Skip to main content

John P. McGowan (1926-2006) Papers

Identifier: 9/4/3

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The John P. McGowan Papers consist of 1 box, spanning the years 1956, when McGowan first came to work for Northwestern University as the Head Librarian for the Technological Institute Library, to 2006, when McGowan passed away. The series is divided into biographical information, general correspondence, papers, and speeches.

Biographical Information fills five folders. General Biographical information includes John P. McGowan's application for head of the Technological Library in 1956, information related to his profile in Who's Who in America, retirement announcements, and notice of his death. Several undated drafts of his vitae and biographical data are filed at the end of the folder.

Press Releases, Clippings, and Obituaries span the years 1956-2006 and include articles which mention or cite John P. McGowan, as well as several faculty e-mails sent out after his death, and newspaper obituaries, including those from the Chicago Tribune and Sun-Times, and an article in the Northwestern University Library's Footnotes publication.

Separate files contain McGowan's 1985 Appointment Book and calendar, correspondence and member lists for the "Flying Scot" sailing club to which he belonged, and invitations to parties (mostly University-related) hosted by Mr. and Mrs. McGowan.

General Correspondence consists of personal correspondence (incoming and outgoing) dating between 1971 and 1989.

Papers, Publications, and Notes span the years 1971 to 1979, and include include article drafts and reprints, with some handwritten and typed notes.

A folder of general Speeches and Lectures, spanning the years 1972 to 1983, with many undated materials, includes handwritten or draft or typed copies of presentations and introductions made by McGowan at conferences or other events. This folder also includes an outline for a presentation McGowan gave to MIDLNET (The Midwest Region Library Network).

Papers which are accompanied by extensive notes, drafts, or correspondence, have been placed into separate folders. These consist of "The Development of NOTIS" (1976-1983), "Venezuela Project" (1978-1981, including general information on SALALM [Seminar on the Acquisition of Latin American Library Materials], where the paper was presented, McGowan's travel information to the program, and correspondence), "The Academic Library within a National Information Policy Toward the White House Conference and Beyond" (1978), and "Private Paper for the Council on Library Resources on Research Libraries and Library Education" (1983).


  • 1956-2006


Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on use of the materials in the department for research; all patrons must comply with federal copyright regulations.


1.00 Boxes

Language of Materials



John Patrick McGowan was was Northwestern University Library's (NUL) first Associate Librarian, and held the position of head librarian for 20 years. Under McGowan's leadership, NUL developed NOTIS, an online library system which revolutionized the creation and presentation of catalog records for library materials. McGowan retired from NUL in 1992. His papers span the years 1956 to 2006. The collection is divided into biographical information, general correspondence, papers, and speeches.


The general corrrespondence and papers are arranged chronologically. Papers withy extensive accompanying materials are arranged alphabetically by title.

Method of Acquisition

The John McGowan Papers were separated from Series 9/1/11, the Records of University Librarian John P. McGowan. Additional materials were incorporated from the University Archives' Faculty Biographical File and accession #81-40.

Related Materials

For more about John McGowan's work at the Northwestern University Library, see Series No. 9/1/11

Separated Materials


Processing Information

Veronica A. House, February 28, 2007

Guide to the John P. McGowan (1926-2006) Papers
Veronica A. House
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US