SMTI Library History
SMTI Library, North Dartmouth Campus
Between 1960 and 1969 UMass Dartmouth was known as Southeastern Massachusetts Technological Institute.
When the Bradford Durfee College of Technology and New Bedford Institute of Technology officially combined for the 1964-1965 academic term, plans were already on the table for a new campus in North Dartmouth. SMTI’s first president, Joseph Driscoll, was hired in 1962. The money was appropriated for construction in 1963, and ground was broken for Group I on June 14, 1964. The library was designed as the focal point of the university plan developed by architect Paul Rudolph. Although Rudolph was the contract architect for Groups I and II, $2 million in cost overrides on Group II forced his removal before working drawings were created for the library. The library was originally supposed to open in 1969, but controversy delayed it until 1972.
Between 1966 and 1972 the library was located on the 3rd floor of Group I, occupying 6 bays. It housed 45,000 books.
Frank Jones was named librarian, with the task of combining a staff and planning for a new library. Since the physical plant was now larger, administrators were free to increase enrollment. However, as enrollment steadily increased, standards for acreditation also steadily increased. The library's acquisition budget was unable to keep up with enrollment, which between 1967 and 1974 had doubled. Over the next few years the library was occupied with trying to increase staff and materials, but the money from the state was not forthcoming.
Frank Jones - Chief Librarian
Accreditation was renewed in 1974, but the library was criticized. Donations and fund drives increased acquisitions somewhat, but it was not until 1978 when the state legislature appropriated $1 million that the situation improved. The furvor was again intense as the university geared up for its next round with accreditation in 1979. With increased enrollment now possible due to a larger physical plant, the library, in order to maintain accreditation, had to increase in size. The library was designed for 400,000 books.
Until the collections could be consolidated in the new building in 1972, a portion of the books, especially serials, were kept in the gymnasium and in other areas of the Purchase Street building, as pictured here.