We envision an $8M transformation of the University Libraries to build a collaborative space that preserves and enhances the traditional aspects of the library while also creating a more modern, engaging and flexible space to meet the needs of university scholars and library patrons alike.
Located at the heart of the UMSL’s North Campus, the TJ Library is a cultural treasure that attracts hundreds of thousands of patrons annually. The regional, national and global reach of the library is largely due to it serving as home of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, which recently celebrated its 175th anniversary as the oldest library west of the Mississippi.
The University Libraries collection is a multifaceted reflection of the history of St. Louis and the nation, including Auguste Chouteau’s “Narrative of the Settlement of St. Louis;” the first almanacs, novels and textbooks printed west of the Mississippi; the original print of the famous “Dewey Defeats Truman” picture; manuscripts from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and James Monroe; and the complete first edition double elephant folio of John James Audubon's The Birds of America, the only copy signed by the artist, with hand colored prints selected for binding by the great woodsman himself.
A collection like this deserves a home just as grandiose. Students, faculty, staff and countless patrons will benefit from a space that values and highlights these historical, unique and special collections while advancing the footprint of University Libraries into the future with collaborative, engaging spaces that build upon our past and look to the future.