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Guide to the Joseph P. Breedlove papers, 1913-1950

Abstract

Breedlove was appointed Librarian of Trinity College in 1898 and oversaw the growth of the libraries after Trinity expanded to become Duke University. He served as Librarian until 1939 when he was named Librarian Emeritus.

The Joseph P. Breedlove papers document the expansion and management of the Duke University Library after the General Library opens in 1930. The papers contain some annual reports of the Trinity College as well as an undated Guide to the Trinity College Library. Correspondence with Library Council member B. Harvie Branscomb includes a June 14, 1937 feasibility report of the resources needed to convert the Library classification scheme from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress. The collection also includes a history of Wiley Gray medal with a list of winners.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
University Archives, Duke University
Creator
Breedlove, Joseph Penn, 1874-1955
Title
Joseph P. Breedlove papers, 1913-1950
Language of Material
English
Extent
2.0 Linear Feet, 2000 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The bulk of the Breedlove papers document the expansion and management of the Library after the General Library opens in 1930. Some annual reports from the Trinity College era can be found in Box 1 and an undated Guide to the Trinity College Library is located in Box 3. Box 3 also contains speeches and articles by Breedlove as well as a report on library instruction for freshmen. Of particular interest is a folder in Box 1 containing Breedlove’s correspondence with B. Harvie Branscomb. Branscomb was a member of the Library Council and served as Director of Libraries (a faculty appointment) from 1934 to 1941. A June 14, 1937 feasibility report of the resources needed to convert the Library classification scheme from Dewey Decimal to Library of Congress can be found in the Branscomb folder. In addition to materials about the Library, the collection also includes documentation of Breedlove’s campus activities with the Trinity Class of 1898 and a history of Wiley Gray medal with a list of winners.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

Collection is open for research.

In off-site storage; 48 hours advance notice is required for use.

warning Use Restrictions

Copyright for Official University records is held by Duke University; all other copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Contents of the Collection

Annual report of the Library, 1913-1925
Box 1
Annual report of the Library, 1928-1935
Box 1
Annual report of the Library, 1944-1945
Box 1
Binding, 1929-1933
Box 1
Book loans, 1934-1942
Box 1
Books lost, 1938-1946
Box 1
Branscomb, Harvie, correspondence and reports, 1927-1940
Box 1
Budget fund, 1925-1927
Box 1
Church material in Duke Library, 1941-1943
Box 1
Class of 1898 alumni file
Box 1
Correspondence, 1923-1924
Box 1
Correspondence, 1924-1927
Box 1
Correspondence, 1928-1933
Box 1
Correspondence, 1934-1938
Box 2
Correspondence, 1939-1941
Box 2
Correspondence, 1942-1943
Box 2
Correspondence, 1944-1949
Box 2
Correspondence, personnel, 1925-1942
Box 2
Correspondence, student assistants, 1927-1942
Box 2
Equipment, 1931-1935
Box 2
Expenditures, 1929
Box 2
Fee fund and reports, 1930-1942
Box 2
Financial reports, 1920-1929
Box 2
Friends of the Duke University Library, 1945
Box 2
Glasson, William, 1924-1942
Box 2
Guide to the Use of the Trinity College Library
Box 3
Inventory and reference survey, 1934-1935
Box 3
John Spencer Bassett Collection contributions
Box 3
Library Committee/Council, 1920-1942
Box 3
Medicine, 1926
Box 3
Memos, receipts, miscellaneous, 1929-1950
Box 3
N.Y.A. workers, 1934-1942 (2 folders)
Box 3
North Carolina Library Association, 1933-1946
Box 3
Periodicals received, 1931-1946
Box 3
Red Cross British War Relief, 1941-1942
Box 3
Report on Library Instruction for Freshmen, 1937-1938
Box 3
Report to the American Library Association, 1932-1938
Box 3
Speeches and writings
Box 3
Staff of the General Library, 1928-1940
Box 4
Staff salaries, 1931-1939
Box 4
Statistics, 1930-1941
Box 4
Statistics, accessions, 1931-1946
Box 4
Statistics, manuscripts, 1934-1940
Box 4
Statistics, Trinity and Duke, 1882-1929
Box 4
Student help, 1939-1942
Box 4
Treasure Room lists, 1931-1932
Box 4
Wiley Gray Medals winners and history, 1879-1942
Box 4

Historical Note

Joseph P. Breedlove was born July 15, 1874 in Granville, N.C., to John Henry and Susan Caroline Breedlove. A descendant of John Penn, one of North Carolina's signers of the Declaration of Independence, Breedlove attended Horner's Military School in Oxford, N.C. He went on to the University of North Carolina in 1894, but transferred after his freshman year to Trinity College, where he received his undergraduate degree in 1898 and a Masters of Arts degree in 1902.

Breedlove was appointed Librarian of Trinity College in September of 1898, when the Library occupied a single room in the Washington Duke Building. Breedlove received his Library training in the summer of 1900 at Amherst, where he studied under William I. Fletcher, who was a pioneer in the field of library education. While at Amherst he also met Charles A. Cutter, who developed the Cutter classification system. Breedlove continued his library education in the summer of 1902, when he did a practicum at the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore.

By 1902 the Trinity College Library had grown to 15,000 volumes and moved to the newly completed Library over the Christmas break. Until September of 1914 when he was able to hire a staff member to assist with cataloging, Breedlove handled all aspects of Library operation with minimal student assistance. Library operations grew substantially after Trinity College expanded into Duke University. During the period of 1924 to 1930, Library operations grew to include the General Library (West campus) and the Woman's College Library (East campus) as well as the libraries for the schools of Law, Medicine, and Religion. Under Breedlove's direction, the General Library was organized into the divisions of Reference, Circulation, Periodicals, Newspaper, Serials, and Continuations, Reserve Books, and Graduate Reserve as well as the departments of Catalog, Order, and Manuscript.

Breedlove served as Librarian until September 1939 when he was named Librarian Emeritus. In the years after his retirement he continued to work on library projects and wrote a history of the Library entitled Duke University Library, 1840-1940.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Joseph P. Breedlove papers, Duke University Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Joseph P. Breedlove papers were received by the University Archives as a transfer in 1955-1974.

Processing Information

Processed by Tim Pyatt, July 2006

Encoded by Kimberly Sims, September 2006

Accessions were merged into one collection, described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and our local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.