ertrand Library

On June 26, 1950, ground was broken for the Ellen Clarke Bertrand Library. The cornerstone was laid on February 24, 1951, and the building was dedicated on June 9. The library formally opened on September 26, 1951. Mrs. Bertrand contributed $800,000.00 and, later, a library endowment fund. On October 8, 1959, the Interfaith Meditation Room, located in the basement, was dedicated; in September of 1964, the Meditation Room was moved to Rooke Chapel.

On December 24, 1960, a fire burned the roof and the clock tower, but no books were lost and water damage was kept to a minimum. Service was restored by the time the students returned in January. In the summer of 1961, the restoration of the roof and clock tower was completed and air conditioning was installed.

This photograph was taken from the rear of the building shortly after its construction. The main entrance to the library was from the side of the building on the academic quadrangle, at the right side of the photograph. ( Coleman Hall had not been constructed when this photograph was taken.). On the first floor was the main lobby of the library with the card catalogue located to the left of the entrance and the circulation desk to the right. The main staircase was located in this lobby directly in front of the entrance. Beyond the lobby was a reading room with stacks and a mezzanine on the interior wall. On the second storey another reading room with stacks and a mezzanine was located directly above that on the first. Both reading rooms faced the rear of the building ( to the left in the photograph ).

In the early 1960s, a collection of Renaissance Art was donated by the Samuel Kress Foundation and hung in the Kress Gallery located on the second floor. Also, at this time, an Archives Room and a Faculty Lounge were located on the second floor, and two Audio/Oral labs and the ROTC armory were located in the basement.

This building in other years: 1985 | Current
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