Cushing Library’s Science Fiction and Fantasy Research Collection is one of the largest of its kind in the world.
“Every day, thousands of articles are viewed or downloaded by our faculty and students seeking information of high quality and research,” says Carlson. “Every day, thousands of students come to the library for a place where they can focus on their research and work with other students on group projects.”
Carlson points out recent efforts by University Libraries to make education more accessible to everyone. “We are working with faculty and students to bring down the cost of textbooks and increase the visibility of faculty research through the deposit of their research-based articles in our open-access repository, OAKTrust.”
University Libraries is also working to establish a pre-eminent Preservation and Conservation Lab “so that our legacy collection and the archives of Aggie history will be maintained and preserved for future generations,” Carlson notes.
Today’s five millionth volume celebration carries on a tradition of academic libraries, which mark millionth milestones with the acquisition of special volumes.
University Libraries acquired its one millionth volume in 1976, coinciding with Texas A&M’s centennial. The millionth volume was C.C. Slaughter’s Prose and Poetry of The Livestock Industry of The United States (1905), donated by Mary Frances “Chan” Driscoll, Sterling C. Evans ’21, and Sara & John Lindsey ’44. At the time, the book was considered to be the biggest and rarest book in the historiography of the cattle trade
The two millionth volume was A Voyage to The Islands Madera, Barbados, Nieves, S. Christophers and Jamaica (1707-25) by Sir Hans Sloane, one of the first and most important natural histories of the new world. The two-volume set, acquired in 1992, was a gift from the aforementioned Lindseys and Driscoll, and Eugene Butler in honor of Sterling C. Evans ’21.
For its three millionth volume in 2004, the Libraries received Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass (1855) from the Lindseys, in its original green cloth binding and including the firststate of the engraved frontispiece portrait of Whitman.
And the four millionth volume, acquired in 2008, was Miguel de Cervantes’ Don Quixote de la Mancha, parts I and II (1617), also a gift from the Lindseys, an extremely rare work as it’s the earliest complete Quixote edition still obtainable; no other American university owns a complete copy — even the copies at the Library of Congress and the British Library are incomplete.