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San Diego: Libraries

The San Diego campus library had its beginnings about 40 years before the campus's founding in the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. By 1960, development had begun on a library to support advanced graduate programs in science and engineering; two years later the collection was expanded to include areas in the humanities and social sciences.

Under the New Campuses Program established in 1962, 75,000 basic undergraduate library books were purchased in triplicate for new campuses at San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Irvine. As the first of the three to be established, the San Diego library carried out the program. In addition, the book collection of the medical school was begun in 1963.

By September, 1965, service at San Diego was provided by four libraries: the General, the Science and Engineering, the Biomedical, and the Scripps Institution of Oceanography Libraries, with total resources of 285,000 volumes, as well as 7,000 serial publications regularly received. Growth rate for the book collections was 80,000 volumes per year in the mid-1960's. As the only major research libraries serving metropolitan San Diego, the libraries' collections had heavy use by the community's students and scholars, as well as other persons interested in serious study.

Special Collections:
The library of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography was one of the world's outstanding special libraries in the fields of oceanography and marine biology. It received nearly 3,000 serial publications, including those of all of the world's oceanographic research organizations. Its 50,000 volumes included rare books on oceanography and sets of reports of major voyages and expeditions. The Biomedical Library provided complete coverage of current medical research publications of South and Central America. The General Library's Special Collections Department included outstanding collections devoted to D. H. Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, William Blake, and San Diego authors, as well as works on Baja California and California.


Melvin J. Voigt 1961


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