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Ellis Old and New

Book stacks

This is the architect's plans for the Book Stacks. The view is looking from the east (Hitt Street) to the west (9th Street). The stacks were closed were not meant to be browsed. To get a book out of the stacks, you filled out a slip and the book was retrieved for you. The entrances to the stacks on the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors restricted access to the stacks. On the first floor was the Art Seminary room. On the second was the Delivery Room where students would request books and pick them up.  On the third floor was the cataloging department. 

The books stacks had two more levels than the main building. Between the first and second floor was a 1A level. Between the second and third floor was a 2A level. Like the main building, the Book Stacks were designed to be added to later. A facade was only put on the north and south side of the stacks, the sides that would not be added to. The north wall of the Stacks was faced in the same brick that faced the back of the main building, and the south wall of the Stack was faced with a veneer of stone. 

The original Book Stacks are almost unrecognizable. When the 1936 West Addition was erected it covered up the west wall of the stacks. Traces of the central stacks can be seen in the West Stacks, but you have to know what you are looking at. (See the West Stacks page.  The 1985 East Addition covered east wall of the stacks and has not left a trace of them. The 1985 South Addition covered the bottom part of the south wall. The facade is only visible from the second floor up  You need to be looking from the Student Center. preferably from an upper floor.

When the East Addition was put up in 1958, the 2A and third floor where taken out and a floor level with the new 3 East put in. When the 1985 South Addition was erected the hall way from the north entrance was expanded south through the center of the library and the first floor and 1A floor removed. Where the 1st floor Book Stack was is where the south end of the colonnade is today.

The only original floors of the stacks are the 2nd floor and ground level.  The 2nd floor, now called 2 Central, currently has doors on the east and west. Until the late 1990's when the Electronic Classroom, Room 213, was constructed, the original north door was still open.  You can see where the door was in 2 East if you look where floor trim is missing on the north wall.

The ground level is the best preserved floor of the original Book Stacks. Most people, including the staff who work in the Library do not know that it exists. If you go down the east stairs on the north side of Ellis to the ground level, and turn right at the display case, you will find room 27, the ground level floor of the original Books Stacks. (See picture below.)


View of Ground floor books stacks

This is a view of the ground floor lever of the University Stack, what we would today call the Central Stacks. These stacks house materials from the State Historical Society of Missouri. They are closed to university library patrons, but you can peek through the small window of the door to see them in person.

Where the 1st floor stack were located.

The first floor of the University Stacks (Central Stacks) was removed when the colonnade was extended for the north door to the South Addition in 1985. The Stacks occupied the space between the display cabinets on the west of the colonnade to the east wall of the colonnade. The door to 1 West was originally a window on the west side of the Central Stacks.