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Mobley, Emily R.



  • Existence: June 1, 1943 -

Biographical Information

Emily Mobley was born in Georgia, but grew up in suburban Detroit. She set her sights on being a librarian at an early age. Mobley attended the University of Michigan (UM) where she earned her BA, and after a period of working for corporate libraries and at Wayne State University, she returned to UM and earned her PhD in Library Science. Mobley began her career at Purdue as Assistant to the Director of the Libraries in 1986. In 1989 she was promoted to full professor and was named the first Dean of Libraries. Mobley was also Purdue’s first Ester Ellis Distinguished Professor of Library Science (1997). Emily Mobley was the first African-American to hold a deanship at Purdue University.

During her tenure as Dean of the Libraries (1989-2004), Mobley provided oversight in moving the system towards the electronic era and pushed for growth of library collections to 2.3 million volumes. Among her accomplishments, Mobley played a crucial role in the acquisition of the addition to the Amelia Earhart Collection to Purdue's Archives and Special Collections unit, led a two year renovation of the Humanities, Social Science and Education Library, and helped the English department bring a literary leader to campus each semester. Prior to coming to Purdue, Mobley was library director with General Motors Institute. She also served as a library administrator at Wayne State University, General Motors Research Laboratories and Chrysler Corporation. Mobley was also a past president of the Special Libraries Association and served on the board of directors for the Association of Research Libraries.


MSO 1, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Found in 3 Collections and/or Records:

Emily Mobley papers

 Unprocessed — Multiple Containers
Identifier: 20060519
Dates: 1926 - 2006; Majority of material found within 1988 - 1997

Purdue University Libraries records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UA 30
Scope and Contents The Purdue University Libraries records document, the history, administration and activities of the Purdue University Libraries.  Types of materials include: annual reports, brochures, ephemera, minutes, miscellaneous materials, newsletters, pamphlets, photographs, publications, records, surveys, and training manuals.  The original order of the records was maintained in most cases.  Some boxes may include cross-departmental documents, and confidential items have been removed and housed in a...
Dates: circa 1800s - 2000s; Majority of material found within 1980 - 2004

Purdue University Libraries records, Government documents records

 Unprocessed — Box: Box 1
Identifier: 20130513.1