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Library. Administrative Records includes Library Director , bulk: 1841 - 2020

Identifier: RG14-01

Scope and Contents

The collection begins with a copy of the Union Library constitution and rules. (NOTE: copies of the original catalogs are housed in the Davidsoniana Room). The records relating to Cornelia Shaw consist primarily of correspondence, 1903-1934; a scrapbook of bookplates and photos of the move from Carnegie Library to Grey Library; copies of the Union Library Constitution and Rules; and a journal entitled "Days and Decoration Hints, 1911-1922." The correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters pertaining to student life such as dances on campus, ethnicity and religion of students, and the concept of female students. Miss Shaw also wrote significantly about the Town of Davidson and its interaction with the College; the administration of the library including staffing, rules and regulations regarding the checkout of materials, and the furnishing of the library. Miss Shaw's letters also include some accounts about the history of the college from former students and professors. Somecorrespondence reveals Miss Shaw's attitude at the time regarding Woodrow Wilson, and the college's relationship with the town of Davidson. Much of her correspondence includes both personal and administrative letters. There is also a scrapbook with bookplates, photographs of the library, and a speech about the library given in 1910. Chalmers G. Davidson's records are occasionally mixed in with those of Dr. Park's. These files include correspondence concerning Grey Library; furniture; Phi Hall; the Mace; the Lilly Portrait and Room, 1985; Davidson history, 1946-1990; The Davidsonian, 1969-1975; Orr Etchings, 1959-1980; Portraits, 1958-1993; and the Otts Lecture; general correspondence pertaining to the administration of the library, its automation. These files are comprised of memos, newsletters, programs, handbooks, and personal letters. Dr. Leland Park's records comprise the bulk of the collection. Beginnning with his service as reference librarian and assistant director of the library in 1967, the records include memos, correspondence, personal letters, policies, brochures and pamphlets, newsclippings, and blueprints. These records pertain to Dr. Park's administrative duties such as staffing, budgeting including donations and gifts, library rules and regulations, and building maintenance. Dr. Park's activities within the Davidson College community that are documented by his records are faculty departmental budgets, and advising students and fraternities such as Kappa Alpha. The records also pertain to Dr. Park's activities outside the Davidson College community. Such activities include his involvement in SOLINET, the Oberlin Group, and NCLA. There are many letters sent to and received from North Carolina senators and congressmen concerning library related issues. Correspondence include letters from former and current faculty, staff, and students thanking him for his assistance in providing them with information or recommendations. The records of Dr. Park cover the many years of his service as director of the E.H. Little Library. His records are part of an ongoing collection.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1841 - 2020


Conditions Governing Access

Yes - Some files require permission of archivist.

Biographical / Historical

Efforts to establish and maintain a library for the use of faculty and students date from the founding of the College. Beginning with a small collection of donated books housed in the Chapel, the library expanded and moved to the Chambers Building in 1860. The two student literary societies also developed libraries. In 1887, the Union Library was created by the combining of the student libraries and the college library. The position of Library Directory for the Davidson College Library was first created in 1907, with the appointment of the first full-time librarian, Cornelia Shaw. During her time as librarian Miss Shaw also performed duties as the college's first registrar and secretary to the president. It wasn't until 1920 that Miss Shaw focused her attention entirely upon her role as librarian. During her tenure, Miss Shaw oversaw the relocation of the library from its original home in the Chambers Building to the new Carnegie Library in 1910. As the head of the library, Miss Shaw worked towards producing several books about the history of Davidson College and student participation in World War I. Most of the files related to her are correspondence and research materials for the books. Additional correspondence from students giving their reminiscences of college life are housed in individual alumni files (RG 5/8.1) Miss Shaw retired in 1936 and a new library director was appointed. Selected because of his "college and university training that is usually required of a member of the faculty and, on top of that special training in library school," Dr. Chalmers G. Davidson was appointed library director and associate professor of history. During his years at the library, Dr. Davidson oversaw the move of the library from the Carnegie Library to the Grey Library building in 1941. After moving the library Dr. Davidson left the college for military service in World War II. While he was on leave, Dr. Henry Little acted as library director. After his years of service, Dr. Davidson returned as director in 1945. During Dr. Davidson's many years as library director, he implemented important changes to the library. Most notably he increased the number of library staff and made the library more professional; he increased the library budget substantially. And once again in 1974 Dr. Davidson helped move the library to its new home in the E.H. Little Library in order to accommodate the growing number of books and materials. With his retirement in 1975, Dr. Davidson became the college's first archivist. Upon the retirement of Dr. Davidson, Dr. Leland Park was appointed the new library director. A graduate of Davidson College in 1963, Dr. Park returned to the Davidson community in 1967. Prior to his appointment as library directory, Dr. Park served as the Reference Librarian and Assistant Director of the Library. During his tenure, Dr. Park has seen the library through significant changes in the library: he oversaw the conversion of the library card cataloging system to a computer-based system. He has also overseen the library's increase in the volume of materials. Dr. Park's years as library director are also marked by his active participation on national and state professional associations such as the Oberlin Group, the North Carolina Library Association (NCLA), SOLINET, and the American Library Association. His involvment in these groups included his participation as secretary of the SOLINET Board of Directors, and chairman of NCLA. Dr. Park also actively participated on Davidson College's committees and groups. He was the advisor to a number of freshman students, and advisor to several campus fraternities.


30.0 boxes_oversize (30 boxes + oversize)




The files are roughly chronological and grouped in series by director. The first series is for Union Library records (3/4.1a); others are for: Cornelia Shaw (3/4.1b), Chalmers Davidson (3/4.1c), and Leland Park (3/4.1d). Within each series, the folders are arranged topically.

Physical Location

Alcove del Sol

Mapstand D-10


D-Room Case 10

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from Library Director's office.

Repository Details

Part of the College Archives Repository