Business and economics collections first moved from Zimmerman Library to a small business library in the College of Business and Administrative Sciences (now the Anderson School of Management) in 1969. Parish Memorial Library named for William J. Parish a former Dean of the College of Business Administration opened in 1987 in the new Anderson Graduate School Building with 3 times the space, 4 times the seating and the addition of 12 computer terminals replacing the paper based card catalog. From the very beginning the business library has served community business people in addition to UNM students, faculty and staff. In a March 1989 interview given by director Judith Bernstein to New Mexico Business Outlook, the library had access to about 1000 databases and electronic journals could only be viewed on a computer using a compact disk. In 2014 the library system has 67,300 electronic and print journal subscriptions.
Bill Parish was born in Franklin, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Brown University in 1929 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1931. A bout with tuberculosis forced the young accountant to move to the Southwest. He and his wife, the former Edna May Gifford, settled in Albuquerque in 1939. It was here that he found his life's work in academia. Asked by UNM in 1943 to teach in the College of Economics and Business Administration, he moved into increasingly responsible roles. He received his Doctorate in Commercial Science from Harvard University in 1950. He was Dean of the College of Business Administration from 1959-1962 when he was made UNM's Dean of the Graduate School, a position he held until his death.
Professor Parish wrote and lectured on the small loan problem, taxation, and insurance in New Mexico, but was always particularly interested in the history and philosophy of business. He wrote and spoke on such topics as education, democracy, business ethics, and the relationship to economics of non-economic values. He was a strong advocate of interdisciplinary study, insisting that university and community pursuits are interrelated and interdependent. His business and social history, The Charles Ilfeld Company, was published in 1961 by the Harvard Press, and he was researching the history of the Bank of Santa Fe at the time of his death. Professor Parish was a dedicated supporter of the business and cultural life of Albuquerque and New Mexico, serving on several boards, councils, and foundations.
The William Jackson Parish Memorial Library is grateful to the late Edna May Parish for her support of the library and the Presidential Scholarship Fund at UNM.(From the Plaque at the W.J. Parish Memorial Library)