Library Renovation Tour


original library door1. The need for a separate Museum Library to serve the museum’s staff and visiting researchers was clearly stated as early as 1898, when director W.J. Holland noted in his annual report that “It is utterly impossible for those who are engaged in the work of the Museum to carry on their work successfully without having immediate and easy access to such books as they require. The work of determining and arranging collections necessitates constant reference to the writings of recognized authorities…. The proximity of the Carnegie Library has afforded some measure of relief to what would otherwise have been a very trying condition of affairs, but there are many books which that Library does not possess, and which it can scarcely be expected to purchase, which are almost indispensable to the working force of the Museums, and which ought to be obtained.”

In his 1900 annual report Holland reported that his personal library, ”containing some five thousand volumes relating to zoology, has always been at the command of the staff; otherwise some work, which has been done, would not have been possible.”

However, the Museum Library did not have a specifically designated location until the construction of the 1907 Alden and Harlow extension to the Carnegie Museum. The Library was centrally located in this new wing, immediately adjacent to Dinosaur Hall, with one door opening directly into the Hall.

As the reference area of the Museum Library was ready for occupation in the spring of 1906, the space served as the Museum Director’s office September 1906–March 1907, while the new building was being furnished for its public opening in April 1907.