January 22, 2022

Special Collections: University of Minnesota Libraries Receives $1.5 Million Gift From Wallin Foundation

From U. of Minnesota (Twin Cities):

2017-02-15_16-24-35Students, scholars, and users from across the globe will benefit from enhanced technology, contemporary classroom space, and access to rare and special collections worth nearly $1 billion at the University of Minnesota Libraries, thanks to a $1.5 million gift from the Wallin Foundation, a leader in advancing education.

The gift honors Maxine Wallin, a librarian, a lover of books, a former Friends of the University Libraries Board member, an alumna of the U of M Library School, and a longstanding supporter of the Libraries. Wallin — a descendant of the Houghton family, whose philanthropy has created libraries and benefited education — earned degrees in international relations and library science and began her career at the University’s Walter Library, before advancing to a cataloging role with rare collections, which included work with many non-English language texts.

A new public space for scholars, students, and the community will be created on the ground floor of Elmer L. Andersen Library and named the Maxine Houghton Wallin Special Collections Research Center.

The $1.5 million gift leverages additional investments, which will help fund the Center and new secure storage vaults in the caverns beneath Andersen Library. The vaults will hold the Libraries rare books and the James Ford Bell Library collection, which are currently housed in Wilson Library.

For the first time, most of the Libraries’ major special collections will be housed in one library.


Construction of the storage vaults is expected to begin in summer 2017, while construction of the Wallin Special Collections Research Center is expected to begin in September 2017 and open in the first quarter of 2018. It will feature a suite of program spaces, including:

  • A reading room for research and study of special collections materials
  • A classroom/seminar room with technology for presentations and deeper exploration of special collections materials
  • The James Ford Bell Library and exhibits, including the 1602 Ricci map and an interactive touch-screen display
  • Curator and staff offices and workspace


Learn More, Read the Complete Announcement

About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.