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Tisch Library Records

Call Number: UA137

Scope and Contents

This collection contains materials pertaining to the Tisch Library, the libraries that preceded Tisch as the Arts and Sciences library, and related branches of the Tufts University libraries. The materials consist of artifacts, event posters, notes, meeting minutes, correspondence, reports, slides, publications, photographs, and author talk videos. The bulk of this material was created between 1960 and 1990. These records were created by librarians and other staff at the Tisch Library and other Tufts University libraries. This collection includes a complete collection of annual reports dating from 1862 to 1995. In addition, this collection contains a great deal of material created by former librarian Murray Martin and his predecessor Joseph Komidar.


  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1960 -- 1990
  • Creation: 1853 -- 2017



This collection contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list. This collection may require review before it is available for use. Please contact DCA for further details.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Please see “Reproductions and Use” on the Digital Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permission to publish. Copyright to all materials created by Tufts University employees in the course of their work is held by the Trustees of Tufts University.

Biographical / Historical

The Tisch Library (1860-present) opened in 1996 as the main Arts, Sciences, and Engineering library at Tufts University, made possible by a generous donation from the Tisch family. Between 1965 and 1996, the Arts and Sciences library was known as the Wessell Library. From 1908-1965, the library was known as the Eaton Library and was housed in Eaton Hall.

Prior to the 1860-1861 school year, the library began as the personal collection of President Hosea Ballou. In 1860, that collection was moved to Ballou Hall as a permanent library space for students to have easier access to the material. In 1886, the library moved to Middle Hall (later called Packard Hall) (Light on the Hill, 74). In 1906, Andrew Carnegie donated $100,000 to build the Eaton Library, in its own space. The Eaton Library, completed in 1908, was named after Crane Theological School graduate Rev. Charles H. Eaton, who was the Carnegie family pastor who graduated in 1874 (Light on the Hill, 201).

In 1965, the entire collection of the Eaton Library moved into a brand-new building, the Wessell Library, named for Tufts University President Nils Y. Wessell. The collection comprised of Crane Theological School materials temporarily moved into the Wessell Library in the mid-1960s, but the materials were transferred to the Harvard Divinity School in 1973 after the Crane Theological School closed in 1968.

The Wessell Library, which then became the main library for Arts, Sciences, and Engineering (the latter department moved its collection to Wessell Library in 1990 from the Lufkin Engineering Library). In 1996, the name of the library was changed to the Tisch Library after a donation from the Tisch family (Jonathan Tisch is an alumnus and is on the Board of Trustees). The library currently houses the collection for the Arts, Sciences, and Engineering departments.


77.75 Linear Feet

1 Volumes

117 Digital Object(s)

91.3 Megabytes (Of the 117 digital objects, 92 digital objects comprise 91.3 megabytes.)

Language of Materials



This collection contains materials pertaining to the Tisch Library, the libraries that preceded Tisch as the Arts and Sciences library, and related branches of the Tufts University libraries.


The collection is organized into twelve series: Artifacts; Exhibits and events; Annual reports; Committee files; Buildings and plans; Correspondence; Subject Files; Undergraduate Research Award; Unprocessed accessions; 2019 accessions; 2020 accessions; and 2021 accessions.

Custodial History

The materials in this collection were originally multiple collections, the Tufts Libraries collection and the Tisch Library records. The provenance of the earlier materials is largely unknown; these materials were processed as the Tufts Libraries collection, but during the course of processing the Tisch Library materials it was decided to incorporate the Tufts Libraries collection into the Tisch Library records. In addition, the materials relating to the Ginn Library were removed from this collection and became the Ginn Library records (UA198). Materials which were in an obvious original order were maintained in that order, but the materials from the Tufts Libraries collection were not in their original order at the start of this project.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred by Tisch Library, 2006 -- 2021.

Related Materials

Ginn Library records, 1931 -- 2010. Tufts University. Digital Collections and Archives. Medford, MA.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Abigail Cramer under the supervision of Veronica Martzahl in October and November of 2010. Parts of this collection had been processed previously. These materials were combined with unprocessed materials to create the current collection. Arrangement of the previously processed materials was maintained. Additionally, materials related to the Ginn Library were removed and became a separate collection. Processing of accessions from 2017-2019 was completed by Leah Edelman. Materials were placed in archival boxes if the original housing was damaged, and loose materials were placed in folders where needed. Received order was maintained. File-level inventories and series-level descriptions were created and the finding aid was updated at the time of processing. Materials from the Lilly Music Library and 2021 accessions were processed by Records and Accessioning Archivist, Jane Kelly, in July 2020 and 2021 -- 2022.

Repository Details

Part of the Tufts Archival Research Center Repository

35 Professors Row
Tisch Library Building
Tufts University
Medford Massachusetts 02155 United States