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J. Murrey Atkins Library Records

Identifier: UA0056

Scope and Contents

The J. Murrey Atkins Library Records document the history and functions of UNC Charlotte’s Atkins Library and its predecessor, the library at Charlotte College. This collection consists of correspondence, memoranda, meeting minutes, annual reports, newsletters, statistics, working papers, subject files, photographs, building plans, and memorabilia. Also included are accession books and financial ledgers from the Charlotte College library dating from 1957 to 1964 and audio-visual recordings of various campus events, such as Chancellor Woodward’s installation, men’s basketball games from the NCAA and NIT tournaments, and the groundbreaking for the Student Activities Center (SAC). Recordings of Bonnie Cone and footage of campus are part of this collection as well.

Material covers topics such as library departments, library interaction with other University departments and outside organizations, policies and procedures, strategic planning, accreditation, budgets, faculty and staff, committees, facility management, construction and expansion, events, exhibits, collection development, the Microelectronics Center of North Carolina (MCNC), NC LIVE, the art collection, professional activities of the library director, and technological advancements, including the transition to an online catalog, SOLINET, Aladdin, VTLS, and OCLC.

Not included are records generated and compiled by the Library Faculty or course and curriculum consultation files held by the library. These can be found in the Library Faculty Records and the Academic Planning and Curriculum Records, respectively. Files held by the following committees (as opposed to by the Library Director) can be found in the Library Committees and Associations records: Library Council; Support Employees Association (SEA); Staff Association; Aladdin Users' Group; Rare Book Advisory Committee; and Director Search Committee.

The files in this collection have been arranged in the following nine series: Charlotte College Library; Director’s Files; Library Units and Functions; Library and Information Services (LIS); Facility Planning and Management; Academic Library Development Program; Statistics; Library Newsletters; Souvenirs and Memorabilia.

See the Scope and Contents note for each series for more information.


  • Creation: 1951 - 2018


Accessing the Collection

Some material in this collection is restricted per G.S. § 132-1.7. Sensitive public security information.

§ 132-1.7. Sensitive public security information. (a) Public records, as defined in G.S. 132-1, shall not include information containing specific details of public security plans and arrangements or the detailed plans and drawings of public buildings and infrastructure facilities or plans, schedules, or other documents that include information regarding patterns or practices associated with executive protection and security.


Copyright for most materials held by UNC Charlotte. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. UNC Charlotte does not own the copyright to the recordings of basketball games. These items cannot be copied and must only be used in the Reading Room.

Historical Note

When the Charlotte Center of the University of North Carolina opened in 1946, it shared not only a building with Central High School, but also the librarian Rosannah Blair. In 1949, when the Center became Charlotte College, a permanent junior college, Blair continued on as the part-time librarian until 1957. Louise M. Plybon also worked part-time as Charlotte College’s librarian in 1957. The college hired its first full-time librarian, Mozelle S. Scherger, in 1957 while the college still operated out of the Central High School facilities.

In 1961, Charlotte College moved to its present site, and the 17,000-volume library was temporarily located in the Kennedy building. Two years later, in July 1963, the library occupied its own separate building with a collection of approximately 30,000 volumes. In 1964, James D. Ramer became the Head Librarian, and the library was designated a select depository for Federal Documents. The following year the collection reached 45,000 volumes. Also in 1965, the library was named for J. Murrey Atkins, the first chairman of Charlotte College’s board of trustees who had died two years prior. Joseph H. Boykin, Jr., succeeded Ramer as the Head Librarian in 1968, and during his tenure, the position was renamed Library Director (1974). In 1969, the library’s collection reached 100,000 volumes with Mrs. Mary Myers Dwelle’s donation of a copy of Sir Walter Raleigh’s History of the World (1628).

In 1971, the library’s space was more than doubled as the Dalton Library Tower was completed and named for Harry L. Dalton, Charlotte businessman, bibliophile, and art collector. During this time, Mr. Dalton donated funds and a copy of Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855) to begin Atkins Library’s rare book program. The next year, the tenth floor of the new tower hosted the first meeting of the Board of Governors of the reorganized University of North Carolina system. In 1974, the library joined Southeast Library Network, Inc. (SOLINET), and in 1975 the collection grew to over 200,000 volumes.

The next decade began with the collection surpassing 300,000 volumes in 1980, and Raymond A. Frankle became Library Director the following year. The Fred Alexander Government Documents Area was dedicated in honor of the late Charlotte city council member and state senator in 1982, and the Mary and Harry L. Dalton Rare Book and Manuscript Room was dedicated in 1983, accompanied by Mr. Dalton’s donation of a copy of Phillis Wheatley’s Poems (1773). Also in 1983, the library began its online catalog and circulation system, ALADDIN. Two years later, Atkins Library became the first academic library in North Carolina to close its card catalog in favor of an online system.

By 1986, the collection numbered over 400,000 volumes, and in 1987 it expanded to include two Sumerian clay tablets (ca. 2000 B.C.), donated by Julian and Elsie Mason on the occasion of the first meeting of the Atkins Library Associates. In 1991, Mrs. Mary Dalton donated a copy of the first edition of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick (1851) as the library’s 500,000th volume.

A major reorganization of Academic Affairs took place in 1992, bringing the library, Computing Services, and Media Services together as units under Frankle, who was named the Associate Vice Chancellor for Library and Information Services (LIS). Also that year, the Architecture Resource Center in the College of Architecture opened. In 1994, Cynthia (Tia) I. Gozzi became Associate Director of the library. She would later become Director, and during her tenure the office would change names again, this time to University Librarian, a position she would hold until 2001.

In 1994, the North Carolina General Assembly appropriated $900,000 to plan for the expansion of the library building, and the University’s board of trustees appointed the firms of Little and Associates of Charlotte and Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott of Boston to design the expansion. The following year, the General Assembly approved funding of $20.5 million to proceed with construction, which began in 1996.

After Associate Vice Chancellor Frankle suffered a stroke in 1996, Wilson (Bil) Stahl succeeded him, serving as acting Associate Vice Chancellor for the next four years. Also in 1996, retrospective conversion of the library’s catalog to the online system was considered complete, and the card catalog was discarded. Two years later, the library began participation in NC LIVE, a statewide initiative to provide all North Carolina citizens with access to information databases.

In 2001, the library was re-dedicated following its renovation and expansion, at which time the collection held 875,000 volumes. Two more collection milestones would come in 2007 and 2016, with Dr. Julian and Elsie Mason’s gifts of a first edition, first pressing copy of T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land (1922) as the one-millionth volume and a rare copy of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano (1793) as the two-millionth volume.

Lee E. Gray was appointed Interim University Librarian upon Gozzi’s retirement in 2001 and served until 2002, when Amy P. Dykeman became University Librarian. Carole Runnion served as Acting University Librarian from 2007 to 2009, after which Stanley Wilder was hired as University Librarian, a position he held from 2009 to 2014. From July 2014 to June 2015, Jay Raja, the Senior Associate Provost, Academic Affairs, served as the interim University Librarian, and in June 2015 Anne Cooper Moore filled the position, newly renamed as Dean of Libraries.


54.326 Linear Feet (4 record cartons, 101 letter document cases, 1 slim letter document case, 1 29” oversize, 1 25” oversize, 1 shelf (scale model), 3 map case folders, and 1 full map case drawer)

Language of Materials



Although the files were physically maintained in their original order, with the exception of loose, unprocessed material, they were rearranged into series for the inventory. For instance, the files from the director’s office were largely alphabetical subject files. Physically, these files are still in alphabetical order, but in the inventory, they have been divided into series for ease of discovery. In some cases, series contain both director’s files and files from other units. See the Office of Origin note and the Scope and Contents notes for each series for more information.

Office of Origin

Material in Boxes 32-99 and most of the material in Boxes 107-109 originated from the office of the Head Librarian (subsequently called the Library Director, University Librarian, and the Dean of Libraries). Also originating from this office are the FALC files in Boxes 19 and 20 and the two Policy and Procedures files in Box 7. Boxes 32 and 95 also contain some library material that is from an unknown office of origin. Boxes 1 and 2 originated from the Acquisitions Department of the Charlotte College Library. The cataloging material from Boxes 10-16 originated in the Cataloging Unit. Box 8 originated in the Reference department, and Boxes 103-106 originated in Media Services.

Related Materials

Previous versions of the Atkins Library website dating back to July 2015 have been archived and are available at:*/

The following University Archives collections also contain material from and about J. Murrey Atkins Library:

Library Faculty Records (UA0123)

Library Committees and Associations Records

Special Collections and University Archives Records

Special Collections Librarian Records (UA0759)

University Publications--Brochures/Printed Material (UA0240)

Special Collections Reference File (UA0422)

College of Liberal Arts and Sciences Records (UA0072)

Academic Affairs Vice Chancellor subject files (UA0001)

Chancellor (Dean W. Colvard) Records (UA0026)

Chancellor (E. K. Fretwell) Records (UA0030)

Chancellor (James H. Woodward) Records (UA0174)  

Provost Records (UA0068)

Business Affairs Vice Chancellor subject files (RG 27)

Office of Public Relations Records (UA0226)

Office of Assessment and Accreditation Records (UA0007)

Academic Planning and Curriculum Records (UA0314)

UNC Charlotte Photographs (UA0066)

Charlotte College Records (UA0034)

This list is not exhaustive. Material on the library might be found in other University Archives collections in addition to the above.

Processing Information

This collection consists of multiple accessions that were received from various units within the library including the Director/University Librarian’s office, Cataloging, Reference, Media Services, and other unspecified units. Upon initial receipt, most accessions were processed as separate collections. In 2018-2019, these separate collections were merged into this single one by Olivia Eanes, archives assistant. Physically, accessions were kept together, and folder numbers from initial processing were maintained. Thus, there are multiple folders with the same number, i.e. each initially separate collection has a Folder 1. Material that was unprocessed at the time of merging was processed into the merged collection.

No Folders 1-3, 5 in Box 16. No Folder 38 in Box 26. No Folder 69 in Box 28. No Folder 7 in Box 32. No Folders 13, 28-30, 32-33, 35, 38-40, 43 in Box 33. No Folder 42 in Box 37. No Folder 160-166 in Box 42. No Folder 220 in Box 44. No Folders 248, 263, 264 in Box 46. No Folder 231 in Box 60. No Folder 344 in Box 65. No Folders 359-399 in Box 66. These files are the same as the Expansion files. They were interfiled with the library construction accession years prior to the merging of this collection. No Folder 428 in Box 67. No Folder 440 in Box 68. No Folder 478 in Box 69. No Folder 555 in Box 72. No Folder 576 in Box 74. No Folder 669 in Box 78. No Folder 851 in Box 86. No Folder 919 in Box 89. No Folder 967 in Box 90. No Folders 978, 979, 981, 984 in Box 91. No Folder 1038 in Box 93.

Folders 1089, 1091, and 1093-1099 were unprocessed material found outside the former University Archivist’s office after her retirement.

J. Murrey Atkins Library records
Legacy description modified and additions made by Olivia Eanes
January 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte [All collections not yet online. For assistance, contact Special Collections:; 704-687-1170] Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

Special Collections and University Archives
J. Murrey Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
(704) 687-1170
Schedule an Appointment