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University of Southern California School of Library Science records

Identifier: 0280

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Scope and Content

Collection contains correspondence, notes, minutes, scrapbooks, publications, course outlines, correspondence, class lists, and ephemera related to the educational and administrative activities of the University of Southern California School of Library Science (1936-1986). Includes the administrative files of Martha Boaz, dean of the School from 1955-1978, including her correspondence, publications, and manuscripts; and the records of Beta Phi Mu, national library science honor society.


  • Creation: 1892 - 1986



Collection is open for research, except where restriction is noted. Collection is stored off-site and advance notice is required for access.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the University Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of University Archives as the owner of the physical material, and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Administrative history

The USC School of Library Science originated from an organized instructional program provided by the Los Angeles Public Library. This program, started in 1891 for the Library's employees, remained a training class until 1914 when the Library instituted a formal one-year library school program. Classes at LAPL terminated in 1932 due to fiscal problems. Summer sessions held at the University of Southern California from 1933-1936 met the need for library training in the region. After four years of pressure from the Alumni Association of the Public Library for a graduate library school, USC finally acquiesced and officially inaugurated a School of Library Service in September 1936. The school's name was changed in June of the following year to the School of Library Science. In 1980, the School altered its name once again, this time to reflect the changing occupational climate. Accompanied by an entirely redesigned program, the newly dubbed School of Library and Information Management veered away from providing solely traditional library school courses and offered students three areas of specialization: library science, information science, and information management.

The School, accredited by the Board of Education for Librarianship of the American Library Association in 1938, initially offered a two year program in which a Bachelor of Science in Library Science was granted at the end of the first year, the program culminating after the second year with the bestowal of a Master of Science in Library Science degree. The B.S. in Library Science was not offered after June, 1952. The curriculum was later expanded to include two degrees at the Doctor level: the Doctor of Philosophy with a major in Library Science (Ph.D.) added in 1961, and the Doctor of Library Science (D.L.S.) in 1975.

Deans of the School (titled Director until 1957):

Osborn, Andrew D. (temporary, 1936-1937)

Carter, Mary Duncan (1937-1946)

Dean, Hazel (acting, 1945-1946)

Pulling, Hazel (acting, 1946- 1947)

Stieg, Lewis F. (1947-1955)

Howe, Harriet (acting, 1943-1955)

Boaz, Martha (1955-1978)

Greer, Roger (1979-1986)


30 Linear Feet (50 boxes)

Language of Materials



Records of the University of Southern California School of Library Science (1936-1986), including those of Martha Boaz, Dean of the School from 1955-1978. Consists of correspondence, notes, minutes, manuscripts, scrapbooks, publications, and ephemera related to the School's educational and administrative activites.


The collection is organized into eight main series arranged alphabetically: Advisory Board files (1937-1981), Alumni Association files (1924-1986, bulk 1930-1978), Beta Phi Mu files (1957-1985, bulk 1980-1984), Curriculum and Educational Materials (1950-1981), Deans' Papers (1917-1986), Publications (1936-1978), and Student Materials (1930-1984).

Physical location

University of Southern California. University Archives.

Processing Information

Processed by: Sibyl Roud, 2005. Beta Phi Mu records added by Sue Luftschein, 2012.

Finding Aid for the University of Southern California School of Library Science records
Sibyl Roud
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 2012 March: Finding aid updated by Sue Luftschein
  • 2021 November: Finding aid updated by Bo Doub to include a box of course outlines (box no. 50), which had been separated from the rest of the collection (see accession no. 2021-075).

Repository Details

Part of the USC Libraries Special Collections Repository

Doheny Memorial Library 206
3550 Trousdale Parkway
Los Angeles California 90089-0189 United States