History of the Library

The Early Years


The Stanford Business School opens, founded on the inspiration of Stanford alumnus (and future U.S. president) Herbert Hoover. Although there is no formal library yet, the staff begins to collect books and subscribe to over 80 journals.


The library is formally inaugurated on April 3. Stanford President Ray Lyman Wilbur allocates room 429-B in Jordan Hall as an autonomous library under the direction of the Graduate School of Business. Janet Webber becomes first Director of the Library. Elizabeth Breid ‘31 becomes second Director of the Library. The collection is established with 1,000 volumes and assorted reports.


Edwin Coman becomes third Director of the Library.


The library moves into the newly reconstructed Assembly Hall in Building 120 in the Stanford Quad. Students appreciate the increased space, the additional book stacks — and the air conditioning.


The library contains almost 8,000 volumes and 85,000 pamphlets. School enrollment drops so low during the war years that the faculty is reduced to a skeletal staff. The library remains busy by meeting the research needs of 2,500 soldiers enrolled at Stanford for Army Specialized Training.


Laverne Cutler becomes fourth Director of the Library.


Stanford GSB names the library “J. Hugh Jackson Library” in honor of the retiring dean.


Marion Smith becomes fifth Director of the Library

A New Home


The Jackson Library moves into the newly constructed Stanford Graduate School of Business building between the Oval and Memorial Auditorium. The facility, GSB-South, still houses the library, many offices, classrooms, and Bishop Auditorium. Library Director Marion Smith is instrumental in securing space for the library in the new building.


The political turbulence of the times affects the library as business school students strike against President Nixon’s policies in Southeast Asia. Windows are broken by rocks hurled in protest, and political signs such as “Dump Dick” and “GSB says Out of Cambodia” are posted.


Computer automation has its first impact on Jackson Library when the serial catalog records are automated. Bound into the “Red Book” for periodical searching, the computer-generated records greatly increase access to the collection; they continue to be produced until 1995.


Marion Smith steps down as the library’s fourth and longest-serving director to date.


Judy Fair becomes sixth Director of the Library


The roof above the library is remodeled to create an additional floor for high-density compact storage. This proves an ideal place for the storage of archival corporate reports; the reports collection is one of the world’s largest. Bela Gallo becomes seventh Director of the Library.

Entering the Information Age


The school installs the first computers for student use in the library. These pioneer machines include a DOS IBM, an Apple III, and an Apple Lisa, and are used primarily for Lotus spreadsheets and word processing.


Compact disc technology emerges, and Jackson Library offers a CD-ROM database for patron use, Compact Disclosure. It is locked in an acrylic shroud to maintain security and accountability for use.


The Loma Prieta Earthquake rocks the campus, and seriously damages Jackson Library. Walls crack, bookstacks topple, and a flood of water drenches significant portions of the collection. The library’s main floors close for many months, during which time extensive retrofitting to guard against future quake damage is undertaken.


The library acquires its first full-text article database, Business Periodicals Online. This initially temporary donation is an essential aid to researchers while most of the library collection lies inaccessible due to repairs.

Toward a New Century


The rapid growth of electronic information sources fosters fundamental alterations in the library’s organization and service. As the lines between computing support and libraries grow less distinct, the library joins with Computing Services to create a new department in the school known as Information Resources.


The school dedicates the new Rosenberg Corporate Research Center in the library. A generous gift from Claude and Louise Rosenberg transforms the heart of the library’s current business information sources. The focal point of the Rosenberg Center is a network of computer workstations, each providing access to a broad range of business databases.


Jackson Library goes online. In addition to offering easier access to on-site library information and databases, it provides links to internet sites selected for their value to business researchers.


Robert Mayer becomes Acting Director of the Library.


Shirley Hallblade becomes eighth Director of the Library. Jackson Library joins in the 75th anniversary celebrations at the school with a special historical display of the library’s past.

Over the years, the library’s collection has increased and diversified to meet the changing research and teaching needs of the school. With over 400,000 volumes, 1,600 periodical subscriptions, and numerous electronic databases, the Jackson Library collection is widely recognized as one of the premier academic business resources in the world, and the library is poised on the edge ready to meet the challenges of providing information in the electronic age.


Kathleen Long becomes ninth Director of the Library.


The library undertakes a complete redesign of its website, engaging Stanford GSB faculty, students, and staff in the process to best support the changing information seeking behavior of the community. The improved site is intuitive and easy to navigate.

The library releases its own browser toolbar in October 2004. Named by a student winner of the toolbar naming contest, FastJack is a time-saving tool. It offers just-in-time access to personalized library resources on the web.

Jackson Library gains its first logo. The logo represents how we leverage existing and emerging technologies to provide access to quality information.


Jackson Library is remodeled to make better use of space and invite collaboration.


The library receives the 2006 Center of Excellence Award for Service from the Special Libraries Association.

The library unveils Jackson Blog in September 2006. Connecting with the blogger community at the business school, Jackson Library bloggers regularly share informal conversations on faculty research, alumni businesses, business news, and new resources in the library.


The library site gets a new look and feel with increased functionality as the entire Stanford GSB site undergoes a redesign.


Jackson Library’s 75th anniversary. Jackson Library commemorates the past and toasts the future with a gala celebration.


Renamed Stanford Graduate School of Business (GSB) Library, the library moves to the Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Center at the Knight Management Center.


Kent Abbott becomes Interim Director of the Library.


Julie Williamsen becomes tenth Director of the Library.