Syracuse University Digital Library Collections

Syracuse University Carnegie Library 1907 - 2007
Carnegie Library Photo

This collection was created to showcase photographs of the Carnegie Library building from 1905-2007. The images show students, architectural features, and interior & exterior views. All historical images are from Syracuse University Archives. Future additions will include original floor plans.

Carnegie Library Photo 2
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Carnegie Library Photos

In March 1905, Andrew Carnegie's secretary informed Chancellor James Roscoe Day that Mr. Carnegie was willing to donate $150,000 for the erection of a university library, provided the university raised an equal sum as an endowment for upkeep of the library. The university raised the required endowment in just over a month, with the largest share contributed by John D. Archbold. The transfer of the Leopold von Ranke collection, which the University had purchased in 1887, was completed in September 1907 and the library opened on September 11, 1907. The first librarian at the new facility was Mary O'Brien Sibley.

As was common in the early 1900's, the Carnegie Library was built with closed stacks and library pages retrieved books. In 1965 the stacks became open to browsing. In November 1972, E.S. Bird Library opened, becoming the main library of the university and housing the collections from the branch libraries in the social sciences, art and humanities. Renovations to the Carnegie Library performed in 1972-73 were made to accommodate the Mathematics Department and the science library, which was renamed the Engineering and Life Sciences Library. The library contained the general science collection, as well as biology, nursing, nutrition, engineering and computer science. The chemistry collection was added in 1982 and the science library was renamed that year to the Science and Technology Library. The physics collection was added to the science library in 2008.

[More Carnegie Library History]