The Faculty History Project documents faculty members who have been associated with the University of Michigan since 1837. Key in this effort is to celebrate the intellectual life of the University. This Faculty History Website is intended as a component of the effort to document the extraordinary academic achievements of Michigan’s faculty in building and sustaining one of the world’s great universities. It provides access to a comprehensive database of information concerning the thousands of faculty members who have served the University of Michigan.
Find out more.
The Michigan Alumnus 6
Rudolph H. Gjelsness, g'25-28, Professor of Library Science and Chair man of the Department, spent the Summer of 1942 serving as Co-Direc tor of a Summer Library School in the National Library at Bogota, Co lumbia. He was also away from the Campus during 1943-44 to be Director of the Union Catalog Project and Di rector of Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico, at the same time teaching an introductory course in library sci ence in the National School of An thropology in Mexico. About a year ago, he was a member of a three-man committee studying problems of library cooperation in the college li braries of Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore colleges.
Professor Gjels ness was born at Reynolds, N. D., and after attending high school there, he entered North Dakota University, re ceiving an A.B. in 1916. After the first World War, when he had served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, he was Assistant Librarian, at the AEF Uni versity at Beaune, France. He later was in American Library Association war service in Germany. He completed the two-year graduate course in Li brary Science at the. University of Il linois in 1920 and spent the next two years as head of the order department at the University of Oregon Library.
From 1922 until 1924 he was Senior Bibliographer at the University of Cal ifornia Library, and the following year was a Fellow of the American-Scan dinavian Foundation at the University of Oslo. He did a translation of Lisbeth of Jarnfjeld, by Johan Falkber get, a Norwegian novelist, after his work at Oslo.
His first connection with the University of Michigan staff came in 1925, when he began a three- year service as Assistant Librarian and Chief Classifier. In addition, Mr. Gjelsness taught library science for part of this time. In 1928, he left the University and for four years was Chief of the Preparation Division of the New York Public Library before taking the position of Librarian of the University of Arizona, where he remained until returning to Ann Arbor in 1937. At this time he was ap pointed Professor of Library Science, and three years later was also named Chairman of the Department.
Be sides being a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Sigma Alpha Epsilon, Professor Gjelsness is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Library Association, of which he is Treasurer, Bibliographical Society of America, Michigan Academy of Science, Arts and Letters, and Fel low of the American Library Institute. He served as Editor-in-Chief of A.L.A. Catalog Rules in 1941, and has contributed various articles to profes sional journals. Professor Gjelsness married Ruth Weaver, '28, and they have two children, Elizabeth, 15, and Barent, 10.