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Dean of the Library

 Record Group
Identifier: A11

Scope and Contents

The records for the Dean of the Library include the administrative records and correspondence of the head of the library system since 1900. In addition, correspondence and other records concerning the libraries and collections are also included.

The Dean of the Library went by the title College Librarian until 2001 and by Dean of LIS until 2014.


  • Existence: 1800-

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research without restriction.

Conditions Governing Use

For permission to publish materials, contact:
Special Collections & Archives
Middlebury College
Phone: (802) 443-2387

Biographical / Historical

Prior to the completion of Starr Library in 1900, the college did not have a dedicated library. Painter Hall, the oldest extant building on campus, housed a small collection of volumes before the completion of Old Chapel. After the Civil War, Painter Hall and Old Chapel housed volumes. Under President Brainerd, Starr Library was completed and with it came over a century of renovation and expansion.

Starr Library grew steadily as the enrollment of the college grew. Shortly after the completion of Starr Library, the college collection reached 25 thousand volumes. By 1926, Dr. M. Allen Starr (the son of the original donor, Egbert Starr) agreed to donate funds to construct two additional wings to accomodate the growing student body and college collection. The college collection grew from 40,000 volumes in 1921 to 140,000 volumes in 1941. The Abernethy Collection of American Literature, donated by Julian Abernethy in 1923, was housed in the new west wing of the library.

College growth after the Second World War called for an addition to the library once again. Between 1959 and 1962, the library underwent three phases of construction, thanks to the fundraising efforts of Walter Brooker,who was hired in 1956 to oversee fundraising and public relations. The final addition to Starr Library came in 1979 when the Meredith Wing was completed. The Meredith Wing added capacity for 200,000 more volumes (the library had a max capacity of 300,000 volumes prior), and space for 140 more seats for reading and study.

In the summer of 2004, the new Main Library was opened. This 143,000 square-foot library replaced Starr Library, and houses much of the college's collection. Armstrong Library, located in Bicenntennial Hall, also contains over 100,000 volumes and 81,000 maps. In 2010, the Main Library was renamed the Davis Family Library after Jim Davis '66, and his family donated over $70 million. By that time they became some of the college's biggest supporters.


56 Linear Feet (92 document boxes, 26 half document boxes, 1 flat document box, 12 bound volumes, 2 boxed bound volumes)

0.25 Linear Feet (Photo Files: 1 half document box)

Language of Materials


Other Finding Aids

Audiovisual media archives may exist for this resource. Check our media archives inventory (go/specialmedia).

A11 Dean of the Library
Middlebury Special Collections staff
May 2016
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Middlebury College Special Collections & Archives Repository

Middlebury College
Davis Family Library
110 Storrs Avenue
Middlebury Vermont 05753 United States