May 21, 2022

Cornell University: Construction Begins on Mui Ho Fine Arts Library

From Cornell University:

Rand Hall is being transformed over the next 18 months to house the Mui Ho Fine Arts Library, a state-of-the-art facility on its top two floors with massed stacks of books as its centerpiece, digital resources, and voluminous reading and study space.

Along with 8,000 square feet of shop space for AAP occupying the first floor, the 107-year-old industrial building is being entirely rehabilitated.


The Mui Ho Fine Arts Library will feature three dense stack levels providing shelving for approximately 125,000 volumes, a generous reading area, spaces for group and individual study on the main library level and office space on the side of the building. Rendering / Wolfgang Tschapeller Source: Cornell U.

Boasting one of the best circulating collections of fine arts materials in the country, the library will accommodate 125,000 volumes, in a configuration forming an inverted ziggurat of books two stories high with stacks accessible by stairs and walkways.


The renovated Rand Hall will visibly display two essential activities of the AAP community, said Kent Kleinman, the college’s Gale and Ira Drukier Dean.

“It’s a makerspace-cum-reading facility,” he said. “You’ll see people working with material and tools on the ground floor and working with texts and images on the upper floors — the building becomes an embodiment of those two ways of knowing the world. The windows are large, so you will see both of these activities very clearly, especially at night when Rand Hall is lit up.”

Other features will include reading carrels with built-in monitors and lockable book storage, public computing stations and a seminar room, and Kleinman foresees having a large touchscreen so users can call up digital materials. All within a few yards of the architecture studios in adjoining Milstein Hall.


One new feature will be a 1,500-square-foot structural deck on Rand Hall’s roof, outfitted with base plates for temporary structures as well as power, water, and digital connections.

“It will be a site for experimental pavilions built by faculty and students on a recurring basis, every year or every two years,” Kleinman said. “These full-scale constructions will be a testimony to ongoing research in building design and construction at Cornell and a crown for this utilitarian but noble building.”

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See Also: Fine Arts Library FAQ

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( 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, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.