Digitized Daniel Coit Gilman correspondence now available

Daniel Coit Gilman photographUniversity Archives recently completed a project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (the granting arm of the National Archives) to digitize approximately 65,000 pages of letters received and sent by Daniel Coit Gilman. Gilman was Johns Hopkins University’s first president and is widely regarded as one of history’s most important education innovators. It could be argued that Gilman’s impact on the identity of Johns Hopkins University eclipses even that of our University’s namesake, Johns Hopkins.

The Daniel Coit Gilman papers rank among our most popular special collections, a testament to the wide-ranging interest in Gilman’s influence. His correspondence files represent a veritable who’s-who of late 19th and early 20th century intellectuals, educational innovators, political activists, politicians, and other scions of American culture.

One of the parts of this collection I personally find compelling is the series of letters Gilman exchanged with two titans of the civil rights movement, W.E.B. DuBois and Booker T. Washington. Gilman was an early champion of DuBois’s work. He also served as a juror of educational exhibits at the Atlanta Exposition of 1895, which grew out of Booker T. Washington’s “Atlanta Compromise” speech, important and controversial at its time and today. That Gilman served as a connection between these two influential, and sometimes adversarial, civil rights leaders demonstrates the cultural regard for Gilman during his years as President.

We are delighted that NHPRC has allowed us to provide even greater access to the work of this singular individual. I encourage you to visit an online exhibit we have created featuring highlights from the collection. To access all of the digital content, please consult the Daniel Coit Gilman papers finding aid. And to explore more resources and projects related to Hopkins history, visit our Hopkins Retrospective site.

History of the Library, Part III

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In 1961, following several years of planning, the Trustees approved the construction of a new library facility at Homewood, and settled on the open end of the Keyser Quadrangle, facing Gilman Hall, as the ideal location. Architects Wrenn, Lewis, and Jencks proposed building the library primarily underground. Were such a structure to be built above ground, they felt, its size would dwarf nearby Homewood House. Completed in 1805, Homewood House (now the Homewood Museum) is an excellent example of Federal period architecture. The University had decided in the early 1900s to follow this example for future construction and the architects did not wish to abandon that plan.

This decision to place the library underground gave rise to two enduring legends. These legends presumed that Daniel Coit Gilman left instructions in his will specifying that no structure could rise taller than Gilman Hall, or that nothing could obscure the view of the Gilman clock tower from Charles Street. Neither of these legends has any foundation in truth.

The construction of the new library is well documented through photographs showing first an empty hole, then a structural steel framework, followed by floors and walls enclosing the building. Contractors encountered problems with an underground stream that had to be diverted, as well as the immense pressure of the ground against deep exterior walls. A new type of structural steel solved the latter problem, allowing less internal bulk and resulting in significant cost savings.

In December 1963, Ex Libris devoted an entire issue to describing the new building. In August 1964, staff began moving over one million volumes across the quadrangle from Gilman, and on November 7, 1964, the new library was formally dedicated. In April of the following year, supported by faculty, students, and friends of the University, the Trustees named the new library in honor of President Milton S. Eisenhower. One important difference between the new library and the previous facility was the consolidation of departmental libraries. Despite opposition from some departments, it was more efficient to maintain books in one location rather than to group materials in various buildings according to area of study. With increased emphasis on inter-disciplinary study, divisions between scholarly disciplines became less important.

Library director John Berthel retired in 1973 and David Stam assumed the directorship until 1978. Stam was succeeded in 1979 by Susan K. Martin, followed by Scott Bennett in 1989. Bennett was named director of the Yale library in 1994 and James G. Neal succeeded him a year later.

When the Eisenhower Library opened in 1964, adequate space seemed assured until well into the Twenty-First Century. As in the past, however, the building filled up more rapidly than anticipated; by 1979, space was again at a premium. By necessity, study areas were converted to shelving, and corridors on the stack floors were narrowed to extend each shelf range. These were understood to be stopgap measures and several plans were considered for expanding the existing structure. In 1988, the library celebrated adding its two millionth book.

In 1995, anticipating that electronic access and digital media would slow the growth rate of the book collection, the University leased an off-campus warehouse. Thirty-one years after the Milton S. Eisenhower Library opened, another major shift began, transporting underutilized books and microfilm, as well as manuscripts and university archives, to a satellite facility on Moravia Park Drive. In conjunction with this shift, work began on a long-overdue renovation of levels M, A, and C in the Eisenhower Library, streamlining the existing space to better accommodate the collections as well as growing numbers of staff, students, and faculty.

In 1998, through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. R. Champlin Sheridan, the library’s endowment received a major boost and in recognition, the Sheridan Libraries were created, comprising the MSE Library, the Hutzler Undergraduate Library (the “Hut”), the John Work Garrett Library at Evergreen, and the George Peabody Library in Mount Vernon.

When the Moravia Park facility became overcrowded, planning began for a larger, purpose-built facility, which opened on the campus of the Applied Physics Laboratory in November 2005. The Libraries Service Center now offers an expandable space to accommodate growing collections, both books and manuscripts, in controlled environmental conditions.

In 2001, James Neal left Hopkins for Columbia University, and Nancy Roderer, Director of the Welch Library, served as Interim Dean for one year. In 2002, Winston Tabb was named Dean of the Sheridan Libraries (now, Dean of University Libraries and Museums). Soon after taking over, he made it a priority to expand the campus library facilities, and from this came the planning and construction of the William R. Brody Learning Commons, which opened in August and was formally dedicated in October 2012. The BLC is intended to facilitate individual and group study, replacing some of the study space that had been lost over the years in the Eisenhower Library building.

Not Just Christmas and Hanukkah

Certainly, Christmas and Hanukkah are not the only well known holidays taking place in December. The month has been a time for celebration throughout history, as far back as the origins of Buddhism and the ancient Roman Empire.

Bodhi Day, traditionally celebrated on December 8th, celebrates the enlightenment of Siddhartha Gautama, the originator of Buddhism. Celebrations vary but can include additional meditation and performing kind acts for others. Saturnalia, celebrated between December 17th and 23rd, is an ancient Roman holiday honoring the god Saturn. Celebrations would include elaborate feasts where slaves would be treated as masters, and gifts would be exchanged (in a manner not unlike modern Christmas celebrations).

Many celebrations around the world mark the winter solstice. Yalda in Iran celebrates the longest night of the year with family gatherings and sharing of food, especially the last of the summer fruits including pomegranates, watermelons and a variety of dried fruits and nuts. In China, the Dongzhi Festival commemorates the beginning of longer days with, among other traditions, family parties featuring glutenous rice balls or dumplings.

A bit darker, merry old England had a celebration known as Modraniht, taking place on what is now Christmas Eve. This was a ceremony evidenced by Bede at which Anglo-Saxon pagans would offer up a human sacrifice. To brighten up the end of the year, why not celebrate Hogmanay, the Scottish new year's festival, taking place from New Year's Eve through to the following evening or even January 2nd by singing Auld Lang Syne and swinging a fireball!

No matter how you celebrate December, enjoy it safely with those you care for, eat, drink, and be merry!

Library Holiday hours

Early American Christmas at Homewood by Julie Rose

From boxwood to magnolia leaf garlands, Homewood Museum is decked out for the season! The house is fully decorated and open for everyone to enjoy this holiday season.

Volunteers and staff decorated the museum for the holidays with garlands,  boxwood, and dried floral and feather arrangements. Homewood exudes a festive spirit that is best witnessed at the museum's annual Homewood by Candlelight open house. Glittering candlelight throughout the museum make Homewood appear as it might have in the early 19th century. The furnished period rooms will be filled with the sounds of live music, the museum shop will offer a wide variety of holiday gift-giving ideas for people of all ages, and seasonal refreshments will be served in the wine cellar. Visitors will be able to see the current exhibition As Precious as Gold: A History of Tea Caddies from the Bramble Collection.

This year's Candle Light Tours was hosted on December 4th. Volunteers included Edna Jones, Deb Fitzell, Libby Naylor, Alice Lange, and Deb Pulosluszny (not pictured) with Judith Proffitt, Barbara St. Ours (not pictured) and Julie Rose.

The gift shop is loaded with holiday gift ideas, so stop through and pick up something for the season!

History of the Library, Part II

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A group of private citizens, headed by William Wyman and William Keyser, donated land that became the Homewood Campus in 1902, and the library moved into new quarters upon the completion of Gilman Hall in 1916. The library occupied the inner portion of a hollow square on three levels, placing faculty and graduate student offices near collections in their fields. Each level was a self-contained departmental library, with collections in close proximity to seminar rooms for ease of reference. Library Director M. Llewellyn Raney stated that Gilman Hall’s unique interior arrangement made it “the first apartment house among the libraries of the world.” When the library opened in Gilman Hall, it contained nearly two hundred thousand volumes.

In March 1931, partly in response to the economic impact of the Depression, a group of private citizens founded the Friends of the Johns Hopkins Library. Members pledged annual contributions to support the acquisition of new materials.  In 1941, just twenty-five years after the library opened in Gilman Hall, Librarian John Calvin French (who succeeded Raney in 1927) noted ominously in his annual report that “nearly every department is troubled by a lack of space.” By this time the collections numbered just over a half million volumes.

During the Second World War, the library suffered from a problem common to the rest of the University: increased demand for services, prompted by war research, with little increase in space or staff. After the war, several new buildings were constructed while others expanded to meet the demands of returning servicemen. Government-sponsored research continued as the Cold War claimed nearly the same priority as the fighting war. But the library was forced to get by as well as it could, despite a plea from Library Director Homer Halvorson in late 1947 that “the time is fast approaching when we must begin to make definite plans for the provision of new facilities.” Halvorson succeeded French in 1943, who retired to begin writing a history of the University.

In 1946, Halvorson suggested constructing an off-campus “repository library” for excess, little-used, and rare books. He outlined his idea as a supplement to the Gilman facility, rather than as a replacement for Gilman. Despite Halvorson’s plea, it was another ten years before expansion plans were discussed. In September 1956, Ex Libris [newsletter of the Friends of the Library] reported that Gilman Hall “is seriously overcrowded and outmoded. The building retains much of its original charm but little of its original efficiency as a library structure.” By this time the library had surpassed one million volumes. John Berthel succeeded Homer Halvorson in 1954 and wrote a series of reports emphasizing the library’s crowded conditions and urging new construction.

Following up on a consultant’s report, the Trustees commissioned an architectural study in June 1958. In October the University launched a $76 million, ten-year “Decade of Development” fundraising drive. Among the primary needs of the University, President Milton S. Eisenhower included a new library building. Later in 1958, the architects and the Hopkins administration agreed that the east end of the Gilman Quadrangle was the best site for the new structure, and in January 1959 the Trustees concurred.

As evidence that the University recognized the importance of a new library, the Trustees resolved in January 1961, “the Library project shall have the highest priority in the University’s current development efforts.” They allocated $1 million from a challenge grant and pledged themselves to raise the remaining $3.5 million of the projected cost. On June 13, 1962, without ceremony, construction began.

Part III coming later this month!

Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day

Battleship USS West Virginia sunk and burning at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In background is the battleship USS Tennessee.

Battleship USS West Virginia sunk and burning at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941. In background is the battleship USS Tennessee. Photo: usswestvirginia.org

December 7th, 2017 marks the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (See the 75th commemoration here.). Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base situated on the island of Oahu, Hawaii. On December 7th, 1941, at approximately 7:55 a.m., the United States was launched into World War 2 (WW2) when aircraft from the Imperial Japanese Navy struck American ships and military installations. Franklin D. Roosevelt, serving as the 32nd President, declared war against the Axis powers in what became his most renowned speech.

BACKGROUND. Tensions had long been building between Japan and the U.S.  Japan had launched other attacks against U.S. forces elsewhere in the South Pacific (the Philippines, Guam, Wake Island, Malaysia, Singapore, and Hong Kong), but none so close as Pearl Harbor, which was just 2,471 miles from  California. After the U.S.'s failed efforts to negotiate a withdrawal of Japanese military from China and Inodochina, Japan proceeded to launch a surprise assault. The U.S. Navy was completely caught off guard, and therefore the fleet of ships that were bottled up in Battleship Row had no time to disperse out to sea. The damage was staggering.


Photo: (Wikipedia) Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Post Japanese attack on December 7, 1941.

The surprise attack was led by 353 fighter planes and bombers, launched from 6 Japanese aircraft carriers. Battleship Row housed 8 battleships (USS Arizona, USS Oklahoma, USS West Virginia, USS California, USS Nevada, USS Pennsylvania, USS Tennessee and USS Maryland), and other vessels, cruisers, and destroyers. U.S. fighter aircraft were launched in a counter move, but to no avail. Ships were bottled up in the harbor; some sank, entombing crew members alive in the hull.



Photos: HistoryChannel.com "Tales of Pearl Harbor Heroics"

In total, 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,335 officers and enlisted men of the U.S. Army, Navy and Marine Corp were killed, and 1,178 people were wounded. The Japanese forces lost 29 aircraft in the offensive and suffered 64 casualties. Though the damage was unprecedented, there were notable heroes:

  • Doris "Dorie" Miller (U.S. Navy Messman Third Class)
  • Samuel Fuqua (Rear Admiral)
  • Peter Tomich (U.S. Navy Chief Wartender)
  • George Welch (U.S. Army Fighter Corp Pilot) & Kenneth Taylor (U.S. Army Corp Second Lieutenant Pilot)
  • John Finn (U.S. Navy Chief Petty Officer)
  • George Walters (Civilian dockyard worker)
  • Edwin Hill (U.S. Navy Sailor)
  • Phil Rasmussen (U.S. Army Air Corp Second Lieutenant)

The following day, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation, calling it "a day that would live in infamy," and declared war on Japan. As the U.S. took action, Nazi German and Italy declared war on the U.S. to which the U.S. responded.

Pearl Harbor Suvivors Marvin Rewerts, 89, right, Nelson Mitchell, 91, middle, walk with a wreath to place at the USS Arizona Memorial, as fellow survivor Darnel Rogers, 91, left, looks on, at the Peal Harbor Remembrance Day ceremonies Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in Phoenix. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Source: Associated Press (December 7, 2016): Pearl Harbor Survivors Marvin Rewerts, 89, right, Nelson Mitchell, 91, middle, walk with a wreath to place at the USS Arizona Memorial, as fellow survivor Darnel Rogers, 91, left, looks on, at the Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day ceremonies Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2011, in Phoenix. This year marks the 70th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

The reasoning behind the attack was in hopes of weakening the U.S.'s Pacific fleet, thereby diminishing the possibility of the U.S. interfering in Japan's seizure of Southeast Asia. However, the U.S. used the attack on Pearl Harbor as propaganda throughout WW2 to fight and ultimately defeat the Axis Powers. It was empathically effective, because it centered on the emotional sting (anger) caused by what was described as a cowardly act, i.e. not fighting fair.


Jerry Yellin, a former captain and World War Two Army Air Force P-51 pilot, embraces Hiroya Sugano, director general of the Zero Fighter Admirers Club, during the 6th annual Blackened Canteen ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, during the 75th Commemoration of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S. December 6, 2016. US Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Somers Steelman/Handout via REUTERS

Photo source: (Reuters, Dec. 7, 2016) Jerry Yellin, a former captain and World War Two Army Air Force P-51 pilot, embraces Hiroya Sugano, director general of the Zero Fighter Admirers Club, during the 6th annual Blackened Canteen ceremony at the USS Arizona Memorial, during the 75th Commemoration of the attacks on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, U.S. December 6, 2016. US Navy/Petty Officer 2nd Class Somers Steelman/Handout via REUTERS

Unfortunately, throughout WW2, innocent Japanese-Americans were relocated to and incarcerated in camps in the western U.S. upon suspicion of being a threat to U.S. citizens. However, time has healed the wounds between Japanese and U.S. soldiers who once fought each other. Several organizations, including the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association, were formed to ensure that survivors are honored annually. The outcome of WW2 can be read and viewed in libraries, veteran memorials and museums, as well as online.

Readers are encouraged to visit museums exhibiting official aircraft and sea vessels, as well as to travel to Oahu, HI and visit the USS Arizona Memorial for a humbling, emotional and educational experience.

FURTHER READING - Visit our MSE Library catalog for hundreds of books on Pearl Harbor.

For the most recently published books (i.e. our McNaughton Collection), please see All the Gallant Men: An American's Sailor's Firsthand Account of Pearl Harbor, Stratton, D., & Gire, K. (2016).


Photo: USS Arizona Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Hawaii (Official Pearl Harbor Tour Site). The ship was bombed and finally exploded and sank. Casualties: 1,177 officers and crewmen.








FILM - View numerous documentaries and films on Kanopy Streaming.

Tora! Tora! Tora!, 1970.

History and Memory, Akiko Productions, 2008.

Pearl Harbor, Touchstone Pictures, 2001.

Raw footage shown on YouTube.

TOURIST INFORMATION - Official Pearl Harbor Tour Site


Doyle, Peter, World War II In Numbers: An Infographic Guide to the Conflict, Its Conduct, and Its Casualties. Richmond Hill: Firefly, 2013.

Lord, Walter, Day of Infamy: Illustrated with Photos. New York: Holt, 1957.

Pearl Harbor Casualties: Military and Civilian, Plus Casualties and Survivors of the U.S.S. Arizona. 2007. Bennington, Vt: Merriam Press.

Prange, Gordon W., Donald M Goldstein, and Katherine V Dillon. At Dawn We Slept: The Untold Story of Pearl Harbor. New York: McGraw-Hill, 1981.

Spiller, Harry, Pearl Harbor Survivors: An Oral History of 24 Servicemen. Jefferson, N.C.: McFarland, 2002.

Wohlstetter, Roberta, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision. Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1962.

White, Geoffrey M. 2016. Memorializing Pearl Harbor: unfinished histories and the work of remembrance. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/9780822374435.

Zimm, Alan. Attack On Pearl Harbor: Strategy, Combat, Myths, Deceptions. Havertown: Casemate, 2011.


For actual damage inflicted on U.S. and Japanese vessels, see Attack on Pearl Harbor, by Zimm, pp. 228-29. For a quick look at other vessels docked at Battleship Row, Pearl Harbor, Oahu, HI:



High School Interns At Homewood Museum

High School summer interns Batya Schwarz, Triage Eaddy, and Eugene Famba.

Homewood Museum hosted three high school interns from Baltimore in the summer of 2017.

Two interns, Eugene Famba and Triage Eaddy, were from the Bloomberg Arts Internship coordinated by the Baltimore Cultural Alliance. One intern, Batya Schwarz, worked with Homewood Museum directly to arrange a non-credit volunteer summer internship.

Eugene Famba was a rising senior at Digital Harbor High School and worked with museum director Julie Rose to create a history exhibit for Homewood Museum. Eugene used historical maps, paintings and archival materials from area museums and Sheridan Libraries Special Collections to create original artwork for his digital presentation called Enslaved at Homewood. The digital history exhibit focuses on lives of the free and enslaved families at Homewood during the first quarter of 19th century. The exhibit is available on an iPad-kiosk and is on view through 2018 at Homewood Museum.

Pieces from artist Eugene Famba's "Enslaved At Homewood" exhibit, 2017.

Pieces from artist Eugene Famba's "Enslaved At Homewood" exhibit, 2017.

Eugene Famba with James Gillispie, GIS Librarian and Curator of Maps

Eugene Famba with James Gillispie, GIS Librarian and Curator of Maps in the GIS lab on MSEL A-level.

Eugene Famba with Julie Rose, Homewood Museum Director and Curator

Eugene Famba with Julie Rose, Homewood Museum Director and Curator

Triage Eaddy and Eugene Famba with Stephanie Gamle, Academic Liaison for Africana Studies, Anthropology, and History

Triage Eaddy and Eugene Famba with Stephanie Gamble, Academic Liaison for Africana Studies, Anthropology, and History










Intern Triage Eaddy was a rising senior at Bard High School Early College. She worked with JHU student Julia Zimmerman under the direction of Jackie O’Regan, Curator of Cultural Properties. The team created an audio tour of the university’s outdoor sculpture collection. Triage worked alongside the Homewood staff and volunteers.

Batya Schwarz (pictured in the top photo) is a Baltimore resident who commutes to Melvin J. Berman Hebrew Academy in Rockville, Maryland during the school year. Batya worked with Julie Rose to research, write, and illustrate an interpretation panel for the exhibition, As Precious as Gold: History of Tea Caddies from the Bramble Collection. Batya learned how to use primary source documents and the online newspaper database to collect information about tea commerce in early Baltimore. Batya’s work resulted in an interpretation panel as part of the Tea Caddies exhibit, on view through December 31, 2017.

Intersession at the Library: Five Courses to Choose From

Intersession at HomewoodWintry photo of Milton S. Eisenhower Library taken by Matthew Petroff, 2014 is a great opportunity to try something new. Even if it's a course in your major, Intersession courses often focus on aspects or topics that can't be addressed in a semester-long class.

MSEL librarians offer four Intersession courses for your consideration. Take a dive into Special Collections with antique cookbooks, learn more about library research and grant writing, or think about what 'open scholarship' means to you. Descriptions and links are below. Registration opens Tuesday, December 5th. If you have questions about the courses, please contact the librarians.

"Cooking the Books"

Students will examine cookbooks and cookery ephemera ranging from the 16th through the early 20th centuries in order to learn about book history, forgotten celebrity chefs, the art of creating "manly" sandwiches, and just why so many cookbooks included recipes for treating the plague. Students will also have the opportunity to recreate a recipe from one of the antique cookbooks. Bon appetit!
Librarian: Heidi Herr


Library Research and Library/Grant Proposal Writing

This course offers training to undergraduate and graduate students on the fundamentals of library research and research/grant proposal writing. The course will introduce the students to the major research resources (esp. social sciences), strategies and techniques to conduct effective research, and how to use library research to enhance research and grant proposal writing. This course aims to help students learn the basics of research and grant proposal writing and develop useful research skills that will benefit them in the long run.
Libarian: Yunshan Ye

Open Scholarship: How to be an Open Researcher Today

'Open' is a term often used to describe the movement to share scholarship and research without pay walls. Open scholarship topics include open source, open access, open data, open educational resources, and open science. What do these terms really mean? And how will this affect your writing and research as you move through your academic career? These are the questions we will explore in this one-credit course.
Librarian: Robin Sinn

Johns Hopkins' Baltimore

You know he spelled his name with an S, but what else do you know about our university's namesake, Johns Hopkins? In this course you'll explore the life and legacy of Quaker, businessman, and philanthropist Johns Hopkins. Examine historic documents from our own Special Collections and visit Homewood House and Hopkins' former home, Clifton, to learn about both the man himself and life in 19th century Baltimore.
Archivists: Jennifer Kinniff and James Stimpert

"Write, Reuse, Recycle"

What happened to early books after they were made? In this course, students will examine rare books and manuscripts in our special collections and see firsthand the ways that owners transformed their books, from the Renaissance up to our own time. By looking at the "afterlives" of these early books, we can better understand how societies approached and valued the past and its artifacts. Neil Weijer, PhD, Postdoctoral Curatorial Fellow in Premodern and Early Modern Studies

History of the Library – Part I

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Each year Hopkins welcomes new students and faculty who may not know the history behind one of the academic world's most renowned libraries. So, sit back as we tell the story of the Hopkins library, from the very beginning. This history will be divided into three monthly segments. This first segment covers the years 1876 to 1916.

Not long after The Johns Hopkins University opened its doors in 1876, President Daniel Coit Gilman remarked, “There is no such thing as a strong university apart from a great library.”  However, the trustees decided early that they would strive to attract the best faculty possible, and buildings and other amenities would command a lower priority. The original Arts and Sciences campus, located at the intersection of West Monument and Howard streets, was close to the George Peabody Library. While this library was not then affiliated with Hopkins, it possessed an extensive reference collection and served the young university admirably, allowing President Gilman to concentrate on attracting faculty and students and setting up laboratories.

While the Peabody Library served as the University's primary scholarly resource, Hopkins did not ignore the need for a library of its own. As early as 1874, the Trustees purchased several volumes to aid them in planning the new university. These became the nucleus of a library collection that, when Hopkins opened in October 1876, comprised just over two hundred fifty volumes. Early library directors were members of the faculty and overseeing the library was considered an ancillary duty. Perhaps as a result, the first three years saw three librarians come and go. In 1879, William Hand Browne became librarian and set about creating a first class repository. His predecessors, although of short tenure, had acquired books actively so that by 1879 the collection numbered nearly ten thousand volumes.

By 1891, foretelling a trend, the rooms allotted to the library, in Hopkins Hall, became inadequate. Browne resigned to resume a faculty career, and was succeeded by Nicholas Murray. President Gilman urged the Trustees to consider a new building to house the library. Just three years later, Gilman's recommendation was satisfied when McCoy Hall opened. The library occupied the fourth floor in this large building, as well as portions of other floors.  While there was a main reading room and a general collection, the bulk of the collection was divided into “departmental libraries.” In addition to book stacks, these libraries included seminar rooms lined with departmental collections. This arrangement, which was thought appropriate to the “university idea” of advanced research, became a strong tradition at Hopkins and remained in place for seventy years.  In line with this plan, most scientific works were dispersed to the various laboratories. Nicholas Murray resigned in 1908, after a fire in McCoy Hall caused major damage.  Handwritten accession books include the note, “Burned September 17, 1908,” for many entries.

Murray’s successor, M. Llewellyn Raney, oversaw the rebuilding of the library and its collections.  As the library grew, once again it filled its available space. This time, growth coincided with the University’s move to the Homewood Campus in 1916. The original campus had always been temporary, since there was little room for expansion.

Stay tuned for History of the Library, Part II...

America Recycles Day – November 15th

Did you know that November 15th is America Recycles Day - a national initiative to keep America beautiful?

Our library is proud to do its part and you can too by recycling paper, plastic, cardboard, glass, foil and metal. Just drop your clean recyclables into one of the bins throughout the library; these are located near the exits in Brody Learning Commons (BLC) and Milton S. Eisenhower Library (MSEL) and near stairwells. Paper and cardboard go into blue bins, while all other recyclables go in green bins.

Have your batteries run out of juice? Recycle them in the MSEL copy/print room on M-level! Have your pens, pencils or markers stopped doing their job? Drop them off in the copy/print rooms of either MSEL on M-Level or BLC on B-level!

If you're curious as to what else can be recycled, stop by Levering Courtyard between 11:00am-1:30pm on November 15th and chat with Homewood Recycling. They'll tell you why and how your recyclables make a difference, and how you can close the recycling loop.

You can also drop off your clean, empty containers of personal care and beauty items (such as shampoo, conditioner, and gel bottles), dental hygiene items (such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss containers), and protein/granola bar wrappers. These can be up-cycled into something awesome! Win-win!

Homewood Recycling will also be raffling off items from Terracycle, a company that recycles hard-to-recycle items, from chewed up bubble gum to hairballs (no kidding!) -- even those pens, pencils, markers and batteries you drop into our collection bins.


This week, "like" Homewood Recycling's Facebook page to enter their raffle for a chance to win one of 10 prizes. If you've already "liked" their Facebook page, you can share their America Recycles Day posts and tag a JHU friend to be entered. The contest will run from November 13th through November 17th.

Good luck and thanks for helping us make a difference!