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Dissertation Information for John Cushman Abbott

NAME:
- John Cushman Abbott

DEGREE:
- Ph.D.

DISCIPLINE:
- Library and Information Science

SCHOOL:
- University of Michigan, Ann Arbor (USA) (1957)

ADVISORS:
- None

COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
- Rudolph H. Gjelsness
- Frederick Clever Bald
- Raymond L. Kilgour
- Russell E. Bidlack

MPACT Status: Incomplete - Inspected

Title: RAYMOND CAZALLIS DAVIS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN GENERAL LIBRARY, 1877-1905

Abstract:
The purpose of this study is to provide a detailed description of
the University of Michigan General Library during the administration
of Raymond Caza11is Davis, fran 1877 to 1905, and to supply such biographical
material relating to Davis as will explain his role as
Librarian.
Part I of this study is comprised of. a biography of Davis, from
his birth in a Maine seacoast town in 1836 to his death in Ann Arbor
in 1919. His early education was obtained in the local district
schools which he attended until the age of thirteen. Then came two
years spent in a world voyage and four years in academies in New
Hampshire. He entered the University of Michigan in 1857, but as a result
of a nervous breakdown near the end of his second year he was
forced to give up serious intellectual labor for ten years. By 1868
he had recovered sufficiently to permit him to accept the position of
Assistant Librarian of the University of Michigan, a post which he
filled with much success. In 1872 he was unexpectedly appointed to
succeed the incumbent Librarian, Andrew Ten Brook. However, Ten Brook
received considerable support from the faculty and was allowed to continue
in his post, with the result that Davis returned to Maine without
an occupation. In 1877 Ten Brook was deposed without apparent
opposition and Davis, then forty-one, became Librarian.
"Part II is comprised of a history of the University Library under
Davis. The most important single event of Davis' administration was
the construction of the 1883 Library building, the most notable features
of which were the multitier book stacks and the provision of seminar
rooms. The chief problem faced by Davis was the necessity of
building up the book collections in order to provide adequately for
the instructional and research needs of the University. While the
collections did not increase as rapidly as did those of most of the
major universities, the co11ections did increase eight times from the
approximately 24,000 volumes in 1877, a considerable achievement in
view of the funds available. Unfortunately, same aspects of the Library's
services were in some degree slighted due to the limited resources
available and the demands made by the basic functions of
acquisition and organization of the collections. Davis' interest in
the public service aspects of librarianship is illustrated by his introduction,
in 1883, of a credit course in bibliography, the first
such course offered in this country. Since the book collections were
accessible to only a small prpportion of the users, much emphasis was
placed upon improving the card catalogs, which were divided into author
and subject sections, the latter including periodical articles and
other analytics. Tbe fixed location classification which Davis devised
in 1883 presented major difficulties and in 1897 the reclassification
according to the Dewey system was begun. A major innovation was
the aSSigning of most literary works, regardless of form, and works
pertaining to them, of American and British authors, to Dewey 828, or
equivalent numbers for other literatures. Also the Dewey 400's,
philology, were eliminated, and combined with the 8oo's,literature.

MPACT Scores for John Cushman Abbott

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-04-17 15:26:22

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Students under John Cushman Abbott

ADVISEES:
- None

COMMITTEESHIPS:
- None