UC Davis Centennial and the Library

Rotating image from the Library Timeline

Second Floor Reading Lounge ca 1975


In 1908, the library of the Davis campus began as a single room monitored by the stenographer/bookkeeper of the University Farm Creamery. It housed bulletins and textbooks, and the books sent from the main library at Berkeley. In the years before World War I, the librarian also served as registrar for the Farm and occasionally taught English. In 1924, the Library occupied two rooms on the first floor, west end of the Classroom Building and housed 1,840 titles, mostly bulletins, circulars and reports from the U.S.D.A.

In 2008, the University Library of the Davis campus occupies four buildings — Shields Library, Physical Science and Engineering Library, Carlson Health Sciences Library, and Blaisdell Medical Library — and holds more than 3 million titles. Over the last one hundred years, librarians and library staff have created an academic resource that has served the campus, the larger academic community, and the general public.

UC Davis Library Timeline

Library Technology

Technology has always played an important part in the UC Davis library and on the UC Davis campus. Technology underpins how library materials are acquired, preserved and made accessible to users. For much of the last century, library technology remained static and paper-based. With the advent of computers and the Internet, technology has radically changed how library staff and the campus use the library. Discover how technology has changed in the UC Davis library over the past century, from paper card catalogs to the Next-Generation Melvyl pilot and state-of-the-art instruction facilities.

Library Technology Gallery

Library Buildings and Facilities

The UC Davis University Library consists of the Peter J. Shields Library, the Physical Sciences & Engineering Library, the Carlson Health Sciences Library, and the Blaisdell Medical Library in Sacramento. The library buildings and facilities have gone through a number of changes to address the needs of the growing campus. Here you will see the timeline covering the construction of the various library buildings that make up the UC Davis University Library.

Buildings & Facilities Gallery

Library Collections and Resources

Over the course of a century the UCD University Library has grown from a ready reference collection for farmers and scientists to a world-class research library, with more than 3 million volumes covering a wider range of disciplines and programs than any other campus in the UC system.

Collections Timeline

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