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Booth Family Center for Special Collections Opens

On Monday, March 23, the new Booth Family Center for Special Collections celebrated its official opening. Mark Dimunation, the Chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress gave the keynote address during an evening celebration that included remarks by University President John J. DeGioia, Provost Robert Groves, University Librarian Artemis Kirk and Head of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections John Buchtel.

The celebration marked the completion of the $5 million renovation and expansion of the previous Special Collections Research Center on the fifth floor of Lauinger Library. The new Center includes a revamped reading room, state-of-the-art storage and exhibition facilities, and, for the first time, a high-tech classroom designed specifically for teaching with rare and valuable items.

The renovation was funded entirely through philanthropy, including a landmark $3 million gift from Suzanne Deal and David G. Booth (P’2012), for whom the new Center is named. In addition, Barbara Ellis Jones (C’1974) and members of the Lauinger family gave lead gifts for the project.

With the official opening, the Center is now open for business in its new home. Researchers, faculty and students are welcome to use the Center during regular business hours to study items from the four divisions of Special Collections: Rare Books, Manuscripts, the University Archives and the University Art Collection. While appointments are not required, they are recommended, especially when studying manuscripts, to ensure that the requested materials are available.

The addition of a classroom makes it easier than ever to include a class in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections to your courses; faculty and instructors are encouraged to contact the Center for more information about the items available and how to schedule classes.

Accompanying the opening celebration on March 23 was the launch of the inaugural exhibition, Treasures Since 2000. The exhibition features some of the greatest items added to the collections since 2000, including the first Bible printed in America (1663) and a letter written by President Abraham Lincoln (1862). Most of the exhibition is available to view whenever Lauinger Library is open.

Stop by to see the new space and explore the exhibition!