James Davis Rare Books Fund
This endowment honors former UCLA librarian James Davis, whose love for the university was apparent through his multifaceted career.
James Davis first discovered UCLA and its Library in the spring of 1959, when he was sent to work for a month in the Reference Department as a part of his program in the School of Librarianship at the University of Washington. Although he had intended to work in public libraries, by the end of his internship he was convinced that UCLA was the only place to be. Mr. Davis was hired the day before Labor Day in 1959 to organize and develop the reference services and collection of the College Library, then went on to become head of the College Library and subsequently special assistant to the university librarian and then assistant to the associate university librarian for research and instruction services. In 1983, Mr. Davis was appointed as rare books librarian in the Charles E. Young Research Library's Department of Special Collections, where he began adding to the superb collections that had been put in his care.
With strong support from Dr. Franklin D. Murphy and the Ahmanson Foundation, he developed the Ahmanson-Murphy Early Italian Printing Collection and modified the Ahmanson-Murphy Aldine Collection. He expanded the Michael Sadleir Collection of 19th-Century Fiction, with considerable assistance from the family of Bradford Booth and the Friends of the UCLA Library. He also collected with an eye for unique items to enhance and strengthen department holdings in the Children's Book Collection, modern juveniles, modern pop-up books and Californiana, particularly local imprints, cookbooks, photography, maps and ephemera. The James Davis Rare Books Fund was established upon Mr. Davis' retirement in 1997 with donations from family, friends, colleagues and supporters. Greatly enhanced by a bequest he left upon his untimely death, this fund continues his remarkable legacy in building these vital collections and honors his many years of service to the Library.