Of Virginia’s Special Collections Find A Special Home In
New Library Building
August 26, 2004 --
After three years of construction, the University
of Virginia Library’s
newest facility begins welcoming the community with the inauguration of selected
services in the new Albert and Shirley Small Special Collections Library.
the new Special Collections Library is open now, the entire 72,000
square-foot building, including the Mary and David Harrison Institute
for American History,
Literature, and Culture, will be opening to the public in stages over the fall.
building will be completed and fully operational in November 2004. It is located
on central Grounds between Alderman Library and Peabody Hall, facing
wanted to make our special collections materials available
to faculty and students by the start of the semester,” University
Librarian Karin Wittenborg said of the decision to open Special
Collections before the rest of
was finished. “Our vision for the U.Va. Library and all its facilities
is, ‘easy access to superb collections and services in a welcoming
hear some noise and see some construction workers, but you’ll also
be able to use Special Collections in one of the most beautiful reading rooms
Small Library, 58,000 square feet in two floors underground,
features state-of-the-art climate control and security for the University’s
special collections; a unique resource of 12 million manuscripts; 300,000
rare books; 4,000 maps;
plus photographs, University archives and other treasures. The library
features a stunning new reading room, skylights and comfortable seating.
themselves will be retrieved from 12.82 miles of shelving in 146 electronically
controlled units on the first floor. (This floor is not open to the public).
alumnus and long-time benefactor Albert Small made significant donations
to the project, including a spectacular collection of historic
of Independence. That collection will be on view in a permanent exhibition
in November, when the entire building is open to the public and the Albert
Declaration of Independence Gallery is completed.
special collections materials in teaching and learning is
part of the U.Va. experience,” observed Mike Plunkett,
director of Special Collections. “We’re
delighted to make access to them easier and to support the University’s
rest of the new building, comprised of the Harrison Institute,
is equally noteworthy. The Institute, which
will open in October, will
galleries, studies for visiting scholars, seminar rooms and a 200-seat
primary goal of the Harrison Institute is to provide a central space
for outreach programs and events using Library resources,” explained
Hoke Perkins, director of the Harrison Institute and associate University
librarian for philanthropy.
Institute will welcome visiting scholars; host conferences, lectures,
and readings; and help foster collaboration between faculty and
the building, the University Landscape Architect’s
office and a world-renowned design firm — Oehme, van
Sweden and Associates — have
created a dramatic but accessible new public space. Benches,
trees, and a broad array of plants are being installed to
provide a beautiful
place for continued
reading, learning and discourse among faculty, students and the
Harrison Institute, the Albert H. Small Declaration of Independence
collection, and special exhibits will be
ready in stages throughout
October and November.
For now, hours of the new Small Special Collections Library
are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays
to 5 p.m.
hours will begin on September 1, when classes start.
1.http://www.lib.virginia.edu/press/: Downloadable images,
a fact sheet and a digital version of this press release.
Fall semester hours for all Library facilities, including
the new Harrison/Small
http://www.lib.virginia.edu/newlib/index.html: FAQs, information
on Special Collections service schedules
updates on upcoming
http://lib.virginia.edu/speccol/: Details on what’s available in Special
Collections, plus links to online exhibits and other resources.
Contact: Charlotte Morford, (434) 924-4254