UC Davis Library Timeline – 1924: Nelle U. Branch

Nelle Branch came to Davis in 1924 to become its first professional librarian. 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. Over the course of her 27-year career she built the collection to more than 80,000 volumes, implemented the Library of Congress cataloging system, established extensive serials holdings in agriculture, animal science and veterinary medicine, apiculture, and viticulture and enology. She also set up the Periodicals Reading Room and the reserve book system. After she retired in 1951, she lived in Davis and was active in the Davis Library Club and Library Associates.

Nelle U. Branch (August 27, 1885 – February 10, 1972)
To improve the quality of library staffing, Ms. Branch kept regular contact with the chair of the Department of Library Science at Berkeley for word of students and new graduates who might want to work in Davis. This note includes a comment reflective of her first year at Davis: “Life here is not so very inspiring out side of ones work. The first year is the most difficult.”

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Kristoffer Landes