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UMass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library records

Identifier: URC-014

Scope and Contents

The Library Communications Center collection is divided into seven series. Series I (History) contains a library timeline, newspaper clippings, and groundbreaking ceremony papers. Series II (Reports, Plans, and Goals) consists of budget procedures and papers, annual reports, departmental reports, building analyses and recommendations, and long-range plans. Series III contains memoranda from the offices of Library Deans and Heads Louis G. Vagianos, Frank N. Jones, Charles Andrews, and Janet Freedman as well as memos from the Audio-Visual Department and Library Associates. Handbooks and guides on library use comprise Series IV. Series V (Surveys, Policies, and Services) contains papers on the library instruction program, the library's food and drink policy, and Southeastern Massachusetts Cooperative Libraries (SMCL). Series VI includes library publications such as "Main Entries," "Recently Acquired Materials," "Library Tidings" and "Library News" as well as bibliographies on Latin-American literature and biology-related literature. The holdings lists of Bradford-Durfee Textile Institute, Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute, and Southeastern Massachusetts University can also be found in Series VI. Series VII consists of library memorabilia such as stamps and bookplates and Series VIII are Frank Jone’s files on the construction of the library building.


  • 1947-


Biographical / Historical

Deans and Heads of the Library Communications Center (Claire T. Carney Library):

Frank N. Jones (Chief Librarian), term: Fall 1965—fall 1974

Charles R. Andrews (University Librarian), term: Fall 1974—fall 1976

Richard M. Fontera (interim Director), term: Fall 1976—Summer 1978

Janet Freedman (University Librarian/Dean), term: Summer 1978—Spring 1996

Benjamin Taggie (interim Dean), term: Spring/Summer 1996

Donald Sweet (Dean), term: Fall 1996—June 30, 2001

Ann Montgomery Smith (interim Dean), term: 2001-2006

Robert Green (Acting Dean), term: 2006-2007

Sharon Weiner (Dean), term: 2007-2009

Terrance Burton (Dean), term: 2010- June 30, 2019

Dawn Gross (interim Dean), term: 2019-December 31, 2022


12.1 Linear Feet (29 manuscript boxes and 15 bound volumes)

Language of Materials



When New Bedford Institute of Technology and Bradford Durfee College of Technology merged to form Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute in 1960, it became necessary to build a library to support the growing number of students and faculty at the new campus in North Dartmouth. The architectural firm Desmond and Lord took on the task of building the Library Communications Center in July of 1966. By using the schematic drawings of architect Paul Rudolph, who designed the building to be the center of campus, the estimated cost of construction and library equipment ran over $8 million. Because of the high cost and intricate design of the Library Communications Center, disputes between the Bureau of Building Construction and SMTI President John Driscoll delayed the opening of the building. By February of 1972, staff members were able to begin the arduous task of shifting library materials from the makeshift library located on the third floor of Group I and from the New Bedford and Fall River campuses to the newly constructed Library Communications Center which, on March 13th, opened its doors to the academic community of Southeastern Massachusetts University. During the 1970s, the LCC had its share of problems due to inadequate State funding; it was severely under-stocked and understaffed. For instance, in January of 1974, the collection of monographs totaled 143,000—far below the Department of Health, Education and Welfare standards. In January of 1978, the LCC had 6 full-time librarians and 11 clerical personnel; they should have had 15 full-time librarians and 45 clerical personnel according to the standards of the American Library Association. Due to the Library Associates' enthusiastic fundraising events, the "Bucks for Books" campaign undertaken by SMU students and faculty, and generous donations, gifts, and grants, the LCC was able to build its collection and increase its staff. The LCC was especially helped when, in 1978, the State legislature passed an enormous appropriation of $1 million. The real task was to make sure it was wisely and timely spent. As a result of the appropriation, thousands of monographs were added to the collection; the Audio-Visual department expanded; library hours were extended; library instruction programs began; and “Special Borrower” cards were issued to members of the Library Associates and surrounding community. The 1980s was an exciting decade for the LCC and for the Archives and Special Collections in particular. The Archives and Special Collections received two extensive collections of oral histories: one pertaining to the New Bedford Textile Strike of 1928 (MC 9) and the other Jewish-American culture in southeastern Massachusetts which is now the Archives of the Center for Jewish Culture (MC 8). Due to the efforts of political science Professor Philip Melanson, Librarian Helen Koss, and several special investigators, including Lillian Castellano, The Robert F. Kennedy Assassination Archives were formed from FBI and LAPD files previously closed. The Archives were formally dedicated in April of 1988 (see also: Library Journal, “The Politics of Public Disclosure,” vol. 116, #2, p. 54). One other important contribution to the Library’s collections as well as to the Archives and Special Collections was a gift of books from the Ellis Estate of Westport. The collection includes books on the arts and humanities, local history, and literary first editions. Earlier in the decade, the LCC began a program which enabled SMU students to receive advice and training from student interns. The program continues to operate today due to its effectiveness and popularity with the students and faculty of the University. In 1983 and 1984, the Library Services and Construction Act helped the LCC to create a union list of serials for Southeastern Massachusetts Cooperating Libraries using the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC). The Act also helped to establish a new partnership between the LCC and the public libraries of Fall River and New Bedford. The partnership, Project ASC (Automated Searching Cooperative), enabled the library to hire a business resource specialist to analyze local business and the economy, job training, industry, and labor relations. As far as the Library's budget was concerned, state funding remained unsteady throughout the decade. In 1981, student fees for library use were assessed; as a result, the Student Library Fee was instituted to help alleviate expenses. The LCC, however, did see another $1 million appropriation during the 1985/1986 fiscal year causing the following years to be the most productive and successful years to date for the LCC. During the 1987/1988 fiscal year alone, 55,000 materials were added to the LCC. Many more materials were added when the Swain School of Design merged with Southeastern Massachusetts University's College of Visual and Performing Arts in 1989. The 1990s have proven to be the decade of technological advances for the LCC. During the spring semester of 1992 the MultiLIS online public access catalog and circulation system was installed thus doing away with the previous system of the card catalog. The LCC received grants totaling over $180,000 from the Board of Regents and the Higher Education Act to support this joint automation plan with Bridgewater State College. Also during the 1990s, CD-ROM indexes were being used often and extensively; Internet use began; the Local Area Network was installed; the LCC began its partnership with the Boston Library Consortium (1993); and in 1994 the Library Associates celebrated their 20th anniversary. By spring of 1996, the LCC was known throughout southeastern Massachusetts as being the leading library--it was also at its architectural capacity holding over 400,000 volumes. In February of 1998, all five UMass campuses saw increased State funding to aid in the improvement and upgrades of library technologies. For UMass Dartmouth's Library, in particular, this meant plans for a new integrated library system (to be implemented in 1998) which would create even better access to library information. The Library was initially conceived as a center for both library materials and communications facilities, hence the name Library Communications Center. It was outfitted with 2 state of the art television studios able to broadcast its own educational television programs. In the 1970s television was the tool of choice in communications. However, after personal computers became widely available in the 1980s and 1990s, interest shifted towards computing technology as large areas of the Library were transformed into computer labs for student use. In fact, one of the original television studios closed in 1997 to be replaced by a computer lab and electronic classroom, the latter of which is used extensively by librarians for library instruction. Presently, the Library is known as one of the most valuable resources in the area. Student use of the Library has dramatically increased since the introduction of new and numerous technologies. Special Borrower use has also skyrocketed with members of the community, alumni, and students of surrounding high schools and colleges taking advantage of all that the Library has to offer—from the latest in books, journals, and audio-visual materials to government documents, the Robert F. Kennedy Assassination Archives, and access to the “information highway.”


Periodic accruals are expected, especially as library staff members retire.


Additional accruals expected.

Related Materials

See URC 076 for oral history interviews conducted in 2005-2006.

UMass Dartmouth, Claire T. Carney Library records
Julie Fernandes (class of 1999)
June 1998
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Claire T. Carney Library Archives and Special Collections, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Repository

285 Old Westport Rd.
N. Dartmouth MA 02747 USA