The Library’s Story
Dedicated May 15, 1965, the B.F. Hamilton Library was named in honor of industrialist Bertis Frank Hamilton of Columbus, Indiana. Hamilton, known for promoting corporate gift funding of private colleges, founded Hamilton Cosco of Columbus and helped form the Associated Colleges of Indiana.
Prior to Hamilton Library’s current location, several venues on campus played host to its physical collections. Chandler Hall, now the north wing of Old Main, housed a collection of roughly 200 volumes. Professors staffed The Chandler Hall Library on a voluntary basis.
The library moved to Custer Theatre with the addition of Stott Hall, Old Main’s center section, in 1887-89. A donation from the late President Bailey’s personal collection and the designation of the library as a depository for United States Government documents also prompted this relocation.
The construction of Shirk Hall in 1903 facilitated the growing library collection. For half a century, Shirk Hall provided collection space as well as reading areas and staff work rooms.
On April 4, 1963, ground was broken for the current library. The College hired its first full-time librarian, Lois Amelia Johnstone, in 1908, and today there are two full-time librarians, three full-time staff members, one part-time archivist, and approximately 20 student staff.
To learn more about the history of Hamilton Library, visit Archives (on the library’s third floor) or email us for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.