Library's 50th celebration is golden

Publication Date

In 1961, Schaffer Library opened its doors on the Union campus, the first permanent home for the College’s vast collection of books, periodicals and treasured documents. Before that, the library shared space in the Nott Memorial and other places on campus.

To help celebrate the 50th anniversary, library staff is planning a series of events for the remainder of the year.

The celebration kicks off Friday, May 20, with an opening reception for a new exhibit, “The Union College Campus: More than the Brook That Bounds.”

Curated by Ellen Fladger, head of the College’s Special Collections, and David Gerhan, reference librarian, the exhibit offers viewers a chance to glimpse original drawings of Joseph Jacques Ramee, the French architect who designed Union, the first planned campus in America. Also on display are historic photographs of the campus dating to the 19th century and other rare photos.

The reception, which is from 3 to 5 p.m. in the library’s Thelma and Kenneth Lally Reading Room, will feature an anniversary cake for the campus community.

Other events planned include an anniversary party and exhibit in September, “The History of Libraries at Union,” and a contest in which contestants are asked to design a project using recycled card catalog cards.

In October, Belle of the Books, a play about the life of famed librarian Bella da Costa Greene, will be performed in Yulman Theater. It will be cosponsored by the departments of Theater and Dance. Mrs. Perkins Campus, an event focusing on beloved campus figure Annie Dunbar Potts Perkins, is also planned.

“We hope this celebration will give people a better appreciation for the role of the library on campus,” Fladger said. “The library is more than just books and electronic resources.”