Carnegie Library 1907 - 2007

Carnegie Library 1907 postcardIn 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 up-keep of the library. The University raised the required endowment in little over a month with the largest share being contributed by John D. Archibold. On September 11,1907 the transfer of the Leopold von Ranke collection from the old library building marked the opening of the Carnegie Library which now had an endowment of $125,000. Dr. J. M. Reid, who had purchased the von Ranke collection, had bequeathed $100,000 to the University upon his death in 1896. This bequest was added to the $150,000 endowment given by Andrew Carnegie.

Newspaper Articles 1905-1907

University Library: Andrew Carnegie Gave $150,000 for It [PDF] (Syracuse Herald)
Carnegie Library Exceeds Expectations part 1 [PDF] (Syracuse Daily Orange)
Carnegie Library Exceeds Expectations part 2 [PDF] (Syracuse Daily Orange)
Books Moved to New Library [PDF] (Syracuse Daily Orange)

Timeline of the Syracuse University Carnegie Library

Syracuse University Library acquires the Leopold von Ranke Collection.
Rev. Dr. James D. Phelps secures a donation of $150,000 from Andrew Carnegie for a new university library and construction begins.

James Roscoe Day is Chancellor; 2500 students attend Syracuse University.


The Carnegie Library construction is completed. It had been scheduled to be completed in 1906, but due to other construction projects, was not completed until 1907.

The Leopold von Ranke collection moves to the Carnegie Library, marking the opening with a collection of over 71,000 volumes. Mary O'Brien Sibley is the University Librarian.

The Statue of Diana the Huntress, created by Anna Hyatt Huntington, is donated to the University and placed in the vestibule of the Carnegie Library.
The book racks and old lamps were removed from the tables in the Reading Room. New lamps were installed.

The Library book stacks become "open" to students and faculty. Previously they were "closed stacks" and library pages were used to retrieve books by request.


E.S. Bird Library opens in November 1972, consolidating branch libraries in the social sciences and art & humanities. Renovation begins on the Carnegie Library to house the Engineering & Life Sciences Library, Mathematics Library and Mathematics Department.


The Engineering and Life Sciences Library is established in the renovated Carnegie Library, housing engineering, health, nutrition and the life sciences.

The Mathematics Library moves into the Carnegie Library from Smith Hall as a separate branch library on the third floor.


The Chemistry Library moves into the Carnegie Library and the science library is renamed Science and Technology Library.

2007 - Carnegie Library Centennial

Carnegie Library to celebrate 100th birthday (Daily Orange)
Cake, math books make for a unique 100th birthday celebration (Daily Orange)

The Physics Library monographs move into the Science and Technology Library.

For More Information

Galpin, William Freeman. 1952. Syracuse University. Syracuse, N.Y. : Syracuse University Press.

Stam, David. 2001. Syracuse University Library History. Available from (accessed 8/2011).

University Archives. 2007. SU Buildings: Carnegie Library. Available from (accessed 9/20/2007).

Carnegie Quad 1909 panoramic