New General Library

In the early 20th century, the University Library was once again outgrowing its space. In the Old General Library, “the Reading Rooms were crowded and noisy, the staff rooms were so small…people literally rubbed elbows, two at a single desk. [Many] aisles were almost impassable. The case was literally desperate,” wrote William Warner Bishop, University Librarian, about the Old General Library.

In 1916, the original library building was demolished to make way for a larger library, known today as the Harlan Hatcher Graduate Library. This new building had seats for one thousand students and space for one million volumes.

In his dedication of the New General Library, Librarian Bishop wrote:

“What does this new building mean to the University? Of course, an ample, quiet, comfortable place in which to read and study. But much more. It is an outward and visible expression of two things of the spirit which go far toward making true scholarship: service and learning.”

Exterior Construction of the General Library

Construction of the new General Library

Interior Construction of the New General Library

Construction of the new General Library

Razing the Clock Tower of the old General Library

Construction of the new General Library

Exterior of the new General Library

Exterior of the new General Library

Circulation Desk at the General Library

Circulation Desk at the new General Library

Study Hall in the new General Library

Study hall at the new General Library

Library Staff

Library staff on the steps of the General Library

Exterior of the new General Library

Exterior of the new General Library

Old General Library

Undergraduate Library