Friends of the Libraries records
Collection Scope and Content
Materials in this collection include publications, photographs, correspondence, meeting minutes, certificates, and brochures. They range in date from 1970 to 2002, and were transferred to the University Archives by the Friends of the Libraries.
- Creation: 1970-2002
Restrictions on Access
Series 1 has a 25 years from date of creation restriction.
Restrictions on Use
Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.
Historical or Biographical Note
The George Washington University's Melvin Gelman Library opened in 1973. Before the Gelman Library (which received its current name in 1980), the University Library was located in Lisner Hall, formerly Lisner Library. When the University moved to Foggy Bottom in 1912 from its location on 15th and H Streets, N.W., the first library was located in the original Lisner Hall, the former St. Rose's School for Orphaned Girls, between 20th and 21st Streets on G Street. Other libraries include the Virginia Campus Library (established n 1990), and the Mount Vernon Campus Eckles Library (under GW control since 1997). Together, these three libraries form the Gelman Library System (GLS).
The Jacob Burns Law Library opened in 1967, before that it was housed in the adjacent Stockton Hall on 20th and H Streets, N.W. The Paul Himmelfarb Health Sciences Library opened in 1973, before that it was housed in the old Medical School building on 13th and H Streets, N.W.
In 1972 The Friends of the Libraries was organized. It's original object was “to assist the libraries in carrying out their role more effectively through strengthening their collections and promoting activities to make resources and services of the libraries more widely known. Specifically, we hope the Friends will provide and help attract special collections and resources that support the University's instructional and research programs; sponsor special projects and activities; provide for others a better understanding of the University libraries and their role in our own academic setting; provide and attract new financial support to enrich the book collections of the libraries; and serve as a medium through which our friends may advance their own intellectual pursuits and share their enthusiasm for books and reading.”
Membership is open to anybody wishing to contribute, and is overseen by Assistant University Librarian for Administration, Development, and Personnel. Currently there are eight levels: GW student, GW staff, Associate, Supporter, Sponsor, Patron, Benefactor, and Librarian's Circle. Dues can be directed to the Gelman Library, Burns Law Library, Himmelfarb Medical library, Mt. Vernon Campus Library, or Virginia Campus Library. The Friends group is run by a board of directors and executive committee.
The Friends sponsor an annual dinner that features a prominent guest speaker, and supports exhibits, receptions and other special events (such as the Student Collectors Book Contest). The group has also made financial contributions by occasionally purchasing books and equipment of the libraries.
The Friends have also published a number of special “keepsake” volumes over the years, beginning in 1972, such as a facsimile of the opening address given to open the college in 1822 and a booklet commemorating the donation of the one millionth volume to the Gelman library in 1984.
N.B. This history note was written in 2005
4.6 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Materials in this collection include publications, photographs, correspondence, meeting minutes, certificates, and brochures. They range in date from 1970 to 2002.
Organized into four series: Board members and publications; Certificate; Photographs; and Organization files.
Materials were transferred to the University Archives by the Friends of the Libraries.
- George Washington University (Organization)
- George Washington University. Friends of the Libraries (Organization)
- George Washington University. Library (Organization)
Genre / Form
- Guide to the Friends of the Libraries records, 1970-2002
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English