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Ellis Old and New

Basement 1955

There was no addition put on the library in 1955, but we do have a  1955 Library Handbook for Faculty and Research Workers which provides diagrams of the building and indicates how rooms in the building were used. All these diagrams come from the Library Handbook.

The basement is split between the State Historical Society and the technical services, acquisitions and cataloging. This is continues the setup from 1936.

First Floor 1955

Not much has changed since 1938. The West Wing (right) shows the Social Science Reading Room to the south and the Education Reading Room to the North. The desk in the Social Science Reading Room stands in front of the door to the stacks. Books were still retrieved from the stacks by library personnel.

On the north (bottom), the State Historical Society still occupies the room just east of the entrance. The Periodical Reading room of the 1915 to the west (right) of the entrance has been turned into the Popular Reading Room. Here is a picture of the room.  It is difficult to make out, but the little icon in the middle of the Exhibition Lobby marks where the Rollins Bust was located. Later on it will be moved, but in 1955 it was still in the Exhibition Lobby. 

The cataloging staff of the State Historical Society has taken the room at designated as the Art Seminary Room in the 1915 library, the room that runs from the Exhibition Lobby to the Central Stacks The State Historical Society has also taken over the Stacks on the 1st floor.

Second Floor 1955

In 1935 the large reading room on the 2nd floor was a general reading room. In 1955,  it has been turned into the Reserved Book Reading Room.

In the stacks a person at the desk is pictured. This person probably represents a graduate student.  

As all the entrances to the Stacks seem to be guarded by a circulation desk, it is likely that undergraduate students were still not allowed in the Stacks at this time. You might also notice that the Stacks are presented as a continuous whole rather an two connected areas. 

On the north (bottom) the General Reading Room has been turned into the Reference Room. This probably just means that it now holds reference books, No doubt the room was still used as study space. The Loan Desk is where it was in 1915, but the seminar room west of the stairs has been turned into the Associate Librarian's Office.

Third Floor 1955

The Third Floor, what we would now call the 4th floor,  remains much as it was in 1936.  The Language Reading Room is on the south end of the West Wing. Again, there is a desk guarding the stacks. At the north end of the West Wing is the Manuscript Collection. This is now called the Western Historical Manuscript Collection and has moved to ground level of the West Wing.  Here is a picture of the space at the time.

The room which had been used by the cataloging department in the 1916 library in now used for Newspapers. The room to the right of the stairs is still used a seminar room.  The "toilet" of the 1916 library has become the men's "restroom" in the 1955 library. The 'restroom is no longer kept open. You can see why.

Photograph of Popular Reading Room

The Popular Reading Room is now used by Digiprint. The ceilings have been lowered so the arches over the windows are lost. The building you can see through the windows is the old Missouri Book Store.

Manuscript Collection

This is a picture of the Manuscript Room on the 4th floor. The picture shows the northwest corner of the room. This part of the room has been  walled off and is used to store Special Collections materials. This old Manuscript Room is now used by Special Collections.

Men's Restroom 3rd floor

This is way the 3rd floor restroom looks today. A a narrow alley to the toilet. It is closed off and used for storage.

Missouri Book Store

This picture was taken about 1960 and shows the new Fine Arts Building. To the left of Fine Arts is the Missouri Book Store. This the store seen from the Popular Reading Room. The building was bought by the University and is now used to house the Student Success Center.