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GU's Library Legacy: Case 4

Case 4: Crosby Libarary, 1957 - 1992

The Crosby Library offered a quiet place for study and to do research. Library employees hosted teas, events, and parties as well. Over the years, the Crosby Library has expanded its services to improve student and faculty needs. In the late 1970s, a terminal was purchased to assist students with interlibrary loan. This was the start of the transition from printed sources to on-line sources. By 1991 a new on-line card catalog system from Carl was purchased and the old cards were tossed. Users still had to use printed indexes to search for articles. On-line searches were performed by librarians for users.

Crosbyana Room, about 1957

When the library was built, one room upstairs was dedicated to the Bing Crosby memorabilia he was donating. Opened to the public, the Crosbyana Room housed his Oscar, gold records, awards, photographs and other items. The room also contained a large conference table where meetings were held. When the library moved to the Foley Center in 1992, the Crosbyana Room moved downstairs next to the north entrance.

Students studying on the first floor of Crosby Library, 1957

Circulation desk on the first floor of Crosby Library, 1957

Crosby Library Tea, 1960s

The Crosby Library staff hosted numerous teas and events for special occasions.  The library had its own silver punch bowl, tea set and silver trays for entertaining.

Box of dark red recasing leather, 1960s

The recasing leather was used to repair hinges on leather bound books

Crosby Library: Gonzaga University’s Unique Crosby Memorial by Wilfred P. Schoenberg, S.J., Illustrations from Andrew Vachon, S.J., 1963

This booklet is a reprint of a chapter from Gonzaga University, Seventy-Five Years 1887-1962. The chapter describes the history of Gonzaga’s libraries up through the building of the Crosby Library.

Readers’ Guide to Periodical Literature, an Author and Subject Index, March 1966 – February 1967, New York: W. W. Wilson Company, 1967

Faculty and students used this reference guide which started in 1901.  It indexed recently published articles in periodical magazines and scholarly journals. Users had to look up their subject to find the citation and then see if Gonzaga owned the periodical or journal.  Gonzaga library maintained a physical subscription until 2011.  On-line databases and indexes have replaced this printed index.

Ash tray used in Crosbyana Room in the Crosby Library, 1970s

Ash trays were put out by library student workers for board meetings held in the Crosbyana Room.

“Crosby Library gets new computor (sic)”, Bulletin, Feb. 14, 1979

This Bulletin article describes the library’s purchase of a single computer terminal for $9,000 with an annual $5,000 fee.  The terminal would improve book ordering, help with cataloging, and decrease work flow. For students and faculty, the terminal would help with interlibrary loan. Ten years later a fully automated card catalog system was implemented at Crosby.


Crosby Crooner T-Shirt, 1990

These t-shirts were given to Crosby Library staff and Crosby Library Associates, who were a library friends group. The library staff newsletter was also called the Crosby Crooner.

“Crosby Library to become student center”, Inland Register, July 30, 1992.

When the library moved to the Foley Center in 1992, the building became the Crosby Student Center. Here, students could get their mail, hang out and get coffee at the Crosby Café. GSBA offices and other departments were in this building now. The Crosbyana Room was moved to the first floor, by the north side entrance.

Crosby Student Center photos, 1994