Musselman Library's 30th Anniversary

On April 22, 1981, the library at Gettysburg College moved from Schmucker Hall across campus to its current location and was renamed Musselman Library. On that spring day, campus volunteers transported and shelved approximately 180,000 books and materials! This year Musselman Library celebrates its 30th birthday with an exhibit that highlights the amazing 1981 campuswide Book Walk and an accompanying exhibit that gives a sense of 1981 by highlighting its events and pop culture.

Happy 30th Birthday, Musselman Library!

Musselman Library's 30th Birthday exhibit begins with a brief glimpse of two former campus library locations. An 1898 Spectrum photo shows the entire library kept behind locked grilles in Glatfelter Hall.

Glatfelter Library

A second photo shows Librarian Emerita Anna Jane Moyer at the Reference Desk when Gettysburg College's library was the Samuel Simon Schmucker Memorial Library.

Librarian Emerita Anna Jane Moyer

The exhibit goes on to include both the 1977 and the 1981 issues of the campus yearbook The Spectrum. The 1977 issue features the original architectural drawing for the new library and the 1981 issue describes the campus controversy over razing Stahley Hall to provide a site for the future Musselman Library and shows the completed building.

Musselman Library

How do you move a library? With 1350 volunteers! President and Mrs. Glassick were part of the massive effort to relocate the books to the new Musselman Library during the Book Walk on April 22, 1981.

President and Mrs. Glassick

"It was a highly organized and efficient system," recalled Librarian Emeritus David Hedrick. "In a little more than 4 hours the books were moved and by 6 p.m. the library opened for service."


Sprinkled among the photos and recollections of the Book Walk participants are examples of the equipment that would be found in a 1981 library including a Macintosh computer, a rotary dial phone and card catalog drawers.

1981 - The Year Musselman Library Was Born

1981 was the year Dynasty, Hill Street Blues, and The Smurfs premiered on American television. It was the year when The Muppets and M.A.S.H. were still wildly popular and MTV was launched on cable television. It was the year of leg warmers and shoulder pads and Post-It Notes. Raiders of the Lost Ark was released in movie theaters, IBM introduced the personal computer and Andre the Giant defeated Hulk Hogan at the Nassau Coliseum.


1981 was also the start of the second 1980s recession that lasted from July 1981 through November 1982 and the U.S. national debt reached one trillion dollars for the first time. President Ronald Reagan was shot in an assassination attempt in March and Pope John Paul II was shot in an assassination attempt in May. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot and killed October 6, 1981. Spaceship Columbia was the first Space Shuttle to orbit the Earth and the first case of AIDS was identified.

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