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Series 1. Chapman College Library, 1956 - 1965

 Series — Multiple Containers

Scope and Contents

This series contains publications by the Chapman College Library including annual reports.

Box 1

Folder 1 - Annual Report, 1953-54

Folder 2 - Annual Report, 1956-57

Folder 3 - Annual Report, 1957-58

Folder 4 - Annual Report, 1958-59

Folder 5 - Annual Report, 1959-60

Folder 6 - Annual Report, 1960-61

Folder 7 - Annual Report, 1961-62

Folder 8 - Annual Report, 1962-63

Folder 9 - Annual Report, 1963-64

Folder 10 - Annual Report, 1964-65

Folder 11 - Annual Report, 1965-66


  • 1956 - 1965

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Vernon Stauffer Memorial Library (Los Angeles campus) history (1925-1954)

It was the dream of Charles C. Chapman and leaders of the Disciples of Christ churches in southern California that a college be established that supported the values of the Christian Churches of California, that would provide a proper education for their young people and that would train students for the ministry. With financial support from Mr. Chapman and countless donors this dream became a reality in the city of Los Angeles. Along with the generous donation of Mr. Chapman and countless donors, the assets of Berkeley Bible Seminary, a northern California institution that had closed its doors in 1912 were purchased. Berkeley Bible Seminary had previously received the assets of Hesperian College located in Woodland, California, when it closed in the Spring of 1895.

In February 19, 1918 the incorporation papers for California Christian College were signed. In 1920 the California Department of State recorded the name as California School of Christianity. The name California Christian College was restored in 1923 and was in continuous use until 1934 when the entire campus population voted to honor Mr. Chapman by re-naming the institution Chapman College. The first class of ten students and two faculty members assembled in September of 1920, in the temporary campus at the Wilshire Boulevard Christian church in Los Angeles, California. They met at the church until they moved into the permanent campus on 766 North Vermont Avenue for the 1921/1922 academic year. Students also took classes at the Southern Branch of the University of California, located across the street from the Vermont Avenue campus, until California Christian College was able to offer more than religion classes.

At first, the college library began with the transfer of 25 books from the Berkeley Bible Seminary but there was no physical reading space, and books were shelved in a closet in Harris Hall. Over time, ministers and lay people donated volumes from their collections. Charles C. Chapman donated several hundred rare books and bibles from his own private collection. In 1927, Dr. Avis Kidwell recommended that the college spend over $1,000 to purchase encyclopedias, dictionaries and other reference works.

The college gained library space when in the fall of 1925, President Braden purchased a frame building that had been a former movie studio and had it moved seven blocks to the campus. The new building was called the Administration and Liberal Arts Building. The trustees initiated a campaign to have the building remodeled and partitioned into offices, classrooms, a library and auditorium. College alumni raised money for the library and it was named the Vernon Stauffer Memorial Library in honor of the first dean of the college. The library was located on the first floor of the liberal arts building. The 1929 college catalog makes note of 5500 volumes in the library at that time.

Euseba Horney Whitaker, a former student of California Christian College, became the first librarian followed by Jeanne Sumner, another graduate. Librarian Fanny Carlton became the head librarian in 1945 and when Chapman College moved to the city of Orange to occupy the former campus of Orange High School, Fanny Carlton assumed the same position in the new library.

Chapman College Library, Orange Campus history (1954-1967)

In the Fall of 1954, Chapman College opened its door for classes on a new campus in Orange, California, formerly the campus of Orange High School. The library was located on the west side of the second floor of the Administration Building/Auditorium which was eventually renamed Memorial Hall. The periodical room was located on the third floor of the building. Fanny Sheldon Carlton who was the Head Librarian of the Vernon Stauffer Library on the Los Angeles campus continued in this position and served until 1960.

The 1959/60 Chapman College Annual Catalogue stated that the collection includes approximately 35,000 volumes and 325 subscriptions to periodicals and newspapers, in addition to pamphlets, recordings, and filmstrips. It also included a collection of Disciple historical materials and rare books housed in a separate room. Also, audio-visual equipment is handled through the library. The library was open Monday through Saturday with varying hours (Catalogue, p. 12-13).

Following as Head Librarian after Fanny Carlton was Bertha Coddington from 1960 to 1962. Marjorie Reeves, wife of President George Reeves, was Head Librarian from 1962-1965, followed by Alice F. Flint from 1965-1977.


From the Collection: 17 Linear Feet (31 containers total and 6 unboxed items)

Language of Materials



Chapman College Annual Catalogue, 1955-60 Chapman Remembers : a history of Chapman College by Arlene Reasoner Sayre Fulfilling a Dream : The History of Chapman University by Louise Booth

Processing Information

Historical note by Claudia Horn in December 2019.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives, Frank Mt. Pleasant Library of Special Collections & Archives Repository

Chapman University
One University Drive
Orange CA 92866 USA US