University of California, San Diego


February 18, 2000


Subject:    In Memoriam - Melvin J. Voigt, 1911-2000

I am saddened to inform you of the death, on February 4, of Melvin J. Voigt, UCSD's first University Librarian.

Melvin Voigt was hired by Roger Revelle in 1960 to build a library system for UC's new San Diego campus. He founded the Friends of the UCSD Libraries and developed a cost-saving plan to purchase core books for three new UC campuses - San Diego, Santa Cruz, and Irvine. A resulting 1967 publication, Books for College Libraries, was the basis for the development of many other library collections. He built the UCSD collection from 45,000 volumes in Scripps Institution of Oceanography Library in 1960 to 1.2 million volumes in seven UCSD library facilities when he retired in 1976.

Several library buildings were constructed on campus under the direction of Melvin Voigt, but his crowing capital achievement was the Central University Library, completed in 1970. Now known as Geisel Library, this unique structure is the landmark building of the campus.

Melvin Voigt was well-known throughout the country for his pioneering work in library automation. Following his retirement, he maintained an active interest in librarianship and information science. He served as editor of two periodicals, Advances in Librarianship and Progress in Communication Sciences. Upon his retirement, he was named Librarian Emeritus. To honor his legacy, the University named a major east-west campus thoroughfare "Voigt Drive."

You are cordially invited to join the Voigt family, friends, and the UCSD community for a memorial tribute to Melvin Voigt on Friday, March 3, 2000, at 2:00 P.M. in the Seuss Room, Geisel Library, UCSD. Please respond to (858) 534-1234 or lswingle@ucsd.edu

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made payable to the Regents of UC and sent to the Melvin J. Voigt Memorial Fund, c/o UCSD Libraries, 0175G, 9500 Gilman Drive, La Jolla, CA 92093-0175.

                                                       Brian E. C. Schottlaender
                                                       University Librarian