New Marquand Library joins historical collections and technology

Aug. 27, 2003 2 p.m.

After 18 months of renovations, a more spacious and high-tech Marquand Library of Art and Archaeology -- one of the oldest art libraries in the country -- reopened Monday, Aug. 25, in McCormick Hall.

The new design has enhanced the library's study space, book stacks, Internet connectivity and wireless coverage to enable faculty and students to make greater use of Marquand's historical collections.

"The very best art collections in the country are now married to technology and comfort," said librarian Janice Powell, who oversaw the renovation. "We opened up each floor by removing the designated study rooms. Now all students and faculty who have carrels may choose their place to study from 109 carrels distributed throughout the library."

Marquand's holdings cover the history of art and architecture, from prehistoric rock art to contemporary art and photography. Archaeology collections cover classical, medieval, Byzantine, Islamic, pre-Columbian and East Asian archaeology.

The library's new high-tech feel has not diminished its connection to the past. The new B level, which houses Internet-ready study carrels and tables, is adorned with mosaics from the University's excavations at Antioch in the 1930s. This wing, which is illuminated by a sky light, is located underground between McCormick Hall and the University Art Museum .

On the A level, a new electronic demonstration room will allow librarians to offer instructions on using online resources for art history. The reading room on the first floor has been expanded, including a climate-controlled reading room for rare books.

The second floor includes the new P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Seminar and Reading Room devoted to East Asian art. A new glass-walled third floor, which holds dozens of study carrels and three seminar rooms, provides scenic views of the surrounding campus and is equipped with internal blinds that adjust to changing light conditions.

In addition to the increased study space, the renovations will allow Marquand to accommodate a 20 to 30 percent increase in the size of its collections. The library adds an average of 8,000 volumes per year and last year added more than 10,000 volumes.

The renovation was the first significant expansion of the Marquand Library since the 1960s. The collections were divided between the Engineering Quadrangle and the Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library during the renovation.

Contact: Lauren Robinson-Brown (609) 258-3601