Douglas Library, Queens University

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Douglas Library Douglas Library 

 

This Douglas Library is the oldest of Queen's libraries. The southern half of the building was completed in 1923-4 and is faced with Kingston limestone; the northern part, built in the same neo-gothic style but faced with Queenston limestone, was added in 1966 and features three underground floors.

The library's functions have evolved considerably over its 70-year history. It was originally built to house the university's whole library collection and also contained the offices of the Principal and other senior officials until Richardson Hall was built in 1954.

When separate faculty and departmental libraries began to multiply across campus in the 1960s and 70s, Douglas Library became the university's main social sciences and humanities library, as well as the home for the library system administrative offices, a periodicals room, and a Special Collections unit for rare or fragile publications.

After the opening of Stauffer Library in 1994, Douglas Library was closed for extensive renovation to improve space and mechanical services. It reopened in 1997 as an amalgamated library replacing individual department libraries for the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and several science departments within the Faculty of Arts and Science, and was renamed the Engineering and Science Library.

In a second phase of renovations to one floor of the Douglas Library, the W.D. Jordan Special Collections and Music Library was created and opened in 1999. At the same time, a refurbishment of the two reading rooms located on the top floor (which contain beautiful stained glass windows) was undertaken.

The Library is located on the southeast corner of University Avenue and Union Street, and is named in honour of James Douglas, Queen's Chancellor from 1915 to 1918.

There is a story told among students that Douglas Library was built backwards, and the side that faces away from University Avenue is actually supposed to face the street. This legend probably started because the east library entrance (the "back") is by far the grander of the two entrances. However, the truth is that there used to be a large open park space on the east side of Douglas Library and this grand entrance was designed to be visible from this area, which was a common gathering place of students.

See also:
•  Douglas Chair

 

Sources


Sources for this article include:

• Queens University

 
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Last modified: Saturday, 18 March 2017