UCSD celebrates 3 million volumes

    Members of the UCSD community gathered to celebrate the acquisition of the three-millionth volume by the UCSD Libraries on Feb. 9 at the Institute of the Americas.

    Courtesy of Carina Weber
    Guardian

    Written by John Claridge, “”The Shepherd of Banbury’s Rules to Judge the Changes of the Weather”” is the three-millionth book to be welcomed into the UCSD Libraries system. Published in London in 1744, it is a small volume of 64 pages that contains various adages about the weather and its changes. The volume was donated by library benefactor Kenneth Hill.

    According to University of California President Emeritus Richard C. Atkinson, Hill also donated the rare, first edition of Dmitri Mendeleev’s “”Principles of Chemistry,”” published in 1868 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The book contains the first publication of the periodic table of the elements, and was the thirty-millionth volume acquired by the University of California.

    “”We are very excited about reaching the three-millionth volume mark,”” said Brian E.C. Schottlander, university librarian for UCSD Libraries. “”This is a significant milestone for us as an institution.””

    UCSD Libraries consists of the second largest research library system in Southern California and holds one of the largest collections of artists’ books on the West Coast, second only to UCLA.

    Acting Chancellor Marsha A. Chandler said she felt UCSD was making rapid progress in establishing a reputable collection.

    “”The acquisition of the three-millionth volume is very much a coming-of-age for the library,”” Chandler said. “”There are only fifty libraries in the U.S. that have three million volumes Ö but more importantly, we’re the only university established post-World War II that fits into this category, so it’s not just a coming-of-age, but a coming-of-age in record time. I also think it really says something about the campus when we have our library as the [university] icon.””

    According to Chandler, it was John Galbraith, the second chancellor of UCSD, “”who really linked UCSD’s future greatness to the establishment of a great library.””

    The first steps to formulate a major university library were taken before the UCSD campus was officially opened. In 1958, the staff of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library, in the absence of a head librarian, began to acquire materials for a graduate school of science and engineering.

    The first official University Librarian, Melvin J. Voigt, was named in 1960 at the founding of the UCSD campus. After the university’s main library was moved to the new campus in the bottom floor of the present-day Galbraith Hall, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library became a branch of UCSD Libraries.

    In the late 1960s, the Central University Library was constructed by William Pereira & Associates. A functional renovation on the building was completed in 1993, at which time the building was renamed the “”University Library Building.””

    The University Library Building was renamed once again in 1995. The current name, Geisel Library, was instated in honor of Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel for the contributions made to the university and its library system.

    Today the system consists of 11 libraries. In 1974, 14 years after the appointment of Voigt as librarian, the one-millionth volume had been added to the UCSD library collection. The two million mark was reached in 1992.

    In addition to celebrating the acquisition of the three-millionth volume, those in attendance applauded the attainment of volumes 2,999,999 and 3,000,001. Donated by Ellen Revelle, volume 2,999,999 is titled “”Historia Fucorum.””

    “”The University of California, San Diego Libraries presents an enviable reputation for the excellence of their services,”” said keynote speaker and Yale University librarian Alice Prochaska said.

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