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GACA Collection 277. Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library. Collection of the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, 1863-Ongoing: Overview

Digital Content

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Collection Description

Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library.  Collection of the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library, 1863-Ongoing.  GACA Collection 277.  8 Records Center Cartons, 2 ½ Hollinger boxes, 8 telescoping boxes, and 1 flat box.

The Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library collection contains administrative, building, financial, committee, department, acquisition, branch library, history, and teaching and learning materials from 1863 to the present.

Historical Note

When Gustavus Adolphus College opened in Red Wing, Minnesota during 1862, the school had one student and no library.  Student numbers increased during 1863 when the school moved to East Union, Carver County, Minnesota, but the institution still lacked a library.  The school’s first book collection arrived near the end of the Civil War when books of a former student were given to the institution.  School leaders complimented the donation by purchasing a large dictionary.  From the mid-1860s through the school’s move to St. Peter during 1876, the book collection remained small. 

The newly named Gustavus Adolphus College housed the collection in the Main Building, now Old Main.  During the late 1800s, the library was small and underutilized; it was only open one hour per week on Saturday mornings.  The facility began expanding during the early 20th Century as the college’s student body grew, and the necessity for outside research increased.  Due to the collection’s growth and the college’s need for space, the library moved from Old Main into a number of different buildings including Uhler Hall, Commerce Hall, and the former President’s Home. 

The need for a dedicated library building became apparent and funds were raised for a new building during the mid to late 1940s.  As a result of these efforts, the college’s new library opened during September 1948.  It was named and rededicated in memory of the late Count Folke Bernadotte during June 1950.  Although the Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library was designed as a library, the collection soon outgrew the building.  Plans were made during the late 1960s for the construction of a new library­­.  The current Folke Bernadotte Memorial Library building, with 90,000 square feet of floor space, opened during September 1972.

Scope and Content

This collection is divided into six series with multiple sub-series.

Administrative Files, 1936-Ongoing and undated contains administrative materials such as accreditation materials, annual reports, policies, correspondence, reviews, job descriptions, and surveys.

Buildings, 1947-2006 and undated holds information pertaining to the building of the first and the second Folke Bernadotte Memorial Libraries, including blueprints, specifications, floor plans, constructions progress reports, correspondence, equipment, and publicity.

Financial, 1898-Ongoing consists of accounts, budgets, and grant materials.

Committees, 1967-Ongoing primarily contains minutes from the different library committees including all-staff, library paraprofessional organization, outreach and promotion, social, staff development, web and publications, and wireheads.

Departments, 1881-Ongoing holds patron loans books, minutes, studies, and statistics for different library departments including circulation, interlibrary loan, librarians’, and technical services.

Acquisitions, c. 1863-1984 is composed of accession lists and policies.

Branch Libraries, 1971-Ongoing contains information for the Bethesda Nursing Program Library, the Music Library, and the Slide Library.

History, 1961-1997 holds information about the library’s 25th Anniversary, a fact sheet and short history of the library, and “A History of the Library…” a thesis written in 1961.

Teaching and Learning, 1939-Ongoing and undated has materials about bibliographic instruction and reference statistics and materials from the Library Science Program.

Patricia Lindell Scholarship and Research Prize, 1983-Ongoing, contains information about the scholarship and research prize winners.

Miscellaneous, 1943-Ongoing and undated includes a report about the library, Aleph migration materials, the Choice magazine covers, materials related to collection development, exhibits, faculty status and rank, library events, “A Knowing Woman” sculpture, and vandalism.  This series also included the libraries newsletter in its different forms.

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