Guide to the Library Collection, 1967-1989

Guide prepared by Danielle K. Lopez
NASA Ames History Archives
NASA Ames Research Center
Mail Stop 207-1
Moffett Field, California 94035
Phone: (650) 604-1032

Guide to the Library Collection, 1967-1989

NASA Ames History Archives

NASA Ames Research Center

Contact Information:

  • NASA Ames History Archives
  • NASA Ames Research Center
  • Mail Stop 207-1
  • Moffett Field, CA 94035
  • Phone: (650) 604-1032
  • Email:
  • URL:
Collection processed by:
Danielle K. Lopez
Date Completed:
December 2020

Descriptive Summary

Title: Library Collection
Date (inclusive): 1967-1989
Collection Number: ARC17.06
Creator: Ames Research Center
Extent: Number of containers: 5

Volume: 5 cubic feet
Repository: Ames Research Center, Ames History Archives
Moffett Field, California 94035
Abstract: The Library Collection provides insight on library staff, culture, planning, operations, and facility changes for nearly two decades, from 1967 to 1989. This collection of materials contains an array of photographs, outreach materials, and administrative documents from the Ames Main Library, later named Technical Library, and the Life Sciences Library. Photographs depict personnel, library interiors, and facility changes. Outreach materials include the Library's Upstairs, Downstairs, and Across the Street newsletter and brochures. Administrative documentation includes planning and operations files.
Language: English

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright does not apply to United States government records. For non-government material, researcher must contact the original creator.

Preferred Citation

NASA Ames History Archives, NASA Ames Research Center. Moffett Field, California. ARC17.06, Library Collection, [Container number]: [Folder number]. [Identification of item]. [Date, if available].

Abbreviated Citation

NASA ARC. ARC17.06, [Container number]: [Folder number]. [Identification of item]. [Date, if available].

Acquisition Information

Transferred by the Technical Library on March 22, 2017 (Acc. 2017-006).

Indexing Terms

The following terms may be used to index this collection.

Corporate Name

Ames Research Center
Life Sciences Library (Ames Research Center)
Main Library (Ames Research Center)
Technical Library (Ames Research Center)

Personal Name

Alexander, Diane
Andrejak, Catherine R.
Cohen, Doreen C
Clark, Deanna K.
Dueker, Sarah C.
Fleek, Edna
Frazier, Beverly
French, Patricia
Greene, Mickey
Head, Sylvia
Johnson, Esther K.
Johnson, James F.
Keegan, Sheila H.
Landers, Harry M.
Pappas, Daniel T.
Ponce, Kathleen
Roncaglia, George J.
Rutkowski, Susan
Sandford, Betsy R.
Schubert, William
Schwier, Robert R.
Shiplett, Darrell D.
Snyder, Kenneth A.
Steere, David
Walsh, Mary E.
Yung, Donna Y.
Zeleny, Steven C.


Ames Research Center -- Libraries
Ames Research Center -- Libraries -- Periodicals
Libraries -- Design and Construction
Library Buildings -- Safety Measures -- Planning
Library Management (Ames Research Center)
Library Resources -- California -- Ames Research Center
Science and technology librarians

Scope and Content

The Library collection consists of photographs, outreach materials, and administrative documents from both the Main Library (later named Technical Library), and the Life Sciences Library. The materials depict library personnel, planning operations, and physical changes to the facilities from 1967 to 1989. The photographs and documents are evidence of different phases of improvements and footprint reductions, while the outreach materials are examples of communication efforts during those two decades. The collection is arranged into three series: Photographs, Outreach, and Administrative Documentation. Though multiple libraries were in operation during this time, with each library serving a specific research interest, this collection focuses on the Main and Life Sciences Libraries.
The Photograph Series provides views of librarians and library interiors, such as the reading room, offices, and shelving units from both the Main and Life Sciences Libraries from 1967-1971. Other images depict staff preparing for a collection move prior to the Main Library's seismic retrofit from 1988-1989. Documentation related to the collection move and other physical changes to the library facility shown in these photographs can be found in Series III. The photographs in this series include snapshots taken by library personnel and official images taken by an Ames photographer.
The Outreach Series is predominately made up of bound volumes of the Library staff newsletter Upstairs, Downstairs, and Across the Street, which ran from 1977-1980. Other materials in the series include Ames Astrogram articles and brochures about the library services dated from 1969-1980.
The Administrative Documents Series includes topics related to library planning and operations. The majority of the documentation captures how the library physically changed between 1968-1983. Throughout the years the Main Library and Life Sciences Library experienced improvements, expansions, and reductions. Library services and the physical footprint of facilities changed over time. The planning and operation documentation provide insights into some of those changes. Photographs from Series I provide visual documentation of facility changes.

Arrangement of the Library Collection

The Library collection was received with no apparent order beyond materials being organized by format. The materials are arranged in three series by format and function, and then in chronological order.
  • Series include:
  • I. Library Photographs, 1967-1989
  • II. Library Outreach, 1969-1980
  • III. Administrative Documents, 1968-1983


I Library Photographs 1967-1989

Scope and Content Note

Photographs in this series include both the Main Library and Life Sciences Library. The collection of photographs includes an oversized photograph of the library group, images of library personnel, interior shots of the various library facilities, a collection move, and construction during a seismic retrofit. Also included is imagery of the Remote Console Information Retrieval System (RECON), which was a catalog system commissioned by NASA and later adapted for outside institutions.
Library personnel and patrons shown in the photographs include: former ARC Library Branch Chief Sarah Dueker, Deputy Branch Chief Mary Walsh, NASA Center for AeroSpace Information (CASI) employee Edna Fleek, CASI employee David Steere, Dryden Library Technician Deanna K. Clark, Librarian Patricia French, Cataloging Librarian Betsy Sandford, Cataloging Librarian Donna Yung, former Library Branch Chief George Roncaglia, Circulation Clerk Jim Johnson, Library Clerk Steven Zeleny, Interlibrary Loan Technician Kathleen (Kathy) Ponce, Library Information Technology Specialist Harry Landers, Acquisition Clerk Mickey Greene, Life Sciences Library Clerk Beverly Frazier, Head of Library contract Sheila Keegan, Reference Librarian Daniel (Dan) Pappas, Life Sciences Librarian Esther Khoo Johnson, Cataloger Susan Rutkowski, and Acquisition Technician Kenneth Snyder. An oversized print of the library staff taken around 1980 features: Contract Library Project Manager Doreen Cohen, Kathleen (Kathy) Ponce, Interlibrary Loan Technician Sylvia Head, Library Branch Chief Secretary Diane Alexander, Cataloger, William (Bill) Schubert, Cataloger Steven (Steve) Zeleny, Acquisition Librarian Catherine (Cathy) Andrejak, Reference Librarian Robert Schweier, and Library Branch Chief Mary Walsh. Library staff designations reflect positions at the time the photographs were taken.
A subgroup of the library personnel photographs focuses on a computer installation and NASA's RECON catalog system, an online bibliographic retrieval system. The RECON system was developed by Lockheed through a contract awarded by NASA. The Ames Libraries adopted the RECON system in 1968.
The remaining photographs capture various shots of the library interior and seismic retrofit preparation activities. Interior photographs dating from 1967 to 1971 include research areas, book stacks, the circulation desk, reading room tables, personnel offices, film reel shelves, and microfiche rooms. Photographs from the seismic retrofit date from 1987 to 1989 and mainly focus on the day-to-day activities leading up to the construction.
A file index of digitized photographs accompanies this series.

II Library Outreach 1969-1980

Scope and Content Note

This series contains outreach materials including the library newsletter titled Upstairs, Downstairs, and Across the Street, vacancy announcements, brochure drafts, and Astrogram articles about the libraries. The Main and Life Science Libraries used to encompass a large footprint and support staff throughout Ames Research Center. Therefore the outreach efforts were robust enough to produce materials such as an internal library newsletter.
The Upstairs, Downstairs, and Across the Street newsletter ran from 1977 to 1979 and was circulated to the Library staff across the center. Issues for Volumes I-III of the newsletters were compiled and bound, while Volume IV, which consists of one issue, was left unbound. Reference Librarian Daniel (Dan) Pappas served as the Editor in Chief and periodically brought in guest editors for various issues. The newsletters contained book reviews, puzzles, poems, cooking recipes, short stories, summer reading lists, restaurant recommendations, open positions, drawing/content contest, letters to the editor, doodles, and general announcements.
Brochures found in this series highlighted library services and served as a mechanism to communicate available library resources. The brochures provided researchers with a summary of library resources and services. The Astrogram articles served to share important events, highlight events taking place in the library, and announce vacancies. Both the brochures and Astrogram articles served as a mechanism to communicate with the Ames work force.

III Administrative Documents 1968-1983

Scope and Content Note

This series includes planning and operation documentation from the library renovations and files from the Library Committee dating 1968 to 1983. Photographs from Series I compliment these administrative materials and provide visual documentation on the topics discussed throughout the series.
As documented in this collection, the Library demonstrated the need for a renovation between 1979-1983. The Library's renovation planning and operation files include Earthquake Preparedness Taskforce documentation, shelving unit research, proposal outlines, renovation estimates, proposed layouts, subcommittee reports, and an oversized portfolio titled Proposed Library and Communications Facility. Documentation in this series supported the need to renovate the Main Library and to prepare the facility for any potential earthquakes. Materials further document research into research into earthquake damage to libraries in the region. As an example, photographs were collected from local libraries depicting destruction of library reading rooms and toppled shelving units caused by earthquakes. In line with earthquake preparedness and awareness of potential destruction, the library staff conducted a shelving study and documented their findings. In the Proposed Library and Communications Facility portfolio, photographs compare existing library facilities at Ames with libraries at other NASA centers. The portfolio also includes the growth of the library's collection from 1962 to 1967 and proposed floor layouts to accommodate the library expansion.
The Library Committee documentation provides insight into the operations of the library from 1969 to 1975. Including organization charts, correspondence, budgets, meeting agendas, library evaluation reports, library services technical processing statistics, agency library organization chart, user statistics, microfilm study and listing of services. Although not a comprehensive collection of committee files, these documents provide an adequate sampling of the Library Committee activities.


I. Library Photographs

Box 1, Folder 1

Ames Photographer Images, 1967-1971

Box 1, Folder 2

Library Personnel Snapshots, 1980-1989

Box 1, Folder 3

Ames Cataloger Steve Zeleny undated

Box 4, Folder 1

Oversize Group Photograph, 1980


II. Library Outreach

Box 1, Folder 4

Library Brochures, 1969-1971

Box 1, Folder 5

Library Astrogram Articles, 1970-1979

Box 1, Folder 6

Library Newsletter Volume 1-2, 1977-1979

Box 2, Folder 1

Library Newsletter Volume 3, 1979

Box 2, Folder 2

Library Newsletter Volume 4, 1980


III. Administrative Documents

Box 2, Folder 3-4

Library Committee I, 1969-1972

Box 2, Folder 5

Library Committee II, 1973-1977

Box 2, Folder 6

Serial Holdings and Microfilm Study, 1975

Box 3, Folder 1-2

Earthquake Shelving Research, 1977

Box 3, Folder 3-4

Earthquake Study, 1979-1983

Box 3, Folder 5

Earthquake Study Photographs, undated

Box 4, Folder 2

Proposed Library and Communications Facility Portfolio, 1968