The university library is a learning-friendly, user-oriented library that serves a vital on-campus and online role as a center for the enhancement of skills and knowledge to ensure students’ college success and encourage post-graduate life-long learning. The library is a place where the highest quality learning tools in information gathering and usage are provided, thereby strengthening students’ academic and learning experiences. The library contains collections of materials in all the fields of knowledge represented in the curricula of the University. The library has over 106,000 volumes of electronic collections, which include:
- 10,000 Full-text electronic journals
- 88,000 eBook titles
- 350 eReference materials
The Will W. Alexander Library Archives and Special Collections is a non-circulating collection of documents with major concentrations of resources detailing the history of Dillard University. These collections consist of the:
- Will W. Alexander Papers - William Winton Alexander, of whom the library is named, was a pivotal figure in race relations and poverty support. He was a key component to the founding of the Commission on Interracial Cooperation in 1919. Alexander also headed the Farm Security Administration from 1937 to 1940 and then became vice-president of the Rosenwald Fund from 1940 to 1948. Throughout the 1940’s and 1950’s, he worked with the Edgar Stern Family Fund and in international relations. He also served as acting President of Dillard University from 1935-36. This collection is made up of three series containing Mr. Alexander’s works: writings, speeches, addresses, lectures, reports, and administrative records.
- American Missionary Association Collection - A collection of AMA pamphlets, brochures, programs, annual reports and films.
- Beale Collection - Howard Kennedy Beale (1899-1959) was a historian and former trustee (1857-1959) of Dillard University. This collection contains published papers and book relating to history in general and Southern history in particular.
- Clara Blanchet Collection - This collection contains three series. These series are important due to Straight University’s significance amongst African Americans, and what they would eventually accomplish due to a new education. Series are primarily comprised of materials centered on Straight University: Straight University photographs, programs, booklets, catalogs, student information, and meeting minutes.
- Cook Family Collection - Dr. Samuel DuDois Cook’s experiences includes teaching positions at Atlanta University, Duke University, and UCLA. Between 1953 and 1955, Cook served as Social Sciences Specialist to the U.S. Army. In 1975, Dr. Cook became President of Dillard University. At Dillard, Cook was responsible for increasing enrollment, instituting a Japanese Studies program and a Center for Black Jewish Relations. His writings include articles on Martin Luther King Jr. and the black revolution and political movements in the South. Cook’s affiliations included the Southern Political Science Association, editorial board of the Journal of Negro History and Pi Sigma Alpha. This collection is composed of nine series with subjects that include: photographs, programs, newspaper clippings, monograph and serial publications and writings.
- David J. Malarcher Collection - A student of New Orleans University, Malarcher had a famed baseball career. Malarcher’s baseball career is varied over a few years with multiple teams, which included: Indianapolis ABCs, Detroit Stars and the Chicago American Giants. Within nine years leading the American Giants, Malarcher saw six playoff appearances, and two Negro League World Series championships. This collection gives a better insight into Mr. Malarcher’s poetic talents not just his baseball career. It is comprised of five series that include: poems, player contracts, correspondence, photographs, and articles.
- Dent Family Collection - The Dent Family collection contains extensive material on Albert W. Dent, Jessie Covington Dent, and their son, Tom Dent. For six years Mr. Dent worked as superintendent of Flint-Goodridge Hospital, as well as, business manager for Dillard University. From 1941 - 1969, Albert Dent was Dillard University’s President. Tom Dent is a noteworthy Freedom Writer, where his writing began while working for the Houston Informer and the New York Age. He became a public information worker for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund in 1961. Heavy involvement in the Civil Rights Movement and the significance of its struggle was reflected greatly within Tom’s writings. The Dent Family Collection contains three series, each dedicated to the respected Dents. The details of the collection consist of: school publications, writings and addresses, programs, correspondence, collected articles, collected publications, dedications, newspaper clippings, and flyers.
- General Rare Book Collection - Includes first edition and/or signed copies of works by Langston Hughes, Countee Cullen, Phyllis Wheatley, Frederick Douglass, Booker T. Washington and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
- George E. Haynes Collection - George E. Haynes was a devoted sociologist, race relations expert, and Urban League founder. The collection consists of seven series mostly: writings produced in the 1930s and 1940s, awards, biographical information, correspondence, and a collection of writings by W. Montague Cobb’s (the First African American to receive a Ph.D. in Anthropology).
- George Longe Collection - George Longe was an educator and one who devoted himself to community service in New Orleans. He served as a principal for many New Orleans schools and was involved greatly in New Orleans’ groups focused on racial and community improvement. The collection is arranged into three series featuring: public school materials, organizations, associations, photos, booklets, and requisitions.
- Gilbert Academy Collection - Gilbert Academy received its name from William L. Gilbert, a farmer and businessman who contributed to the education and welfare of African Americans in the South. Gilbert Academy began with the Colored Orphan’s Home located on plantation lands of Bayou Teche, which was established by the Freedman’s Bureau. The orphanage housed orphan children of African American Union Soldiers. Gilbert Academy is the culmination of this orphanage and a preparatory school called La Teche Seminary. From 1935 to 1949, the Academy served as a diverse co-ed private high school for African Americans in New Orleans. The Academy was reinstated in 2000, as Dillard University past President Michael Lomax sought to create a summer enrichment programs for high school students seeking a college education.
- Gilbert D. Fletcher Collection - Mr. Fletcher is a Dillard University graduate, whom over time organized art activities for preschool children as a teacher and was an art editor for R. R. Bowker Company in New York. Mr. Fletcher’s paintings have appeared in published poems. The collection contains works ranging from the 1970s to the 1980s. The collection is composed of seven series featuring: announcements, invitations and programs, awards, as well as correspondence.
- Goldstein Collection - Moise H. Goldstein (1882-1972) was a renowned New Orleans architect who designed and built many of the Dillard University buildings. This collection contains more than 350 volumes of early 19th - 20th century architectural and literary works as well as architectural drawings.
- Patton Collection - A major collection of resources by African-Americans authors.
- Henson Artifacts - Artifacts of the explorer, Matthew Alexander Henson (1866-1955), include snowshoes, a parka and sealskin boots worn by Henson on his journey to the North Pole with Robert Peary in 1909.
- James Hardy Dillard Collection - Mr. Dillard is the philanthropist after whom Dillard University is named. While working with the New Orleans Public Library, Child Welfare Association, and the Louisiana State Board of Education, Mr. Dillard was able to drastically improve race relations and education opportunities for African Americans. He was the first president and director of the Negro Rural School Fund. The collection is comprised of Mr. Dillard’s own materials and materials written about him. This is a five series collection composed of: articles, addresses, and a report of the Phelps-Strokes Fund (A non-profit fund catering to African and African American causes), photographs, newspaper clippings and biographical information.
- Julius Rosenwald Fund Collection - This collection focuses on a fund established by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald in 1917. This fund provided an incredible financial contribution toward improvements in African American health, education, and welfare. It was concentrated in the South where it developed education initiatives for African Americans, schools, libraries, and improvements in race relations. The collection is made of four series containing: publications, reports, agendas, correspondence, articles, poems, and a memorandum.
- Lucile L. Hutton Collection - Ms. Hutton is a product of Straight College’s Normal Department. She taught in the New Orleans Public Schools immediately after her graduation. Ms. Hutton was a very versatile individual, earning a Music degree from Oberlin and a Master’s in Music from Northwestern University. Her collection is composed of three series made up of: programs, constitutions and by-laws, publications and correspondence. The highlight of the collection include an 1895 copy of Alice Ruth Moore’s Violets and Other Tales with handwritten notes on the author by Ms. Hutton and a history of the United Church of Christ.
- McPherson Freedom Collection - The collection mainly consists of abolitionist literature spanning from 1769 to 1864. Highlights of the collection include pamphlets published by the Loyal Publication Society, minutes of the proceedings of abolition societies and an original letter to Thomas W. Higginson, co-organizer of the 1857 Disunion Convention.
- New Orleans University Collection - New Orleans University began operation in 1873. Like Straight College, New Orleans University serves as a symbol of African American advancement and higher education during a time African Americans were seeking to become literate. New Orleans University merged with Straight College, and formed Dillard University. The New Orleans University Collection consists of five series featuring: university publications, programs, photographs, and diplomas.
- Nikki Giovanni Collection - A collection of works donated to the library by world-renowned poet, writer, commentator, activist and educator, Nikki Giovanni.
- Oral History Collection - Contains audiotapes that record the black experience at Dillard University during the sixties and seventies. Included are the voices of Dr. Daniel C. Thompson (after whom the Honors Program is named), Dr. Sinclair Drake (after whom a lecture series is named), Dr. Lawrence Reddick, Rev. Howard Thurman (who preached the dedication of Lawless Chapel in 1955) and Rev. Joseph Lowry.
- Richards Collection - Ernest Victor Richards (1886-1960) was active in the motion pictures industry and was a Navy League leader, philanthropist and bibliophile. This collection, which numbers more than 800 titles, contains many limited and first editions of early 17th and 18th century works. The scope is the history of Rome, Greece and France; there are several foreign titles.
- Spitz Collection - David Spitz was an educator and author. This collection contains academic texts and trade publications of American and European history and political science. In addition, the Spitz family collection chronicles New York City cultural and political communities during the 60’s and 70’s.
- Stern Family Collection - A philanthropist and business man, who was made planning chairman of a drive to raise funds to merge two African American schools , Straight College and New Orleans University, which gave birth to Dillard University, Edgar Stern became the first president of its board. The Stern Collection is composed of six series: materials regarding Stern and his wife, letters, correspondence, articles, programs, memos, photographs, sound recordings, a catalog of the Longue Vue Foundation’s Arts Program, newspaper clippings, a copy of, “A Survey for the Educational Facilities” and resources of Orleans Parish, a picture album of President Johnson and his family.
- The Straight College Collection - Straight College was founded as Straight University in 1868, a predecessor to Dillard University, where it served as a symbol of African American advancement in the South, and throughout the post-Civil War era. It offered studies in elementary level education to college level, music, law, and Normal classes. The Straight College Collection is comprised of seven series featuring: university publications, programs, scrapbooks, photographs and diplomas.
- Sylvia Fannie Murray Collection - This collection provides a window into an active young woman’s life. She participated in school events, community social clubs and Carnival. The collection is composed of four series containing: programs, calendars, invitations, photographs, newsletters, news clippings, cards, poems, and a painting.
- Trinity Historical Methodist Church Collection - The Trinity Historical Methodist Church Collection is the official records of Trinity Historical Methodist Church, an African American congregation. The church closed in 2003.
- United Methodist Church Collection - The United Methodist Church Collection is organized into six record series: Church Agencies, United Methodist Women Louisiana Conference, Central Jurisdiction, Photographs, Miscellaneous Material and Serials. Although the collection is comprehensive in scope, the bulk of the collection consists of the following subjects: African American Methodists, women Methodists and the Louisiana Conference of the United Methodist Church.
The library Learning Commons is learning centered and offers many services. Located on the first floor, the Learning Commons has computer workstations as well as a variety of research and instructional services, which include:
- Group and Individuals Study Rooms - Located on the first and second floors and are provided for groups engaged in study.
- Information Literacy (IL) Instruction - A core initiative that provides instruction in locating, evaluating, and using resources. Information Literacy is provided through formal classroom lectures, as well as individualized instruction. Electronic and printed guides, pathfinders and bibliographies are made available to patrons upon request.
- LALINC Cards - Established by the LOUIS Consortia, are courtesy cards extended to faculty and staff which allows borrowing privileges from other consortia institutions.
- Library Technology - Electronic library resources are available from campus as well as from remote locations and may be accessed from the library website at www.dillard.edu. In addition to the Online Public Access Catalog (OPAC), other electronic resources include indices, abstracts, full-text articles and journals, and online books. These resources are made available through the LOUIS consortia, which includes EBSCOHost, JSTOR and ProQuest electronic databases.
- Photocopying and Printing Services - There is one photo copier for student use on the first floor of the library. All printouts from computers are routed to the front circulation desk for a minimal fee.
- Reference and Research Assistance - Librarians are available to assist patrons locate, select and interpret the appropriate information and resources.
- Simply to Go Café - Offers quick-and-casual dining for students on the go. The café offers a variety of sandwiches, salads and wraps along with a coffee and pastry station. It is located inside the library’s Casual Reading Room.
- The American Jewish Committee Distance Learning Center - With a seating capacity of 40, the room is located on the second floor and is used for a variety of instructional and campus-based activities: small presentations, webinars, videoconferences, meetings and workshops.