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University of Connecticut, University Libraries Director's Records [John P. McDonald, 1963-1988]

Identifier: 1998-0248

Scope and Content

The collection include materials relating not only to McDonald's work in the UConn Library but in many other aspects of his professional career and his interest in natural history.


  • undated, 1950s-1980s


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.


John P. McDonald (1922-1993) graduated from the University of Virginia in 1946 after serving four years in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He earned a Masters of Library Science from Drexel University in 1951 and in 1975 received the Drexel Library School Alumni Association's Outstanding Alumnus Award. He worked at the University of Pennsylvania Library for a short time before moving to the Washington University Library in St. Louis where he became an associate director. Early in the administration of President Homer D. Babbidge, Jr., he was appointed University Librarian at UConn (1963). He helped design and oversaw the planning of the new university library, which was subsequently named after President Babbidge in the late 1970s. He was a consultant on library buildings and management for many libraries. Active in state, regional, national, and international library associations and organizations, MacDonald served as President of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) in 1971/1972; from 1974 to 1976, while on leave from UConn, he was Executive Director of ARL. Upon his return to UConn, he was named Director of University Libraries and held that position until becoming Director of Library Development about a year before his retirement in 1988. By the time he retired the library's collections had grown from about 450,000 volumes to more than 2,500,000 volumes. During his tenure the library took initial steps towards library automation, played an active role in state, regional, and national library network and resource sharing developments, and built strong archival and special collections. The UConn Alumni Association honored him with its Leadership Award in 1986. John McDonald Wikipedia entry.

MacDonald was an avid bird watcher, conservationist, and naturalist. For many years, he served on the board of Joshua's Tract Conservation and Historic Trust, and was secretary of the Friends of Trail Wood in Hampton, Connecticut. His close relationship with Edwin and Nellie Teale was instrumental in the eventual addition of Teale's papers to Special Collections. He was also an active member of the National and Connecticut Audubon Societies, the Connecticut Ornithological Society, and the Natchaug Ornithological Society. His collection of more than 1,000 bird books, which he donated to Special Collections, is housed in the John P. McDonald Reading Room in the Thomas J. Dodd Research Center.


34 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



John P. McDonald was the Director of the University of Connecticut Libraries from 1963 through 1986. The collection contains correspondence, reports, studies and information on the Libraries' and associated programs, as well as materials pertaining to McDonald's interests in birds.

Acquisition Information

The collection was transferred by the Administrative office of the University Libraries' in 1998.

Separated Material

The MacDonald collection of monographs pertaining to birds has been cataloged and titles may be found by searching the Libraries' online catalog, Homer.

University of Connecticut, University Libraries Director's Records [John McDonald, 1963-1983]
Under Revision
Archives & Special Collections staff
2006 May
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US