Historical Images of Parks Library

As the semester draws to a close, many students have been spending time here in the Library studying for exams and finishing up those end-of-the-term papers.  The library is less crowded now than at the beginning of the week, but students are still finishing up their studies here in the library!

We all often have our favorite places to go in the library, and for some that might be the high-ceilinged Periodical Room.  We recently scanned a few historical images of the present Periodical Room in Parks Library, and I thought it might be fun to show a few of these here.  Even though the basic design of the Periodical Room remains similar now, the photographs reveal changes over the years – there is no longer a reference desk and the hats from the 1920s have also disappeared!

1927 (University Photographs, box 146)

Here’s a closeup of the 1927 image above.  (University Photographs, box 146)

1935 (University Photographs, box 146)

The caption on the back of the 1935 photograph reads:  “The 300 seats in the main reading room of the Iowa State College Library are usually filled throughout the day by students who are using library materials in the preparation of papers or reports.  Approximately 12,000 volumes of reference books are on the shelves in the room.”

1943 (University Photographs, box 146)

1954/1955 (University Photographs, box 147)

Please note that these are not the only historical photographs we have of the library here in the University Archives – more are available in the University Photograph collection.  In addition, information can be found on the library’s history in various places such as our subject file of news clippings and other materials  (RS 4/8/4).  For other historical images of Iowa State, you can also visit the Digital Collections (go under CYbrary: ISU Digital Archives and then University Photographs) or our Flickr site.

2 thoughts on “Historical Images of Parks Library

  1. Dix Harper

    Used it a lot in 1942 and Jan. ’43. Then less in ’46 and 47. The ’43 picture looks familiar but it’s obvious that most of the men were “away.”

    • Laura

      Thanks for the comment – it’s wonderful to hear from someone who used the library when at least one of the photographs was taken. You’re right – I had not even noticed the sparse number of men in that photograph, at least in the foreground!

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