Ask a Librarian

Centennial Photo Display: 1970’s, Part II

Alethea Drexler
archives assistant
The Library built a major addition to the original 1954 building in 1974.
P-2952, the addition behind the preexisting Library, soon after it opened.
P-2908a Library addition 400dpi JPGiP-2592 the unfinished first floor.  The stairway at right leads down to the street level where the computer lab, classrooms, vending machine cubby, and some of the offices are now.
P-2952 Library addition first floor 400dpi JPGThe exterior.  (McGovern Historical Collections photo files; Institutions)
1974-library-exterior-construction-additionThe addition was outfitted with new furniture.  I think we still have some of those desks.  I wish we still had some of those awesome chairs!  (McGovern Historical Collections photo files; Institutions)
1975-library-interior-construction-techservices-redchairP-3063 The 1970’s were big into mushroom decor–my mother had tan Pyrex mixing bowls with little mushrooms printed on them–and the Library was no exception.  The last of these literal toadstools resides in the archival collections.
P-3063 TMC Library 1976 mushroom stools 400dpi JPGP-3063 This abstract scenic divider hung in the lobby in front of the circulation desk.  The archives staff was overjoyed to discover that we had a color photograph of it–black and white simply does not do it justice.
The look would not be complete, of course, without harvest gold chairs.
P-3063 TMC Library scenic curtain 1970s 01 400dpi JPGThe leisure reading area was decked out in a cheerful acid green, with modern wall art.  (McGovern Historical Collections photo files; Institutions)
1976-library-interior-leisurereading 3000 editLibrarian Beth White working at what might be a dumb terminal (notice the phone receiver resting on the top).  More on dumb terminals in a moment.
White worked for the library for 37 years and was a driving force behind the establishment of the archival collections.

Librarian Elizabeth White in 1976.
Librarian Elizabeth White in 1976.

Texas Instruments Silent 700 dumb terminal.  A dumb terminal is a component that allows access to a computer but does not have its own processing capability.  When I was in high school–I’m dating myself–our library catalog was accessed by dumb terminals that were connected to a “real” computer located elsewhere in the school library.  (The whole system was slow.  The “good” catalog was still the card catalog.)  They’re basically a keyboard and a screen.  The TI Silent 700, so named because it was a dot matrix that printed relatively quietly, came out in this form in 1971 and had a thermal paper output instead of a monitor.  It had a modem and accessed remote computers via, yes, a telephone.  Enjoy the image of it plugged into a bona fide rotary phone. (McGovern Historical Collections photo files; Institutions)
1978-library-equipment-TI-Silent-700-hardcopy-terminal 5000Wikipedia: TI Silent 700
Computer History Museum: TI Silent 700
Texas Instruments: TI Silent 700