Nathaniel L. Goodrich Scrapbooks, 1881-1902

We have recently processed the materials of a particularly interesting record series, The Nathaniel L. Goodrich Scrapbooks, 1881-1902 (97/1/77). Born in 1880, Nathaniel L. Goodrich was the Librarian at Dartmouth University for 38 years—from 1912 until he retired in 1950—and was granted full professorship in 1943. He passed away on April 30, 1957, exactly 60 years ago. The record series includes four scrapbooks dating back to the early twentieth century, which had been discarded from the Dartmouth College Library in Hanover, New Hampshire. In the scrapbooks, Goodrich had collected and arranged an assortment of materials relating to library buildings.

Each of these four scrapbooks has marbled exterior covers on both the front and back. The pages have been hole-punched and are held attached to the binding with string. Some materials are glued to the pages as you might expect, while others are kept in pockets or have been hole-punched themselves.

The first scrapbook contains various advertisements for library equipment, including bookcases, book stacks, and other shelving. It also contains a few publications, like A Reading List on Library Buildings compiled by Louise Beerstecher Krause (1898), Remarks on Library Construction by William F. Poole (1884), and Circulars of Information on the Bureau, No. 1: The Construction of Library Buildings by William F. Poole (1881). (Curious about William F. Poole and other prominent librarians? Check out our digital exhibit: Celebrating the Organizers! 140 Years of Library Conference Planners in Letters and Images at the ALA Archives.)

The second scrapbook contains a wider array of materials than the first. There are several pages of handwritten notes about library buildings, some hand-drawn floor plans, and several brief pamphlets and brochures about library architecture and planning. There is a syllabus of lectures and readings from a “Library buildings” class, taught by W. R. Eastman at New York State Library School. The rest of this scrapbook contains images of library buildings, arranged alphabetically by country, state, and then city. The third and fourth scrapbooks are entirely filled with these images.

The University Library of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign appear in Goodrich’s third scrapbook, showing the original library building, Altgeld Hall. Goodrich collected both a blueprint and an image of the building’s exterior.

These scrapbooks, while providing insight into Goodrich’s professional interests, also allow us a glimpse into the history (and the study) of library buildings.

If you’re interested in images of library buildings similar to the ones in Goodrich’s scrapbooks, consider looking at Library Building Photographs, 1985-  or The Sjoerd Koopman Library Postcard Collection, 1900-2003, both partially available online here and here. We also have several other scrapbooks here at the archives, including the War Services Committee’s Vocational Reading Courses Scrapbook, 1920, Victory Book Campaign Scrapbook, 1942, and Library Wartime Activities Scrapbook, 1942.