It’s National Library Week, and in Special Collections we’re taking a cue from our colleagues at the Othmer Library and using the theme of Transforming Libraries to show how our library buildings have transformed. For starters, the first library on campus was the Bobet Library in Marquette Hall.
BOBET LIBRARY, MARQUETTE HALL – 1913
- Cost: $12,000
- Size: 1,989 sq. ft.
- Volume Capacity: 50,000
- Architects: DeBuys, Churchill & Labouisse
- Dedicated to: Mr. & Mrs. Edward J. Bobet
Construction of Marquette Hall was completed in 1912, and the Bobet Library on the 2nd floor was dedicated the following year. At the time of the construction of the Bobet Library, Albert Biever, S.J. (founder of Loyola) was president, and James J. O’Brien, S.J. became head librarian. An article published in The Daily Picayune on 13 July, 1913 entitled, “Old Treasures of Loyola’s New Library” stated: “Loyola in her new development is young and formative, but behind its growth is strength and in its development there is purpose…A tour of the university is delightful, but one would better not start from the library. It is a room to induce bibliomania – and the world might go by.”
MAIN LIBRARY – 1950
- Cost: $800,000
- Size: 36,711 sq. ft.
- Volume Capacity: 250,000
- Architects: Wogan, Bernard & De La Vergne
- Dedicated to: Students & Alumni killed in WWII
Construction of the new library building commenced in 1947, and was situated between Bobet and Marquette Halls. Archbishop Joseph Francis Rummel delivered the dedicatory blessing upon completion of the building on Palm Sunday, 1950. The proceedings were aired by WWL-Radio. Students helped to move the books from Bobet Library to the new Main Library. A quote by poet Paul L. Callens, S.J inscribed over the Main Library entrance reads, “The monuments which learned men have built for us throughout the ages you will find accumulated in these books.”
J. EDGAR AND LOUISE S. MONROE LIBRARY – 1999
- Cost: $20,000,000
- Size: 148,480 sq. ft.
- Volume Capacity: 500,000
- Architects: The Mathes Group
- Dedicated to: J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe
Groundbreaking ceremonies commenced in November 1996 for the new J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library by co-chairs of the capital campaign, Adelaide Wisdom Benjamin and Michael J. Rapier. Other university and community dignitaries assisted in the ceremony. Construction began that month, and continued through completion of the building in October 1998. Library faculty and staff worked with Covan movers to transport the collection from the Main Library to the Monroe Library. The new J. Edgar and Louise S. Monroe Library opened its doors for patrons on January 11, 1999.
More information about the library’s history can be found in our new Loyola University New Orleans Library History Collection.
How have libraries transformed YOU?