Geisel Library

Geisel Library is the main library building of the University of California, San Diego. It is named in honor of Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel. Theodor is better known as children's author Dr. Seuss. The building's distinctive architecture, described as occupying "a fascinating nexus between brutalism and futurism", has resulted in its being featured in the UC San Diego logo and becoming the most recognizable building on campus.

The library was designed by William Pereira and opened in 1970 as the Central Library. It was renovated in 1993 and rededicated as the University Library Building, and renamed Geisel Library in 1995. The UC San Diego Library consists of Geisel Library and the Biomedical Library Building, with off-campus locations at Scripps Archives and Library Annex, the Trade Street Storage Annex, and the UC Southern Regional Library Facility.

Geisel Library is located in the center of the UC San Diego campus. It houses over 7 million volumes to suppo...Read more

Geisel Library is the main library building of the University of California, San Diego. It is named in honor of Audrey and Theodor Seuss Geisel. Theodor is better known as children's author Dr. Seuss. The building's distinctive architecture, described as occupying "a fascinating nexus between brutalism and futurism", has resulted in its being featured in the UC San Diego logo and becoming the most recognizable building on campus.

The library was designed by William Pereira and opened in 1970 as the Central Library. It was renovated in 1993 and rededicated as the University Library Building, and renamed Geisel Library in 1995. The UC San Diego Library consists of Geisel Library and the Biomedical Library Building, with off-campus locations at Scripps Archives and Library Annex, the Trade Street Storage Annex, and the UC Southern Regional Library Facility.

Geisel Library is located in the center of the UC San Diego campus. It houses over 7 million volumes to support the educational and research objectives of the university. It also contains the Mandeville Special Collections and Archives, which houses the Dr. Seuss Collection, which contains original drawings, sketches, proofs, notebooks, manuscript drafts, books, audio and videotapes, photographs, and memorabilia. The approximately 8,500 items in the collection document the full range of Dr. Seuss's creative achievements, beginning in 1919 with his high school activities and ending with his death in 1991. The head of the library system is designated the Audrey Geisel University Librarian, currently Erik T. Mitchell.

In 1958, Roger Revelle's efforts to establish an Institute of Science and Engineering adjacent to the Scripps Institution of Oceanography were spearheaded by his desire to immediately construct a science and library building on the present Revelle College site. When the university was eventually constructed, university librarian Melvin Voigt devised a plan to purchase books for the three new UC campuses: UC San Diego, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Irvine. The first Science and Engineering Library in Urey Hall satisfied the science-focused school's needs.

However, as faculty recruits began to found social science and humanities departments, it became clear to Chancellor John Semple Galbraith that the time had come to establish the campus's main library collections. One of the conditions of Galbraith's acceptance of the UC San Diego chancellorship had been that UC San Diego would house one of the three great libraries of the UC system.[1] To accomplish this end, he formed a committee which commissioned architect William L. Pereira to prepare a master plan for the University Center and its focal point, the Central Library.[2] Pereira and his team, who were still retained as campus architects by UC Irvine, produced the plans and designs from their Urbanus Square facility in Irvine.

Pereira's plan called for the University Center to be moved north and east, along with the proposed library building. This resulted in a revision of the campus long-range development plan: the three "clusters" of four colleges each would be more compact, allowing for an auxiliary library in each cluster. The proposed building was designed around a spheroidal tower, to maximize the stacks area that could be accessed in a given time from the center. This tower was to be situated atop a main level containing the staff and public areas of the library.

The chosen site allowed for future expansions to step downwards into the canyon. Construction of the first of three increments began in July 1968; the two main floors were constructed first to form the base of the structure. This allowed for the placement of scaffolding to support construction of the tower. The Central University Library building's topping-out ceremony took place in December 1969 and its formal dedication was in March 1971.[2]

Central Library, combined with the original Scripps Library, the Humanities-Library building (now Galbraith Hall) in Revelle College, and the Biomedical Library (built in 1969),[3] was able to support and represent the growing university for years. In 1990, construction began on a two-story, 136,850 square foot subterranean expansion of the main level. The project included renovation of the existing facility to comply with safety standards and cost $38 million, provided by California's 1988 Proposition 78.[4] The expansion, designed by Gunnar Birkerts, was completed in February 1993.[5] In 1995, La Jolla resident Audrey Geisel donated $20 million to the UC San Diego Library, supplementing her 1991 donation of $2.3 million worth of her husband Theodor Seuss Geisel's original works. In exchange, the library was renamed Geisel Library.[6]

Between the first and second renovations of Geisel Library, several other UC San Diego library facilities were also renovated or closed. The biomedical library received a $17 million, 43,454 square foot expansion in 2006.[7] In 2011, the SIO library, the IR/PS library, the Hillcrest Medical Center library, and the Center for Library Instruction and Computing Services (CLICS) were closed and their collections consolidated into Geisel Library due systemwide budget cuts.[8] In 2015, university officials announced that Geisel Library would begin to undergo its second renovation. This renovation includes construction of a café named Audrey's on the main level of the library.[9]

Geisel Library's current name has come under increasing criticism over the last few years due to increasing awareness of Theodor Geisel's own expression of anti-Blackness, Orientalism, and other racially-charged beliefs[10] through cartoons and other work that he produced throughout the majority of his career. Although Theodor Geisel did come to renounce his more racially offensive characterizations during an interview for his alma mater of Dartmouth College, there has been no official response by UC San Diego to students requesting a name change.[11]

^ Anderson, Nancy Scott (1993). An Improbable Venture: A History of the University of California, San Diego (1st ed.). La Jolla: UCSD Press. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ a b Gray, Barbara T. "Central Library, University of California, San Diego" (PDF). UCSD Libraries. William L. Pereira and Associates. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ JaCoby, Pat (8 July 2004). "Expansion And Renovation Of UCSD's Biomedical Library Slated To Begin With July 20 Groundbreaking Ceremony". University of California, San Diego. UCSD News. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ Clark, Lucie (8 March 1990). "UCSD celebrates Central University Library groundbreaking March 21" (PDF). University Archives. UC San Diego News Release. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ JaCoby, Pat (24 February 1993). "UCSD marks rededication of Central Library today with official visit of UC President Jack Peltason" (PDF). UC San Diego News Release. University of California, San Diego. University Archives. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ Perry, Tony (26 September 1995). "Dr. Seuss' Widow Gives Over $10 Million to UCSD". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ "Biomedical Library expansion/renovation completed at UCSD". San Diego Source. 2 June 2006. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ Flynn, Pat (29 March 2011). "Four UCSD libraries to close, consolidate". San Diego Union-Tribune. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ Stone, Ken (18 February 2016). "Cafe Named for Dr. Seuss Widow to Keep UCSD Students Caffeinated". Times of San Diego. Retrieved 7 April 2016. ^ "The Cat is Out of the Bag: Orientalism, Anti-Blackness, and White Supremacy in Dr. Seuss's Children's Books". ^ "The Surprisingly Radical Politics of Dr. Seuss".
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