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Northwestern University Library Accessions Catalogs

 Collection
Identifier: 9/1/10
The Northwestern University Library Accession Records document the growth of the Library's collections over the course of sixty-three years, spanning the careers of seven librarians, and representing the holdings of four successive library spaces. The Accession Records contain lists of the books and other Library materials acquired between December, 1878 and July, 1941.

Twenty-five custom ledger boxes contain individual bound volumes comprising the first official records of the library's acquisitions. They start with the first number assigned on December 1st, 1878--Butler, History of the Commonwealth of Kentucky (Cincinnati, 1836)--and end with accession number 130500. Marginal notes indicate that the listings were often consulted, and were repeatedly updated with notes on the state of the original binding, re-binding, withdrawals, cost of replacement, and in many cases, the general physical condition. Donors mentioned in the early volumes include many now well-known Northwestern names, including William Deering, Orrington L. Lunt, Herbert F. Fisk, George Lunt, John Evans, the Hon. John Sherman (Secretary-Treasurer of the United States), Henry S. Noyes, R.S. Foster, and W.H. Rand.

The three custom ledger cases contain the accession records of the Greenleaf Collection. The ledger books are similar in format to the preceding ledger books in the series, though they often list books that were printed in the 1600s and include first editions of then promising young writers like Goethe and Hegel. The first volume of this group also contains a handwritten history of the collection. Numbers 3401-4000 in the first volume were mistakenly omitted, so the numbering proceeds from 3400 straight to 4001, but after 5000 the missing 3401-4000 were added.

Six final boxes contain unbound accession logs of a similar format to the bound editions. The entries in these books are somewhat abridged, lacking descriptions of the books' dimensions and bindings. The unbound logs also differ in that they are type-written, while the bound ledgers contain many examples of beautiful penmanship. The unbound volumes detail accession 130501 through 377,200, which was entered on 25 July, 1941.

Dates

  • 1878-1941

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at specialcollections@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Extent

34 Boxes

6 Boxes (28 ledger cases)

Abstract

The Northwestern University Library Accession Records document the growth of the Library's collections over the course of sixty-three years, spanning the careers of seven librarians, and representing the holdings of four successive library spaces. The Accession Records contain lists of the books and other Library materials acquired between December, 1878 and July, 1941.

Arrangement

Accessions are listed in chronological order, but especially in the later ledger books, the chronology is inconsistent. General date spans have been provided for each volume or folder, but there is occasionally chronological variation within them.

Method of Acquisition

Northwestern University Library; transferred to the University Archives at an unknown date and given the accession number 74-141 in 1974.

Related Materials

For books acquired by the Library prior to 1878, See: Bannister, C.K. The Catalogue of Books in the Library of the Northwestern University; Northwestern University Library: Evanston, IL, 1868; Vol. 1.

For a history of the Northwestern University Library (from which much of the historical information above has been paraphrased), see http://www.library.northwestern.edu/archives/new_libhist.pdf

Separated Materials

None.

Processing Information

Jeremy Abbott; 04/28/2005.
Title
Guide to the Northwestern University Library Accessions Catalogs
Author
Jeremy Abbott
Date
04/04/2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3635