Daniel Harvey Hill, Jr., the library namesake, began his career at North Carolina Agricultural and Mechanical College (now NCSU) upon its opening in 1889. He engaged in the common nineteenth-century practice of serving as both a professor (of English) and the college librarian, the institution’s first. This responsibility was not a major burden, as the early library occupied only a reading room in the Main Building (later Holladay Hall). For the first ten years of the college, Hill ordered all books and supervised the student assistants. Due to his scholarly interests, the early collection was dominated by the humanities and history, despite the agricultural and mechanical focus of the school. In 1908 Hill became president of the college.
The Board of Trustees appropriates $500 for "library purposes" and $150 for subscriptions for magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.
E. B. Owen (Class of 1898), was hired in 1899, along with University of Texas librarian Benjamin Wyche, to implement the Dewey system of book classification, construct a card catalog, and institute a card loan system. He served in this capacity until 1902. He held a variety of other positions at the college, including teacher of college preparatory classes (1898-1901), English professor (1904-1907), proctor, registrar (1907-1928), and the first alumni secretary / editor of the Alumni News (1928-1930), a publication he had established during World War I.
Haywood served in 1902-1903, during which time he worked on his book, "William Tryon and his Administration in the Province of North Carolina, 1765-1771" (1903). Haywood resigned when college president G. T. Winston cut his already low salary. He later became a noted author of North Carolina history and librarian of the North Carolina Supreme Court (1918-1933).
The library holdings move from Holladay Hall to the first floor of the old Pullen Hall.
During Sherman’s tenure as librarian (1903-1906), library holdings moved from the third floor of Main Building (later Holladay Hall) to the first floor of old Pullen Hall. With input from D. H. Hill, Jr., she tried to make the library comfortable for extra-curricular reading and subscribed to popular periodicals and newspapers from all North Carolina counties in order to encourage greater library patronage.
President D. H. Hill, Jr., appointed English professors Thomas P. Harrison and George Summey as co-chairs of the Library Committee. Harrison and Summey departed from Hill’s solitary approach to book selection, instead asking faculty to recommend titles for the collection.
Before becoming State College's librarian, Williamson had served as a Raleigh high school teacher and principal of Murphey School. During her time as librarian, the collection continued to grow slowly. Although James R. Gulledge was named head librarian in 1923, Williamson remained on staff until 1937.
Library holdings include 7,500 print volumes and 150 magazine and journal subscriptions.
In 1923, NC State hired George Zook of the United States Bureau of Education to survey the college and make recommendations on how it could best be restructured. Zook recommended creation of schools focusing on the following broad disciplines: engineering, agriculture, general science, and social science and business administration. He also reported that the library was inadequate for the needs of the growing institution and suggested that library services be centralized.
Among lasting changes made during Gulledge’s tenure were the library’s designation as a depository for U.S. government publications and presentation of the first formal library instruction for classes and individual students.
Books in departmental libraries begin to be cataloged as part of a central library system.
Contract for construction of a new library building (now Brooks Hall) is awarded to Joe W. Stout & Company, at a cost of $227,500.
After a fire destroyed the library's card catalog, librarian James Gulledge changes the book classification system from Dewey Decimal to the Library of Congress System (still in use).
Procedures for inter-library lending are first instituted.
The original D.H. Hill Library in what is now Brooks Hall was built by Hobart Brown Upjohn and named for Daniel Harvey Hill, Professor of English when NC State first opened.
When the head librarian position became vacant, NC State decided to save money by placing the library under the supervision of the Library Committee, instead of hiring a replacement. Frank Capps, director of college extension and instructor of business law, took on the position of executive secretary of the Library Committee (1926-1933). Although he moved his office to the library, he did not have the professional training or the time to provide much oversight. A growing backlog of materials was left uncataloged and unusable, while poorly trained student assistants proved unable to assist patrons. Despite these difficulties, the collections continued to grow and procedures for interlibrary lending were instituted.
The original D.H. Hill Library is dedicated (this building later became Brooks Hall). The contents of the library had been moved into the building the previous autumn, marking the first time there was an entire building designated as the library.
Hugh T. Lefler, head of the History Department and chair of the Library Committee, became acting director of the library until the following year.
State College joins UNC-Chapel Hill and Duke University in contributing catalog cards to the North Carolina Union Catalog, the first collaborative effort between the three libraries.
D. H. Hill Library is given a private engineering library of more than 1,000 books by the widow of Colonel J.L. Ludlow of Winston-Salem.
During his administration, Kellam brought a sense of professionalism and organization to the library: the number of formally trained librarians grew from one to seven; the number of books increased from 33,500 to 56,500; circulation climbed from 60,400 to 97,900 volumes; and expenditures rose from $6,900 to $10,000. Kellam arranged the library into departments by function: circulation, reference, ordering, cataloging, and periodicals. Further increasing efficiency, Kellam centralized the acquisition of books and periodical subscriptions, a function that had been distributed among academic departments.
Brown began his long career at NC State in this position.
Clyde Hull Cantrell became the first periodicals and binding librarian.
Brown presided over many significant changes for the library, including its 1954 relocation from Brooks Hall to the facility where it remains today. The larger space provided Brown with the room to expand the collection from 50,000 to 500,000 volumes, construct a comprehensive scientific periodical collection, and acquire the renowned Tippman Collection of Entomology volumes. The enhanced D. H. Hill Library formed part of Brown's vision of a centralized campus library system. From 1942 to 1946, Brown took a leave of absence to serve in World War II. Brown became associate director in 1964 and retired in 1971.
As State College celebrates its fiftieth anniversary, materials on the institution's history begin to be collected in the library. This forms the basis of what would later become the University Archives.
The Architecture Library opened as the first branch library, with Grace Sims Dalton as the first librarian. This was part of Library Director Harlan Brown’s goal to eliminate autonomous departmental libraries in favor of centrally controlled branch libraries (The Architecture Library was renamed the Harrye B. Lyons Design Library in 1968).
All male library staff members leave for military service during World War II, with Library Director Harlan Brown taking a leave of absence until 1946. Reference librarian Reba Clevenger became the acting college librarian during this time.
The Textiles Library is established, with Rachel Penn Lane as the first librarian. The Textiles Library was originally located in the main library, but relocated to Nelson Hall the following year (1945). The library was renamed the Burlington Textiles Library in 1954, when Burlington Industries funded its expansion.
L. C. and M. M. Glenn donate $6,000 to State College for the library's purchase of geological publications, many rare and unique. In acquiring the L. C. Glenn Geological Collection, the Friends of the Library organization is formed.
Former Chancellor John Harrelson begins an appointment as the head of the University Archives collection at D.H. Hill Library.
The new D. H. Hill Library (the east wing of the current building) was formally dedicated.
Littleton was hired as Assistant Director of Libraries, thus beginning his long career at NC State.
Edward Walker is hired as a mail clerk, becoming the first full-time African-American staff member of the library.
The Friends of the Library program is reformed, after being largely inactive since the late 1940s.
The library received the Eugene Clyde Brooks collection of approximately 1,000 books and journals on the history of education and North Carolina.
I. T. Littleton became director, at first in an acting role (Harlan Brown remained, serving as associate director until his retirement in 1971). During his long tenure as director (1964-1987) Littleton built the D. H. Hill Library and its branches into a major university research library system: the book, periodicals, and binding budget rose from $114,000 in 1958 to $3.1 million; and the library's full-time staff and facilities tripled in size. The library added its cataloging records to the international bibliographic network OCLC, and it served as a founding member of several cooperative organizations.
Inez Ray establishes the Curriculum Materials Center, later renamed the Learning Resources Library and then the College of Education Media Center.
Maurice Toler becomes the first professionally trained, full-time University Archivist. While the university archives were housed in the library, the division initially reported directly to the Dean of Faculty (later titled Provost).
The Technical Information Center opens in the D. H. Hill Library, as a joint project between the library and the Industrial Extension Service.
The Cooperating Raleigh Colleges program is established by the libraries of NC State, Meredith College, Shaw University, Peace College, St. Mary's College, and St. Augustine College. The program allows direct borrowing of library resources among the six campuses.
D.H. Hill Library extends the closing hour from 11PM to 1AM.
After thefts of valuable volumes, a security system is installed in the D. H. Hill Library, and all doors are locked after service hours.
The library received the Sanford Richard Winston Music Collection, consisting of classical music scores, opera librettos, guides, biographies of composers, books on music criticism and history, and musical recordings.
William C. Horner becomes the first systems librarian.
William V. Frazier is hired as the first African-American in a professional librarian position.
The School of Forest Resources Library opens in Biltmore Hall.
The North Carolina General Assembly makes an appropriation for funding of libraries at the sixteen senior public institutions of higher education in the state. NC State receives an increase of $723,915, resulting in a budget of $1,313,833 for fiscal year 1970-1971. The budget for books, periodicals, and binding increases to $624,123.
A single entrance to the library (from the Brickyard) is established for the first time.
A reorganization of departments in the Libraries results in three major divisions headed by assistant directors. The divisions were General Services (including circulation), Reference Services, and Collection Development and Organization (including technical services). The school libraries - Design, Textiles, and Forest Resources - were now classified as branch libraries.
The light mural (later known as the Color Wall) in D. H. Hill Library is activated for the first time, but not yet fully completed.
Construction ended on the new 11-story tower addition (North Tower) to the D.H. Hill Library.
The new 11-story addition (North Tower) to the D.H. Hill Library opened
Interior of D. H. Hill Library, showing the documents card catalog. A few years after this photo was taken, in 1975, the NCSU Libraries commenced computerized cataloging of the book collection, which led to the development of the online catalog.
The original eleven-story bookstack tower (now the North Tower) of the D. H. Hill Library is dedicated. With the addition, the bookstacks are opened to all users (previously, the library had had closed bookstacks).
NC State becomes a charter member of the Southeastern Library Network (SOLINET). Library director I.T. Littleton serves on SOLINET's initial board of directors, and chairs its first bylaws committee.
The D.H. Hill Librarians group meets for the first time. In 1984, the group was renamed the NCSU Librarians' Association.
The library begins computerized cataloging of materials. Retrospective conversion of the card catalog was started the following year.
Book, periodical, and binding expenditures exceed $1,000,000 in a fiscal year for the first time.
A Rare Book and Special Collections Room, administered by the Reference Department, was established adjacent to the University Archives.
The library directors at NCSU, UNC-Chapel Hill, and Duke University appointed a Triangle Universities Library Cooperation Committee (TULCC) to plan a cooperative program for the three universities. Ultimately the Triangle Research Libraries Network (TRLN) grew out of this effort.
The NCSU Libraries become a member of the prestigious Association of Research Libraries (ARL).
The online catalog was originally called the Bibliographic Information System (BIS). The following year, library staff stopped filing cards into the card catalog. In addition to providing information on NCSU holdings, BIS also gave users access to information on holdings at the other TRLN libraries.
"The NCSU Libraries" becomes the official name of the library system, encompassing the D. H. Hill Library and the four branch libraries (Design, Natural Resources, Textiles, and Veterinary Medicine).
The first annual I. T. Littleton Seminar in emerging library issues was held by the Libraries. The seminar was established to honor Libraries Directory I. T. Littleton, who retired in this year.
During Nutter’s tenure, the Libraries has grown from less than 2,000,000 volumes to more than 4.4 million, plus 62,000 print and electronic serial subscriptions, 500 bibliographic databases, and numerous electronic full-text and image collections. Also, the Libraries advanced significantly in important library rankings, and innovative new facilities opened on campus.
The NCSU Libraries celebrates its 100th anniversary in a ceremony that includes planting three yoshino cherry trees in front of the East Wing of the building.
A new addition to the D. H. Hill Library (South Tower) opened. Besides bookstack space, this addition featured a special facilities room and the Class of 1989 Reading Room.
The Collection Management Department is established, with Margaret Hunt as its first head. Hunt had been one of the first African-American librarians hired during the 1970s.
The Information Technologies Teaching Center (ITTC) is established in the D. H. Hill Library, initially funded through a gift from the Class of 1990.
In conjunction with the move of the College of Textiles, the Burlington Textiles Library moved to Centennial Campus, making it the first library unit on the new campus. It remained in the College of Textiles complex until December 2012, when the collections were moved into the Hunt Library.
The library begins a trial of an electronic document delivery service to university researchers.
The Friends of the Library published I. T. Littleton's "The D.H. Hill Library: An Informal History, 1887-1987"
The NCSU Libraries initiates a new information system, accessible to remote users through campus local area networks and the Internet. Included is access to external databases and journal indexes, as well as the online catalog.
During the 1993-1994 academic year, the holdings of the Libraries reach 2,000,000 volumes.
The NCSU Libraries initiates daily van delivery of library resources between the D. H. Hill Library and the branch libraries.
The NCSU Libraries are selected by the Association of Research Libraries as one of six "Research Libraries of the Future."
The Special Collections Research Center is established, with David Jackson as the first department leader.
The NCSU Libraries begins twenty-four hour service (Sunday through Thursday).
The Digital Library Initiatives department is formed.
With funding from a tuition increase, the NCSU Libraries initiated the TRIPSaver service for NCSU users to expedite retrieval of items from other TRLN libraries.
The NCSU Libraries become a charter member of the JSTOR electronic archive of journal articles.
The NCSU Libraries became a member of the Digital Library Federation.
The Scholarly Communication Center is established, with Peggy E. Hoon as the first Scholarly Communications Librarian. NC State's library becomes the first in the nation to hire an intellectual property attorney to help both librarians and faculty interpret how copyright law protects or limits their access to information.
NC LIVE (North Carolina Libraries in Virtual Education) begins, with NC State serving as NC LIVE's primary server site.
The Donald E. Moreland Associate Director for Public Services, the first named position in the NCSU Libraries, is created from an endowment established by Professor Emeritus Donald E. Moreland and his wife Verdie S. Moreland. Carolyn D. Argentati becomes the first to hold the position.
The NCSU Libraries wins the first-ever "Excellence in Academic Libraries Award" in the university library category. This award is sponsored by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).
During the 2000-2001 academic year, the holdings of the Libraries reaches 3,000,000 volumes.
The NCSU Libraries is ranked 32nd among 112 Association of Research Library (ARL) libraries, up from 101st in 1987 - an unprecedented accomplishment in ARL history.
The NCSU Libraries receives its largest gift, a $1,000,000 charitable remainder trust, from an anonymous donor.
Susan Nutter is named the Librarian of the Year by the Library Journal.
The NCSU Libraries implements a revolutionary new online catalog, leveraging the advanced search and faceted navigation capabilities of the Endeca software platform. The new catalog provides the speed and flexibility of popular online search engines, while capitalizing on existing catalog records.
The North Carolina General Assembly appropriates funding for the planning of the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library, to be built on Centennial Campus.
A major renovation of the east wing of the D. H. Hill Library is completed, featuring the Learning Commons, the Conservatory, the Special Collections Reading Room, and the Exhibit Gallery. The opening of the newly refurbished space coincides with the fifty-second anniversary of the dedication of the original building in 1955.
The library was named in honor of former four-term N.C. Gov. and NC State alumnus James B. Hunt Jr. The Hunt Library won the American Institute of Architects and the American Library Association Building Award. It was featured in Architecture magazine, and Time magazine called it the "library of the future."