OU Libraries Timeline: collections


1959: Temporary library

First library at North Foundation Hall Temporary library quarters were set up at North Foundation Hall.  Books were available with 'complete freedom' (no restrictions on number that could be borrowed, no due dates, no fines, and, initially, 24 hour library access). Material was shelved alphabetically to make it available before it was catalogued. 

1964: Government documents collection

The Government Documents collection was established at Kresge Library.

1965: State documents

Oakland University became a depository for State documents.

1968: Lincoln and Civil War collection

The Lincoln and Civil War Collection of William Springer was acquired.   Mr. Springer was the editor of the New Center News published in Detroit and was an avid collector of Civil War materials.  The collection consists of 2000 volumes, original materials, artifacts, and the "Black Papers."  Mr. Black was an attorney that Mr. Henry Ford I hired to investigate the death of John Wilkes Booth.   This is one of the strongest collections on the Civil War in any Michigan library. Cabinet containing Lincoln memorabilia

1968: Matilda R. Wilson fund established

The Matilda R. Wilson Memorial Fund for the purchase of reference and bibliographic works was established by the students of Oakland University.  Students agreed to a slight increase in fees in order to support the library's reference collection. Chancellor Varner and Sue Adams Wyatt unveil plaque

1968: Science books move to Kresge Library

Science books and periodicals, previously housed in a reading room in the Science building, were centralized at Kresge Library. Female student studying at Kresge Library

1983: Instructional Technology Center

The Performing Arts Library was integrated to Kresge Library to make room for the Instructional Technology Center.

1993: Kevern and Bledsoe Donation

A gift of $1000 was made to the Kresge Library by Ron Kevern and Wilma Ray Bledsoe, to be used for the purchase of recent university press books about African-Americans.  Wilma Ray Bledsoe was the first African-American Vice President for Student Affairs at Oakland University, while Ron Kevern was an administrative professional at OU.

2002: Bingham Collection

Dedication of the Bingham Collection The Bingham Historical Children's Book Collection, donated by Dr. Jane Bingham, a retired education professor and expert on children's literature, was dedicated.

2007: Gaylor Collection

The Robert Gaylor Collection, devoted to materials focusing on gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people and issues, was dedicated.   Mr. Gaylor, who retired from the Oakland University Library in 2003 after 37 years of service as a librarian, assembled this collection over a period of 40 years.

Portrait of Robert Gaylor

Photos courtesy of the Oakland University Archives.