Classes began at the University of Arizona on October 1, 1891. The library was located in the basement of Old Main.
By 1902, the collection had grown to 6,000 volumes and 70 periodicals. With limited space, Old Main could no longer serve as the campus library.
The library was located on the second floor, created to "serve all needs for all times to come." In 1904, Estelle Lutrell was hired as the first full-time librarian, and by the time she arrived, a new Library and Museum Building (now called Douglass) was being constructed. She oversaw the move into this facility during 1904-05.
Modeled after the Boston Public Library and featured the UA red-brick-and-roof-tile architecture. One unique feature of the reading porch was that Estelle strictly upheld her "no smoking" rule in an era when smoking a was widely accepted social activity. The building is now the Arizona State Museum - North.
With more than 9 million volumes and state-of-the-art technology, library users have access to information resources worldwide.
In 2002, the Information Commons on the 1st floor (extending underground into the new Integrated Learning Center) and an addition to the 5th floor opened.
Established branch in 1959
Opened in 1963
Established branch in 2013
Located within the School of Music, the Fine Arts Library is a single-floor branch focused around students and faculty of the School of Fine Arts. While it has been nearly closed on several occasions due to budget cuts, there has always been pushback from the users who love their library, described as a "north campus haven."
A large, five-story library, the Science-Engineering Library has significant collections and study space, and is just two buildings down from the Main Library. A $7 million gift from the Frederick Gardner Cottrell Foundation led to a renaming to the Albert B. Weaver Science-Engineering Library in 2018. Learn about Albert B. Weaver.
Planning for the Health Sciences Library began two years before the opening of the College of Medicine in September 1967. In 2007, the Arizona Health Sciences Library on the Phoenix Biomedical Campus (PBC) opened to support the UA College of Medicine-Phoenix. The two libraries work in close partnership to support health professions education and programs throughout the state.