Published: March 1, 2010

norlin library in the 60s

Students gather on the Norlin Quad while a band provides music on the steps of the library in this photo from the 1960s.

The venerable Norlin Library turned 70 years old on Jan. 6. The building has anchored the historic Norlin Quadrangle for seven decades with its stately sandstone pillars and inscriptions promising “timeless fellowship.” It remains a campus architectural icon, even as the structure of the building has evolved in response to cultural, political and pedagogical trends.

Norlin Library opened in 1940 and has received two additions. North and south wings were constructed over the course of nearly three years, starting in 1962. The new wings were seamless additions, preserving and flanking the east bay window and replicating the same window pattern and native sandstone. Ten years later, a controversial enclosure of the east bay window was constructed.

The 2008-09 construction of the second-floor research services and the first-floor Norlin Commons, complete with a coffee shop, enable the library to provide state-of-the-art services.