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Georgia Tech Library Visual Materials

Identifier: VAUA409

  • Staff Only


This collection contains images of Georgia Tech Library buildings, events, and employees through the years.


  • 1899-2003 and undated
  • Majority of material found within 1953 - 1999


Physical Description

(approx. 1720 images)

Restrictions: Access


Restrictions: Use

Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.


3.2 Linear Feet

Scope and Contents

This is an artificial collection aggregating visual materials related to the Library buildings, events, and employees. Defined collections such as those maintained by Library Directors or Deans, Library Associate or Assistant Directors or Deans, and collections relating to Library employee organizations such as the Library Faculty Organization and the Library Staff Association are and will be processed separately.

This collection contains black and white and color photographs, slides, and negatives. A few pieces of original artwork are also included. Although there are undated images in this collection, approximate dates were usually able to be determined based on identified Library employees, the state of the Library interior or exterior, or clothing.

Biographical / Historical

The Georgia Tech Library traces its origins to a bookshelf in Kenneth G. Matheson's office. At the time, Matheson was the head of the English Department. By the late 1890s the library had grown from one bookshelf to a room on the 3rd floor of the Administration Building (then called the Academic Building).

Dr. Matheson, who became president of Georgia Tech in 1906, determined that Tech should have a proper library. He secured a donation of $20,000 from Pittsburgh industrialist Andrew Carnegie for the construction of a new library. The Carnegie Library, designed by the firm Morgan and Dillon, opened in September 1907.

By the 1940s, the need for a new, larger, library was critical due to the increased numbers of books, technical journals, rare items, and enrolled students. The new library was designed by Bush-Brown, Gailey and Heffernan, and the groundbreaking was held in July 1951. This library, named for its chief donor, S. Price Gilbert, was dedicated on 21 November 1953. In October 1966, ground was broken for a graduate addition. This addition was designed by Robert and Company and was completed in 1969. The graduate addition was later named the Crosland Tower in honor of long-time Library Director Dorothy Crosland; it connects to the Gilbert Library via bridges on the 1-4 floors.

In 1901, the first monetary appropriation for the Library allowed for the hiring of a librarian, Madge Flynn. Following Flynn’s departure, Laura Hammond served as Librarian from 1905 until her retirement in 1925. Upon Hammond's retirement, Frances Newman served as Librarian for two years. Newman was succeeded by Dorothy M. Crosland, who served in the position from 1927 until her retirement in 1971. In 1953, the title of Librarian was changed to Director of Libraries. Crosland oversaw the design and construction of both the Gilbert and Crosland library buildings. Edward Graham Roberts succeeded Crosland as Director of Libraries and served in that position until 1984. After Roberts' retirement, Miriam A. Drake was appointed to the position then known as Dean and Director of Libraries. Following Drake’s retirement in 2001, Richard W. Meyer served as Dean and Director of Libraries until his retirement in 2008. Under Meyer’s leadership both the Library East and West commons were developed and remodeled. In 2008, Catherine Murray-Rust was appointed Dean of the Libraries; she also serves as Vice Provost for Learning Excellence.


This collection is arranged into six series: Buildings, Events, People, Publications, Miscellaneous, and Negatives. The series were created to help impose order on the collection, however there is significant overlap of subjects within many of the series. For instance, there is series entitled "People," however, images of people both identified and unidentified will be found in most of the other series as well. Within each series, the materials are arranged in roughly chronological order. The Buildings Series is arranged first by topic (construction, exterior, interior, etc.) and then chronologically.


This collection contains materials from the following accessions: 2002.037; 2002.038; 2004.028; 2006.052; 2006.053; 2006.099; 2006.243.


Additional Library visual materials will be added to this collection and the finding aid updated as needed. Materials currently planned to be added a later date include digital images and architectural drawings of the Library.

Related Material

Library Welcome Event Photograph Collection VAC036, Julia Zimmerman Farewell Party Photographs VAC037, and Rent-A-Kid Photograph Collection VAC024 were processed as individual collections prior to this general Library collection being processed. Additional related materials may include the Dorothy M. Crosland Photograph Collection VAM001, R. W. (Richard W.) Meyer Photographs VAM346, and Dean and Director of Libraries Photographs VAUA306. Other related materials may be found in the artifacts collection.

Physical Description

(approx. 1720 images)

Inventory of the Georgia Tech Library Visual Materials
Mandi D. Johnson
Copyright January 2014.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository

Georgia Institute of Technology
266 4th Street, NW
Atlanta 30332-0900 USA