McFarlin Library

mcf6People at the University of Tulsa may have noticed over this last fall work being done on the McFarlin Library building. Most of this has been necessary maintenance and cosmetic repairs to the building. This began with repairing the slate roof tiles, and starting this morning, some scaffolding on the roof to snug up some minor masonry separation before it becomes an issue.

As we have discussed in the past, McFarlin Library was built beginning in 1929, and completed in 1930 along with Phillips Hall and Tyrell Hall. The architect was Henry C. Hibbs of Nashville, Tennessee. The original architectural plans are with the Henry C. Hibbs Papers, 1882- at the Nashville Public Library.

mcf3The library became a true heart of the university, and for many years graduation ceremonies were held on the west steps of the building facing the original “U”.  The student ROTC met and drilled on the “U”, and the homecoming Bonfire was held annually, just to name a few.  In our collections we have images of the bright Christmas lighting on the library that is reflected today in the holiday lighting on the Tucker Drive oval, the new “U”.

Over the years there have been three major alterations to the building. In 1967, the original tiny east wing was removed and replaced with a considerably larger structure that still remains.

mcf4In 1979, the library built the underground book stacks portion and leading to the dedication of the Albert Plaza on the west side.

mcf5In 2009, the Pauline M. Walter Technology Resources Center was dedicated on the north side of the 1967 wing, further propelling the library into the modern digital age.

As may be seen, the University strives to keep up with needs of the library and its care.


About Marc Carlson

The Librarian of Special Collections and University Archives, McFarlin Library, The University of Tulsa since November 2005.He holds a Masters in Library and Information Studies from the University of Oklahoma, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Anthropology from Oklahoma State University. He has worked in McFarlin Library since 1986.
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