The John Hay Library is the second oldest library on the campus of Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, United States. It is located on Prospect Street opposite the Van Wickle Gates. After its construction in 1910, the Hay Library became the main library on campus, replacing the library now known as Robinson Hall. Today, the John Hay Library is one of five individual libraries that make up the University Library. The Hay houses the University Library's rare books and manuscripts, the University Archives, and the Library's special collections.
The John Hay Library opened in November 1910, serving from that time until 1964 as the main library of the University. The library was named for John Hay (Class of 1858), the private secretary and assistant to Abraham Lincoln, at the request of Andrew Carnegie, who contributed half of the $300,000 cost of the building. It was constructed to a design by the Boston architectural firm of Shepley, Rutan and Coolidge with Vermont white marble in an English Renaissance style. The library was dedicated on November 10, 1910 and had an estimated collection of 300,000 volumes.
When the main library was removed to the new John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Library in 1964, the John Hay Library retained the special collections and provided temporary quarters for the Physical Sciences Library until the Sciences Library was built in 1971. The John Hay Library was completely renovated and was rededicated on September 21, 1981. A major renovation of the library began in 2013. The building was closed on June 1, 2013 and reopened in Fall 2014.
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John Hay Library Reviews
Named for Abraham Lincoln's secretary of state, the John Hay Library is Brown University's special collections library. When you enter the lobby you come face to face with a HUGE book of Audubon's... more »
2 days doing research at hay Library Archives. The staff could not have been nicer and more helpful. Extremely well run. Their policies are generous and help make a tedious job as pleasant as... more »
I absolutely adore this library. It is open to the public, beautiful, and quiet place to work. Wish I could work here every day!
The John Hay Library, open to the public, is a beautiful library with fantastic staff workers, incredible study spaces, and overall a great collection of books, manuscripts, and tons of other little treasures.
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