During the last weeks of the semester as students are occupied with research papers and final exams, the Clark Library offers extras study hours to ease student stress.
The Christie Hall basement was home to the University Library from the mid-1930s until 1958. The MAIN ENTRANCE view was this door at the base of the stairs in the BASEMENT with library hours posted: Open M-F 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. ; evenings M-Th 7:00 P.M. – 9:30 P.M. Sat 8:00 A.M to noon.
Brother David Martin, C.S.C., library director from 1927-1966, recalled the library space as a:
“large room [approximately 6000 square feet], lined with shelves on two sides. There were about six or eight round tables covered with cloth and rather mangy looking, because they had been ink-stained. Certainly not attractive. There was a twelve-drawer card file and approximately 10,000 books. Of those 10,000 volumes there were probably a couple of thousand that were either texts or other useless library materials. There were no periodicals taken at the time …. To complete the rather dreary look of the library, the floor was cement – bare cement. No covering of any kind. This however was to provide a kind of blessing in a way, because of the tremendous number of leaks which occurred over the years. The water could be mopped up without any great trouble …. ” (A Point of Pride, pg. 75).
In 1958, Brother David’s dream of a library with ample space for study and services was finally realized. November 30, 1958 marks the dedication of The Library. Expanded in 1979, the library received major renovation in 2012-2013. Today, the newly remodeled Clark Library boasts private study rooms, expansive windows, open space on all three floors, light streaming through work and study spaces, and, most importantly, user-friendly hours. (Particularly during finals week.)
For more pictures and history of the library, visit the Clark Library’s Digital Buildings Collection displaying images of photographs and objects of the library held by the University Archives and Museum (with descriptions from the Archives and Museum).