1899

  • Administration Building completed with one room library with space for five thousand volumes
  • University Librarian: Mary R. Emerick, 1899-?

1912-1914

  • Library occupies two rooms on 2nd floor south of chapel equipped with “several thousand well selected books and current periodicals, and adorned with a most attractive fitting of cases and library tables” (1912-13 Catalog)
  • Annual budget of $500 for new books, periodicals, etc.
  • Departmental libraries also supported in Commercial, Law, Manual Training, and Agriculture
  • Librarian: Olive Phillips, 1912-?

1917

  • Librarian: Esther Millet

1918

  • June 7th, Library opens its doors for service to 283 students in West Wing of Administration Building
  • Librarian: Hazel Armstrong, 1918-1921
  • Holdings: 1,500-1,800 books and 60 periodical subscriptions

1919

  • Holdings: 6,000 volumes

1921

  • Barcus Tichenor appointed Librarian
  • Library hours extended until 9 p.m. following installation of new lighting
  • Holdings: 6,650 volumes

1922-3

  • Head librarian Miss Barcus Tichenor, offers a non-prepared course in the use of the library.
  • Reference librarian added to staff
  • Holdings: 8,600 volumes and 90 periodical subscriptions
  • Library open 48 hours during the week

1925

  • New course offered in Library Science for Teacher-Librarians
  • Holdings: 16,000 volumes
  • Magazine subscriptions: 100
  • Plans for new library completed
  • June 17, cornerstone laid, with Barcus Tichenor, college librarian, wielding the trowel. Cornerstone committee, headed by Prof. R.R. LaFollette and chaired by Grace DeHority, placed a copper box (8 x 8 x 14) containing the following:
    • Pictures of the interior of the “old” library and of the new building as completed;
    • Signatures of members of the faculty and administration;
    • Signatures of students attending college at the time; 
    • Pictures of Presidents Parsons, Hines and Burris; 
    • Picture of the Ball brothers; 
    • Pictures of members of the board of trustees; 
    • Picture of Benjamin F. Moore; 
    • Picture of Governor Ed Jackson;
    • List of names of members of the state legislature;
    • List of names of finance committee of state legislature;
    • Copies of the college paper, The Easterner, containing a history of the college;
    • The Orient of 1926; a statue of the “Thinker”;
    • A Bible; and
    • A copy of the Declaration of Independence
  • April 14th, Library and Assembly hall opens
    • Style: Tudor Gothic
    • Architect: Snyder & Babbitt, Columbus, OH
    • Cost: $250,000
    • Collection: 20,000 volumes
    • Facilities: Reading room housing 92 students; “upstairs reading room” housing 96 students; Museum containing pictures, postcards lantern slides and “any other things which will be of help in teaching” (1927 Orient); Art Gallery with Frank Ball collection of paintings
  • Geraldine Kirkham, cataloger, added to staff
  • Circulation chief added to staff

1929

  • Freshmen required to take a one-hour non-prepared course “Use of the Library”

1930

  • Second cataloger, Miss Mary Pearson, added to staff
  • Four courses in library science offered
  • $2,000 spent on magazine subscriptions

1931

  • Holdings 40,000 volumes
  • Audio-visual collection becomes one of the largest and most important in the College Library, boasting “more than 1300 mounted pictures and a collection of two lanterns, twelve stereoscopes, and 1500 slides.”
  • Library open for 64 hours during the week during main school year and for 72 during the summer term

1932

  • Addition to West Wing completed at a cost of $43,000. This addition to the north more than doubled the existing capacity and provided office and class room facilities.
  • Library begins to collect school textbooks

1933 

  • Library offers course which help prepare students to qualify for the library science license
  • First master’s thesis, work of Mr. L.H. DeMoss, submitted to library

1935

  • State Board of Education passes regulation that, beginning September 1, 1938, a special high school license for librarians will be required in any junior or senior high school holding license for librarians will be recommended but not required in any high school holing the continuous commission.

1936

  • Inter-library loan commences
  • Audio-visual collection includes 5,200 mounted pictures, maps and various kinds of exhibits

1937

  • State Board of Education passes ruling requiring the employment of a teacher with a library science license in all of the Indiana high schools holding either first-class or continuous commissions
  • Circulation: 65,000

1938

  • Teaching Materials Service organized with Virginia Bell as director

1939

  • Fines levied on overdue books
  • Evelyn Hoke appointed as director of Teaching Materials Service
  • Library open 72 hours during the week
  • Holdings: 62,000 books; 6,000 bound periodicals; 700 reference books; 320 annual periodical subscriptions

1940

  • Electrically-operated charging machine introduce

1941

  • Holdings: 70,000 books; 7,300 bound periodicals; 700 reference books
  • Library Science Dept offers 36 hours of training leading to the Regular license Option I and Option II for employment in Indiana high schools.
  • Barcus Tichenor retires as head of the library, after 24 years of service; she is replaced by Marion B. Grady, Ph.D.
  • Library Technical Service formed
  • Holdings: 83,000 volumes

1947

  • Sheldon Stamper added to staff as film librarian

1948

  • Periodical Service Department gets its own quarters
  • Periodical service librarian appointed

1949

  • First microfilm reader installed

1950

  • Curriculum Laboratory opens on June 12 staffed by Miss Agnes Barron
  • Film Service department created with collection of 346 films; Miss Mary Tone named film librarian

1953

  • October 16th, ground-breaking ceremony for new wing

1955

  • February, East Wing completed , doubling original building's space
  • October 19th, dedication of East Wing
    • Size: 40,850 sq. ft.
    • Cost: $610,246
    • Architect: Walter Scholer Sr.
    • Holdings capacity: 300,000+
    • Divisions: Reference Service, Loan Service, Technical Service, Curriculum Laboratory, Teaching Materials Service, Film Service, Periodical Service
    • Film Service Department, 1956

    1959

    • Holdings: 200,000 volumes
    • Staff: 21 professional librarians, 17 clerical assistants and over 100 student assistants
    • Ball State libraries designated federal documents depository by Sen. Vance Hartke
    • West wing altered to provide two additional floors of stacks and improved facilities for some of the library services

    1961

    • Holdings: 225,000 books; 1,273 periodical subscriptions; 792 films; 2,433 filmstrips; 2,152 disc recordings; 584 tape recordings; 6,000 slides

    1962

    • Library receives first installment of Sir Norman Angell papers

    1963

    • 250,000th book, Shakespeare: Ten Great Plays, added

    1965

    • Ball State University Library
    • Library of Congress Classification System adopted; Dewey Decimal Classification system discontinued for all but College Juvenile collection

    1966

    • Opening of Architecture Library, first branch of the University Library
    • Dr. Keyes Metcalf, Librarian Emeritus of Harvard College, first consulted in the planning for new library facilities

    1967

    • Expansion by renovation—Assembly Hall converted to library purposes
    • May, 300,000th volume added; Gregg Press reprint of a book published in London in 1750 by Sir Christopher Wren

    1968

    • John J. Pruis becomes President of Ball State University and assigns first priority to the planning for the new library
    • University Board of Trustees appoint Frazier G. Poole, planning consultant from the Library of Congress, to write a program for the new library facility to accommodate over 20,000 students and a million volumes
    • Marion B. Grady, Head Librarian, summarized the functional needs as determined by the library staff
    • Library Science Library becomes operational

    1969

    • Marion B. Grady resigns; Ray R. Suput named Director of the University Library; Richard W. Burkhardt, Vice President for Instructional Affairs and Dean of Faculties, assigns Suput the primary challenge of programming of the library

    1970

    • July 1, library staff, in consultation with Keyes metcalf, librarian emeritus, Harvard College, and Frazer Poole, Library of Congress, issue A Statement of Program for the Proposed New Library

    1972

    • May 24th, ground-breaking for new library
    • Curriculum Laboratory and Microform Service transferred to the Division of Educational Resources
    • Special Collections and University Archives become active units of Division of Information Sources
    • Architecture Library moved to fourth floor of Architecture Building
    • Science-Health Science Library becomes operational
    • Library becomes Depository Library for Indiana government publications

    1974

    • February 20th, new library officially named Alexander M. Bracken Library by unanimous action of the Ball State University board of trustees, to honor the man who had just completed twenty years of distinguished service as a Trustee of Ball State University.
    • Continuations Catalog Service department formed

    1975

    • August, Library Movers of America contracted to move more than 700,000 books, thousands of periodicals and government documents, microfilms, microfiche and micro records. A crew of 43 moved the volumes using 22 three-shelf library carts, moving approximately 50,000 books a day. A coding system worked out by Phyllis Harland, head of Division of General Collections, ensured a smooth and efficient transfer.
    • September 9th, Alexander M. Bracken Library opens
    • Total holdings: 873,268 volumes, including 190,657 microforms
    • Archives and Special Collections opens

    1976

    • Miss Elisabeth Ball donates Bicentenary Liberty Bell to Ball State to be displayed in new Bracken Library
    • March 26th, dedication of Bracken Library; Stephen K. Bailey, vice president of the American Council on Education, Washington DC, and author of many books on politics, government and education, gives the principal address
    • John Steinbeck Collection formal opening & reception, Dr. Tetsumaro Hayashi, Director of the John Steinbeck Society of America, presiding, Mrs. Elaine Steinbeck and Miss Elizabeth R. Otis in attendance
    • University Libraries' cataloging records begin being produced in machine readable (MARC) format by OCLC

    1977

    • May 14, small group meets in the Forum Room of Pittenger Student Center and forms the Friends of the Alexander M. Bracken Library
    • Small fire in library
    • Dr. Ray Suput's title changed to University Librarian, formerly Director of Library
    • Library Science Library moved to Room 323 and Room 324 A and C
    • Bibliographic Search Service and Precataloging turn their operations from a completely manual mode to OCLC
    • Cecil Leeson of the School of Music presents library with the Cecil Leeson Archival Saxophone Collection
    • Office of Library Instruction created
    • Friends of Alexander M. Bracken Library initiate annual Carol Sing

    1978

    • April 15, Friends of Bracken Library holds first annual luncheon

    1979

    • November 4th, library receives 1 millionth book, John Keat’s Lamia, Isabella, The Eve of St. Agnes and Other Poems, printed in London in 1820, as a gift from Mr. and Mrs. Alexander Bracken
    • Delaware County Archives renamed Althea L. Stoeckel Delaware County Archives and Local History Collection
    • Citizens of Indiana, with valid driver license, eighteen and older, permitted to check out stack books

    1980

    • Center for Middletown Studies inaugurated in the library

    1981

    • Computerized Bibliographic Searching service initiated

    1982

    • Michael B. Wood becomes Dean of University Libraries
    • Library initiates major changes in its internal organization and structure

    1983

    • Consolidation and reorganization of library's public services
    • Gate to the Periodical/Reserve area removed

    1984

    • Library commences retrospective conversion of catalog records; Carrollton Press begins process of converting 5.2 million Library of Congress cataloging records into MARC format
    • Library Science Library closed

    1985

    • INNOVACQ selected for OPAC's acquisitions and serials control modules
    • September 9th, 10th Anniversary of Bracken Library
    • December 2nd, 25th Anniversary as federal documents depository attended by Senator Dan Quayle
    • Circulation: item checked out every 30 seconds

    1986

    • Ball State hosts conference of the Association of College and Research Libraries
    • Acquisitions and Serials Control System of Innovative Interfaces, Inc., installed

    1987

    • Automated card catalog and circulation system unveiled, providing access to 300,000 records

    1988

    • Map library becomes depository for the U.S. National ocean Service

    1989

    • Special Collections renamed Archives and Special Collections
    • Library signage project completed
    • Science-Health Science Library moves to its new quarters in the Cooper Science building
    • President Worthen announces creation of the Edgar and Lois Seward Book Fund as part of the Wings for the Future Campaign to purchase library resources

    1990

    • Library migrates OPAC to IBM-based NOTIS system
    • Online circulation implemented
    • "Smart" barcodes put into use
    • Equipment for photocopy debit cards installed
    • Friends of Bracken Library authorize funding for five scholarships intended to encourage and to benefit staff personnel who undertake graduate education
    • Card catalog no longer kept up-to-date

    1991

    • OPAC renamed ANSER (Academic Network Serving Education and Research)
    • Card Catalog 2, containing everything acquired since 1981, removed
    • University Libraries begin compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Architecture Library's Architecture Slide Collection provided with OPAC records and barcodes

    1992

    • Card Catalog 1 removed
    • Ethernet LAN installed
    • CD-ROM LAN hardware and software installed

    1993

    • REFNET implemented, allowing users to ask short questions via VAX mail
    • Architecture Slide Collection named in honor of Professor David R. Hermansen

    1994

    • Archives and Special Collections adds a copy of The Surgeons Mate, or a Treatise Discovering the Contents of the Surgeons Chest (1617) to its collection, one of nine such copies in the world
    • Professor David Hermansen donates more than 14,000 slides to the Architecture Library
    • The George and Frances Ball Foundation completed a gift of $1 million to the Library Endowment as part of the Wings for the Future capital campaign
    • Library receives only surviving print of a 1915 film, The Manhaters, filmed in Muncie with a cast of local actors; the film is the oldest surviving Indiana motion picture
    • Congressman Phil Sharp, donates his congressional papers
    • Internet Gopher becomes operational

    1996

    • Email a Librarian serves added to University Libraries' homepage

    1997

    • Administrative reorganization results in creation of Instructional Services (Educational Resources, Public Services, and Library Instruction) and Information Services (Reference and Government Publications Services, Music, Maps, Architecture Library, and Science-Health Science Library)
    • Electronic classroom constructed in rooms 104-105
    • Electronic Reserves Pilot Project
    • Library received donation of a collection of Civil War era letters written by G.W.H. Kemper and his wife, Hattie
    • University Archives and Special Collections receives prestigious Certificate of Commendation from the American Association of State and Local History for its work restoring the film The Man Haters

    1998

    • University Libraries selects SIRSI for new integrated online library system
    • JSTOR and Academic Universe databases added

    2000

    • 25th Anniversary of Bracken Library
    • Patron-initiated online reminder notices of due dates implemented

    2001

    • Instructional Services, Reference Services and Government Publications became known collectively as Information Services; units formerly described as Information Services became Specialized Services
    • DVD format added to Educational Resources collection
    • Music Listening Center moves from third floor to lower level
    • First wireless network access points implemented
    • Archives and Special Collections begins move of Delaware County records to Muncie Public Library
    • Two digitization projects implemented, one the Architecture Slide Collection, the other the Otto Sellers Photograph Collection

    2002

    • EZProxy software installed, opening access to many index, abstract and full0text databases to BSU community members from off-campus Internet connections
    • University Libraries joins the Library of Congress' Collaborative Digital Reference Service program
    • Music Listening Center begins circulating compact discs

    2003

    • Information Technology Assistance Center (ITAC) created
    • University Libraries' Web site redesigned using Vignette software
    • iWave wireless connectivity introduced
    • Creation of Ball State Virtual Press
    • Laptops, projectors and digital cameras available for borrowing
    • Bracken Library undergoes renovation
    • Technology Training Support Services (TTSS) formed
    • Online Technology Training service implemented
    • Library Insider newsletter begins circulating to Ball State community

    2004

    • Digital Library Initiative (now Digitial Media Repository) implemented
    • University Libraries begin hosting musical performances
    • Middletown Digital Archives added to Libraries' Web site
    • CardCat replaces WebCat
    • Master's Theses, Doctoral Dissertations, and Honors College Theses digitized
    • Media Finders search tools deployed

    2005

    • Friends of Alexander M. Bracken Library and the estate of Judith Cobb provide funding for purchase of CONTENTdm
    • Digital Library Initiative (now Digital Media Repository) collections made available online using CONTENTdm
    • 360° virtual tour of Bracken Library made available online
    • Mobile Development Project launched
    • 30th Anniversary of Bracken Library