Centennial Photo Gallery provides a glimpse of the dynamic history
of the institution and its library. The University Library has grown
from a small, local collection to a resource that, with the arrival
of the Internet, spans the entire globe. In our 100 years we have
truly realized the vision of the library that was so boldly stated
world is brought to our doors, and all the latest news and most
advanced thought in various lines of human activity" (Catalog,
The Library ca. 1903:
"She is the
ever ready friend of him who appreciates books" (souvenir issue,
Pointer 1902). Elizabeth Fotheringham Simpson, Librarian from
1897 until 1906. She hailed from Manchester England and was preceded
in her post by the first professional librarian at the University,
Irene Warren, who served from 1895-1897. This classic photo was
taken in the second location of the Library, now the site of the
Alumni and Foundation offices in Old Main. The Library was
originally housed---from 1894 until the summer of 1901---in Old Main
in what is now the Chancellor's office.
Click on photo for larger (44K) image.
Catalog ca. 1940:
In the 1940's the card catalog was the central index to the
collection. The catalog vanished in the summer of 1988, shortly
after the Library installed its first online computer catalog. The
Library from 1894 until 1953 contained all of its services and
collections in a single room! Space for users and materials had
become so cramped by the early 1950's that the book stacks were
closed to users.
Click on photo for larger (29K) image.
Circulation Desk 1945:
1940 saw a bustling circulation area in the Library's third location
in Old Main, the former Assembly Hall (now the site of the north
wing, second floor). The Library occupied these quarters from the
fall of 1924 through the summer of 1954. Controversy surrounded the
move of the collection into the newly remodeled Assembly Hall. The
move, planned for 1923, was postponed and the facility condemned for
a year following the discovery by state engineers that the floor of
Assembly Hall would not support the weight of the library. As the
newspaper put it, the Library was "an active menace to the gymnasium
in use beneath" (the floor of the new Library was the ceiling of the
campus gymnasium!). A special state appropriation of $5,000 provided
the necessary reinforcements.
Click on photo for larger (33K) image.
Wartime Conversation 1945:
"Before the war---during the war---after the war, the "libe" is
often a spot where boy meets girl" (College Life at Central State
[1945?]). The week of April 8, 1945: students relax while newspaper
headlines document a world at war.
Click on photo for larger (63K) image.
Building of Our Own - 1954:
An architect's rendering of the first campus building designed and
constructed solely as a library. Currently the Student Services
Building, this facility was "The Library" from the fall of 1954
until the spring of 1970. The new building housed a collection that
had reached over 50,000 volumes, and included media such as
microfilms, films, and sound recordings. Soundproof study rooms, a
classroom, and a theater were also highlights of the new facility.
The building was planned for 150,000 volumes, which "under normal
growth would be reached by the library in 50 years" according to the
Library Building Committee. It took less than 20 years to reach that
mark, as by 1970 the collection had spilled over the 200,000 volume
line. In its second year of operation, 1895, the Library had amassed
a collection of over 4,000 books and 200 bound periodicals. By 1994
the University Library had more than 1,600,000 items, including
286,000 books and 58,000 bound periodicals.
Click on photo for larger (36K) image.
Circulation Desk 1955:
A 1955 view of the spacious new circulation and card catalog area in
the new Library.
Click on photo for larger (40K) image.
New "LRC" - 1970:
The dedication photo of the new James H. Albertson Center for
Learning Resources. Occupied in May of 1970, the current facility
was soon nicknamed the "LRC." The new facility, dedicated and named
in memory of James H. Albertson, University President from
1962-1967, was designed to integrate print and multimedia learning
resources into a single, active learning and production environment.
The new building was also constructed as a response to doubled
student enrollments and the rapid growth of resources.
Click on photo for larger (25K) image.
Lobby of the LRC in 1972:
A 1972 view of the card catalog area in the main lobby of the
Click on photo for larger (37K) image.
LRC in 1994:
The current LRC, following an extensive remodel and addition in
1985. The remodel doubled the space, adding on a 6th floor and
10,000 square foot cantilevered wings to floors two through five.
Click on photo for larger (101K) image.