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Library papers

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 2107 Library
Held at: City University
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Full title: Library papers
Date(s): 1948-1998
Level of description: Sub-fonds of City University Archives
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Extent: 5 linear feet
Name of creator(s): Northampton Polytechnic
Northampton College of Advanced Technology
City University


Administrative/Biographical history:

Prior to 1957, the library (known as the Skinners' Library due to the original charitable contribution of the Skinners' Company to the Northampton Institute) had received little in the way of adequate funding or accommodation. It had opened in 1896 with 1700 volumes and the totat had only increased to some 4500 by 1956. Redesignation of the Institute as a College of Advanced Technology (CAT) required large investment in provision. In 1955 a further substantial donation from the Skinners' Company allowed the opening of a new Skinners' Library, though growth in holdings continued to be slow in comparison to other CATs. A new library was planned in the mid 1960s; the lack of funding and book stocks were highlighted in a survey of 1969 which placed the library at the bottom of a league table of university libraries. Major new grants were given from Senate and from the Skinners' to double the book stock within five years, and the move into the new library premises was made in 1970. The Cranwood Annexe branch library rejoined the main university library in 1976. A further floor was added and opened in 1979. In 1967 microform, non-book media collections, and the University Archives Collection were started. Special collections were acquired, including the Fincham collection on optics, the Auerbach collection on art and the London Society Library.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers relating to the library of Northampton Polytechnic, Northampton College of Advanced Technology (CAT) and the City University, 1948-1998, including papers on Library Development, 1960s, 1990s and the Library extension, 1996-1998; Library Advisory Committee signed minutes, 1958-1965; Senate Library Committee minutes, 1966-1994; papers of the Library Acquisitions sub-committee, 1971-1989, and Library and Information Services Liaison Group, 1990-1995; Library guides, handouts and annual reports, 1960-1992; Library News/Newsheet, 1972-1976, 1983, 1994-1998; Library files, 1960s-1990s; Inter-library Loan procedure, 1968; various presscuttings on the Library, undated; Library Standards for CATs [1950s]; ALSL issue system proposal, 1971; CLSI library computer system, 1980s; OCLC Europe Master copy files, 1980s; Library Accession registers, 1948-1966; file relating to the possible acquisition of the Tasiemka Cuttings Archive, 1980-1981; file relating to the housing of the London Society and its library at CU, 1976-1991.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

These papers form part of CU Library Special Collections.

Conditions governing access:

On written application to the University Librarian.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the University Librarian.

Finding aids:

Survey lists of City University archives, 2000 (available in hard copy at City University).

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Internal accumulation during the course of business.

Allied Materials

Related material:

City University archives hold papers relating to the inauguration of the Skinners' Library, 1955 (under administration papers) and papers of the British Computer Society relating to the housing of its own library within the CU Library.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Robert Baxter as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project, based on survey information by Janet Foster. Source: The City University - a history by S John Teague (City University, London, 1990).

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Mar 2001

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