tyler State College students at work in the library.

Tyler State College students at work in the library.

While technical services worked diligently to process new arrivals, preliminary planning and clearing of land was underway at the permanent campus site on Old Omen Road. In 1976 the library collection and public services moved to the second floor of the new University Student Center. Three years later technical services moved to the new campus, finding refuge in the science building.

The Student Center hosted the library temporarily as construction plans for the current library building advanced under the guidance of Olene Harned. During the Christmas break of 1980, public services, technical services, and the library collection moved into the new library building across campus. In October 1982 the library building was dedicated as the Robert R. Muntz Library. In 1991 renovations of the fourth floor concluded and periodicals were transferred from the second floor.

In 1990, University President George F. Hamm proposed the establishment of a University Archives. Under the guidance of James Smallwood a group of graduate students began compiling the history of the university by interviewing early faculty, administration, and donors. In 1991 the nascent archive began a project of preserving the records and history of the United States District Court System, Eastern District of Texas. This project marked the beginning of the University Archives as a repository for non-university records. The University Archives received its first full-time archivist in 1994.

An empty fourth floor of the Robert R. Muntz Library.

An empty third floor of the Robert R. Muntz Library.


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Filed under University Archives, UT Tyler History

One response to “A Brief Library History

  1. Pingback: Mid-semester Update | Reference Ninja

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