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Louis A. Kenney Papers

Identifier: MS-0393

Scope and Contents

The Louis A. Kenney Papers document Kenney's years as University Librarian at San Diego State University. The collection dates from 1914-1992, and has been divided into four series: Correspondence, Professional Files, Printing Ephemera, and Scrapbooks.

The Correspondence series includes Kenney's ingoing and outgoing correspondence from 1960 to 1980, as well as his dissertation. Included in this series are memos regarding the budget; various complaints and concerns from faculty and staff; information on meetings and new employee appointments; requests for forming cooperative relationships with other libraries; and memos regarding the library's move to a new building in 1971. The series is arranged chronologically.

The Professional Files series documents a broad range of Kenney's life from his doctoral dissertation to his retirement from the San Diego State library in 1980. The series dates from 1950 to 1992, with some undated materials. Included in this series is a copy of Kenney's PhD dissertation, The Censorship Edicts of Emperor Charles V in the Low Countries, 1515-1550, as well as a copy of a rare 1540 edition of Ordenung und Mandat, a primary document used for his dissertation; and three folders of correspondence regarding the library's Edward A. Block Memorial Collection from 1965-1973. Also included is Kenney's Campanile Club plaque, one of his nameplates, and a copy of a 42nd Infantry Division history/yearbook, ca. 1943. There is no filing order.

The Printing Ephemera series includes various materials collected by Kenney during his tenure as University Librarian.

The Photographs and Scrapbooks series includes photographs of the 1939 New York World’s Fair and Kenney’s wartime service in Europe, and three scrapbooks that document Kenney’s travels after the war and contain postcards he collected. The loose photographs primarily document Kenny’s wartime service and include photographs taken by Kenney and souvenir prints he purchased. The wartime photographs, which mostly date from the summer of 1945, include photographs taken in cities and towns in France, Germany, Austria and Scotland. The aftermath of the war is shown through several photographs of buildings destroyed by bombing. Also included are a group of photographs Kenney took while attending the New York World’s Fair in 1939, as well as a shot of Kenney’s relatives in Los Angeles. The first scrapbook was compiled by Kenney while on a trip through Italy with school friends in 1950. It includes postcards and photos of Kenney and his friends from Florence, Milan, Assisi, Rome, Amalfi, Pompeii, Sicily, and numerous other locations in Italy. The second consists of postcards from Hawaii, Tokyo, Kyoto, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and the Chinese countryside. It also includes some cards depicting the US Pacific Fleet, and the Japanese silk and tea industries. The third was compiled by Kenney while on a trip through France and Switzerland with school friends in 1949. It is unclear if this is the same trip in which he visited Italy. The album includes photos and postcards from the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship, Paris, the French countryside, Zurich, Bern, and the Swiss countryside.


  • Creation: 1914-1992
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1950-1992


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The copyright interests in some or all of these materials have not been transferred to San Diego State University. Copyright resides with the creator(s) of materials contained in the collection or their heirs. The nature of archival collections is such that multiple creators are often applicable and copyright status may be difficult or even impossible to determine. In any case, the user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, obtaining publication rights and copyright infringement. When requesting images from Special Collections & University Archives for publication, we require a signed agreement waiving San Diego State University of any liability in the event of a copyright violation.

Biographical Note

Louis A. Kenney was born February 28, 1917 in Dorchester, NE. He received his BA from Nebraska State College, Kearney in 1939 and completed a BS and a MS in Library Science at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He was drafted by the U.S. Army in 1941 and served with the 42nd Infantry Division in World War II. He returned to civilian life in 1946 and spent a year studying abroad in Switzerland from 1949 to 1950. In 1960 he was awarded his PhD in history from the University of Maryland. His thesis was titled The Censorship Edicts of Emperor Charles V in the Low Countries, 1515-1550.

Kenney was San Diego State's University Librarian from 1961 to 1980 and played an instrumental role in planning for a new library building, the Malcolm A. Love Library, which opened in 1971. As a result, the library's collection tripled in size and Kenney helped to establish the Special Collections department for rare books and manuscripts. He also helped form the Friends of the Malcolm A. Love Library in 1964 and served on its Board.

Kenney was an avid collector of rare books. In 1967, he purchased the Zinner Collection for Special Collections. Kenney retired from San Diego State in 1980 but remained active with the Friends of the Library and various other organizations. He was named Emeritus Librarian upon his retirement. He died in December of 1993.


3.71 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


Arrangement Note

I. Correspondence, 1960-1980

II. Professional Files, 1950-1992

III. Printing Ephemera

IV. Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1914-1950

Source of Acquisition

Louis A. Kenney


9999-124, 9999-211

Louis A. Kenney Papers
Jennifer Hollander
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections & University Archives Repository

5500 Campanile Dr. MC 8050
San Diego CA 92182-8050 US