Guide to the San José State University and the San José Public Library System Joint Library Project Records MSS.2009.08.05

Robert Donahue
SJSU Special Collections & Archives
© 2008
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library
San José State University
One Washington Square
San José, CA 95192-0028
special.collections@sjsu.edu


Language of Material: English
Contributing Institution: SJSU Special Collections & Archives
Title: San José State University and the San José Public Library System Joint Library Project Records
creator: San José State University
Identifier/Call Number: MSS.2009.08.05
Physical Description: 25.0 boxes (28.88 linear feet)
Date (inclusive): 1994-2005
Abstract: The San José State University and the San José Public Library System Joint Library Project Records, 1994-2005 (bulk 1998-2000) document the planning and construction of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, the first joint venture between a university and public library in the U.S. The records consist of administrative files, architectural files and renderings, legal files, newspaper clippings, photographs, and promotional materials.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright is assigned to the San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Special Collections and Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader. Copyright restrictions also apply to digital reproductions of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.

Preferred Citation

San José State University and the San José Public Library System Joint Library Project Records, MSS-2009-08-05, San José State University Library Special Collections and Archives.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Robert Donahue. Finding aid EAD encoded by Mary Ellen Petrich. Reviewed by Danelle Moon and Erin Louthen. Box 25 added to the collection by Dana V. Lema in 2017.

Project Information

This finding aid was created as part of the Survey and Cataloging Project, a two-year San José State University Library grant project funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission. The project began in 2008. The Project Director is Danelle Moon. The Project Archivist is Erin Louthen.

Organizational History

In 1857 the San Francisco Board of Education established Minns' Evening Normal School for current and prospective teachers in the city. Named after its principal, George W. Minns, the institution was formally established as the first California State Normal School by the State Legislature in 1862. A decade later, the Legislature voted to move the Normal School to San José, and the school relocated to its new home on Washington Square prior to the fall term of 1872. After a fire destroyed the Normal School building in 1880, the Legislature authorized 200,000 dollars to construct a new building on the same site. Completed in 1881, the building was commonly referred to as the Second State Normal School. After several names and curriculum changes, Minns' Normal School is now San José State University, offering more than 134 bachelor's and master's degrees with 110 concentrations, and is recognized as one of the top public universities granting such degrees in the West.
In 1996, SJSU President Robert L. Caret and San José Mayor Susan Hammer began early discussions to build a joint library, and in 1998 the two entities signed an operating agreement. Complex planning efforts began in 1999 and in 2003 the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library opened to the public. The completion of the 475,000-square foot library--the largest library to be built at one time west of the Mississippi--under budget and on schedule became known as "the miracle on Fourth Street." The amount of planning and productivity to carry out this innovative venture required multiple layers of collaboration, fund-raising, and support from a diverse community of users.
The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library provides combined services for the campus community of 30,000 students, SJSU faculty and staff, and to the larger community population of close to one million people. The merger has enhanced access and discovery to a wealth of resources, from books, e-books, databases, audiovisual materials, and primary sources to an expansive public art collection. The library opened in 2003 despite initial opposition from some university faculty and members of the community at large. Today the library serves as a gateway from K-12 to higher education, and has become the cornerstone for life-long learning in the region.

Related Material

San José State University Library Records, MSS-2009-03-03, San José State University Library Special Collections & Archives.

Scope and Content of Collection

The San José State University and the San José Public Library System Joint Library Project Records, 1994-2005 document the planning and construction of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library. The records consist of administrative files, architectural files and renderings, legal files, newspaper clippings, photographs, and promotional materials.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into three series: Series I. General Joint Library Files, 1997-2005; Series II. Architectural Files, 1994-2003 (bulk 1999); and Series III. Promotional Materials, 1998-2004.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Library buildings -- California -- San Jose -- Planning.
Joint-use libraries -- California -- San José.
Education, Higher -- California -- San José.
Library buildings -- California -- San Jose -- Design and construction.
San José State University

 

Series I: General Joint Library Files Series I: 1997-2005 (bulk 1998-2000) 1998-2000

Physical Description: 16.0 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

The materials in this series document the planning and construction of the joint library, from conceptualization to the building's grand opening in August 2003. The series includes architectural specifications, correspondence, general files, meeting minutes, reports, and technology and network information.

Arrangement

This series is arranged chronologically by date range.
Box 1

General Files, Legal Documents 1997

Box 2

Memos & Email Correspondence: C. James Schmidt's Office 1998-1999

Box 3

Architectural Bids: Construction & Building Design 1998-2000

Box 4

Opposition to Joint Library and Planning Files from David McNeil 1998-2000

Box 5-9

General Files 1998-2002

Box 10-11

General Files: SJPL Program Manager Sharon Russell 1998-2003

Box 12

General Files: SJSU Associate Dean Jo Bell Whitlatch 1998-2005

Box 13

Library Technology, CAT 5, Network 1999-2002

Box 14

Meeting Minutes, Agendas, General Files 2000-2003

Box 15

General Files, Operations & Planning 2002

Box 16

General Files, Consultants' Reports, Legal Documents 2002-2003

 

Series II: Architectural Files Series II: 1994-2003 (bulk 1999) 1999

Physical Description: 4.0 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

The materials in this series document architectural plans concerning the joint library project. Included are concept drawings for the building, as well as items and materials suggested for use in the interior such as furniture and library stacks and shelving. Also included are photographs and consultant files on the joint library project.

Arrangement

This series is arranged chronologically by date range.
Box 17

Architectural, Interior Design Files, Concept Files 1994

Box 18

Architectural, Interior Design Files 1998-1999

Box 19-20

Architectural, Interior Design Files, Advisory Files, AV Equipment 1999-2003

 

Series III: Promotional Materials Series III: 1998-2004

Physical Description: 5.0 boxes

Series Scope and Content Summary

This series documents various types of materials used to promote the joint library project, including media coverage of the building's construction and grand opening. Several different formats are represented in the series, including newspaper clippings, photographs, t-shirt samples, and audiovisual materials.

Arrangement

This series is arranged chronologically by date range.
Box 21

Articles, Newspapers 1998-2000

Box 22

Audiovisual Materials, Photographs 1998-2003

Box 23

Newspaper Clippings, Photographs 1998-2003

Box 24

Grand Opening Promotional Material 2003

Box 25

Awards and Recognition 2004