January 19, 2022

University of Vermont: A Look at the $11.4 Million Renovation of Billings Library

From the University of Vermont:


Source: University of Vermont (UVM.edu)

Over the years, the Billings Library, the University of Vermont’s most architecturally important building, has been home to a variety of university functions, some more suited to the cathedral-like grandeur of its interior than others.

Designed by H. H. Richardson, the great 19th American architect, the building began life in 1885 as the university’s library.

In 1961, with demand for its services far exceeding Billings’ capacity, the university built a large new library and, in 1963, converted Billings’ somber interior space to an unlikely – and as time went on, lightly used – student center.

In 2007 a much-needed modern student center opened on the UVM campus, and Billings became a sublime setting for a series of mostly everyday lectures, meetings and campus events.

Thanks to a recently completed $11.4 million renovation, Billings will again house university departments whose academic import match its majestic design.

UVM Libraries’ Special Collections department took up residence in August, returning the building to its roots as a library. In September the Miller Center for Holocaust Studies, the UVM Humanities Center and the Center for Research on Vermont moved into their new offices on the fourth floor of the building.


From mid-July to mid-August, staff oversaw the transport of tens of thousands of rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs and documents, moved via truck in carefully packed boxes and foam-lined carts from Special Collections’ former location in the basement of Bailey-Howe Library to the second floor of Billings, where temperature- and humidity-controlled stacks had been built in an area formerly occupied by a dining hall.

The new location will significantly enhance Special Collections’ contribution to the academic life of the university, said Jeff Marshall, director of the Silver Special Collections Library.

Read the Complete Article

See Also: Renovation to the Billings Library (via U. of Vermont)

See Also: Silver Special Collections is Open (via UVM Libraries)

See Also: 2018: Moving to Billings (via UVM Libraries)

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.