In partnership with the Registrar’s Office, Digital Services has undertaken a project to digitize and make publicly available a collection of historic University of Missouri course catalogs. The collection spans 130 years, from early volumes published in 1888 up to the present versions, which have been published digitally since 2004. The University of Missouri Course Catalog collection project has already produced 75+ catalogs which are freely and publicly available on MOspace.
The MU catalogs are great historical resources. In addition to descriptions of courses offered by the university over the years, the volumes contain maps and include news and announcements from various university departments and schools. The earliest catalogs include reports to the governor of the State of Missouri from the Board of Curators. Some catalogs include separately published volumes with lists of students and scholarships and awards.
As a sample of the historical content you can find, following are two items about the libraries:
In “Catalogue, Seventieth Report of the Curators to the Governor of the State, Announcements, 1912-1913,” page 52, you will find this information about the libraries:
“The libraries of the University are the general library; law library; medical library; engineering library; agricultural library; and collection in the Observatory, the Horticultural, Chemical, Geological, and Zoological buildings; the Lathrop collection in Academic Hall; and library of the School of Mines at Rolla. They contain in the aggregate about 142,000 volumes and pamphlets. Fourteen hundred periodicals are currently received at Columbia. The library has been enriched within the last few years by the gift of Senator George Graham Vest, who presented the library with the large collection of government documents which he made during his twenty years’ service at Washington; by the gift of Honorable Gardiner Lathrop, a member of the Board of Curators, of one thousand dollars for a department library, to be known as the “John H. Lathrop Library of English and American Literature,” and by the gift of Senator F. M. Cockrell, who presented the library with 3,400 volumes and 244 pamphlets of government documents.”
On page 11 of “Aids and Awards, 1962-63” you will learn about a Friends of the Library prize of undergraduate and professional students established in 1962:
“Friends of the Library Prize: An annual prize of $100 worth of books was established in 1962 by the Friends of the Library for the undergraduate or professional student submitting the best plan for a personal library. The University library committee has set up specific procedures for receiving applications, and judging will be based upon the significance of the works selected and the familiarity of the applicant with the chosen field, rather than on number, cost and rarity of items included.”
This project is one part of an ongoing effort by Digital Services to make books, maps, photographs, and other resources related to the University of Missouri’s history and academic legacy freely and widely available. We are adding new volumes to the University of Missouri Course Catalog collection as fast as we can digitize them, so check back often to see new additions.