Library Celebrates Centennial

June 4, 2003

Former Texas Gov. Mark White, a Baylor alumnus, delivered the keynote address April 24 to celebrate the Baylor library system's 100th anniversary. Library faculty members Michael Toon and Kathy Hillman, dressed in clothing of the early 1900s, gave a brief review of the library system's history. The centennial celebration recreated portions of the original ceremony dedicating Carroll Library in April 1903, an event that spanned three days and featured sermons, speeches, music, prayers and a formal dinner. Baylor's original charter of 1845 mentions "setting up a library," but it took more than 50 years before the University constructed a library facility and hired two students, brother and sister James and Odo Surratt, to serve as librarians overseeing nearly 10,000 volumes. Today, the library system encompasses two central libraries, four special libraries, three resource centers and an electronic library division and houses more than 1.6 million bound volumes, more than 2.8 million microforms and government document pieces and thousands of electronic resources, audiovisual items, maps, charts and photographs. Dr. Reagan Ramsower is dean of libraries and chief information officer.