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CONEY, DONALD (1901–1973). Donald Coney, university librarian, was born on February 21, 1901, in Jackson, Michigan, the son of Glenn E. and Eunice Frances (Diffenbaugh) Coney. He received a B.A. degree in 1925 and an A.M. degree in library science in 1927 from the University of Michigan. He married Dorothy Bell Petit on July 2, 1925; they had two children. Coney worked as librarian of the University of Delaware in 1927–28. He moved to the University of North Carolina in 1928 as assistant librarian and in 1931 became professor of library science and assistant director of the School of Library Science. From 1932 to 1934 he worked at the Newberry Library in Chicago as supervisor of technical processes. In 1934 he accepted a position as director of the University of Texas library, a post he held until 1945. During his years at UT the library grew from 474,000 to 770,000 volumes; some of the university's most important acquisitions were in the archives, the Latin American Collection, the Texas Collection, and the rare book collection. Also during Coney's tenure, the university library began publishing the Library Chronicle of the University of Texas.

Coney became university librarian and professor of librarianship at the University of California at Berkeley in 1945 and remained there until his retirement in 1968. At Berkeley he saw the library grow from 1,300,000 to 3,000,000 volumes; the staff increased from 175 to more than 400. In addition to his library duties he was a member of the Buildings and Campus Development Committee and influenced the design of several buildings on campus, including the Student Union, Hertz Hall, Zellerbach Auditorium, the Art Museum, and Wurster Hall. Coney was vice chancellor for administration at Berkeley in 1955–56. He was also chairman of the Committee for Arts and Lectures from 1955 to 1970, though he retired in 1968. He served on the executive board of the Council of the American Library Association and was a member of several other professional organizations. He died on February 10, 1973. See also UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS LIBRARIES.

Dictionary of American Library Biography (Littleton, Colorado: Libraries Unlimited, 1978). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.
Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl

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Handbook of Texas Online, Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, "Coney, Donald," accessed November 20, 2017,

Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.