Campus: CSU Fresno -- August 31, 2001

Fresno State Library Acquires Its One-Millionth Volume

The Henry Madden Library at California State University, Fresno will confirm its status as a major academic library when it adds its one millionth volume next month.

The library will celebrate the milestone and display the volume at a ceremony at noon on Sept. 14 near its front entrance.

The millionth book, "Relación histórica de la vida y apostólicas tareas del Venerable Padre Fray Junípero Serra," is a biography of Father Junípero Serra, written in Spanish by Francisco Palóu, his close friend and fellow cleric.

Printed in 1787, it is the first printing of the first biography ever published of Father Serra, the founder of the California mission system. An engraved portrait of Father Serra is included as well as a fold-out map tracing Father Serra's travels in both Alta California and the new California.

The Madden Library is the sixth-largest in the 23-campus California State University system and the only major research library between Sacramento and Northridge. The 1 million volumes consist of approximately 700,000 books and 300,000 volumes of bound periodicals.

The library is known for its wealth of primary source material -- especially about Central California -- of particular interest to researchers. In fact, officials of the new University of California at Merced have requested that its library be linked to Madden Library to provide research materials for UC faculty and students. Negotiations are under way.

Another part of the millionth volume celebration is the Madden Library's "First Friday" events throughout the fall. In addition, contests for Fresno State students revolving around the theme of "1 million" will be held each month.

Michael Gorman, Fresno State's dean of library services, said the millionth volume is a significant milestone for a library that started out 90 years ago in support of teacher training at the newly established Fresno State Normal School.

By the end of that first academic year, the library had 432 books. In 1914, the first librarian was hired and within 10 years, the collection had grown to more than 10,000 volumes.

It was during Henry Miller Madden's long tenure as University Librarian (1949-1979) that the library's collection began to expand appreciably both in size, depth and breadth. Madden was a scholar and a bibliophile whose vision and leadership molded the library into one of the largest and best of its kind.

Gorman, named library dean in 1988, continues the library's tradition of excellence. Internationally recognized among librarians, Gorman recently received the 2001 Highsmith Library Literature Award at the American Library Association annual conference for his book, "Our Enduring Values: Librarianship in the 21st Century."

The millionth volume on Father Serra was once owned by Jean Hersholt (1886-1956), a well-known book collector and Hollywood actor. The biography has been translated, adapted and reprinted several times over the years and is a significant source on the early history of California.

The volume was purchased with funds provided by O. James Woodward III and Judith Woodward of Fresno. It was chosen to complement the Madden Library's Roy J. Woodward Memorial Library of Californiana, with important works relating to the history of California. In 1950 this collection was given to the library by the Roy Woodward's heirs, among them his teen-age grandson, the future donor of the millionth volume.

In 1997, Jim Woodward and his wife created a $25,000 endowment to fund continuing acquisitions for the Woodward Collection.


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