Beginning September 2020, theUC San Diego Librarywill observe the 50th anniversary of the university’s intellectual heart of campus, Geisel Library, which first opened its doors to the UC San Diego community and public in September 1970—then known as the Central Library. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the Library has planned a yearlong celebration aimed at recognizing the remarkable legacy of Geisel Library, UC San Diego’s most iconic architectural masterpiece.
Observances will include a series of signature events throughout the 2020-2021 academic year, including talks featuring acclaimed American authors Tara Westover and Kevin Young. In addition, the Library has launched a new website (geisel50.ucsd.edu) that includes a wealth of information on Geisel Library’s architectural design; significance on campus; historical milestones and pop culture appearances; event and exhibit information; and philanthropic opportunities.
On June 29, 1970, approximately 750,000 volumes were moved into UC San Diego’s Central Library and at the start of the Fall 1970 Quarter, the building opened for student use. Since then, the Library has amassed more than 7 million digital and print volumes, journals,and multimedia materials to meet the knowledge demands of scholars, students, and members of the public.Designed by the much-admired architect William Pereira, Geisel Library typically welcomes more than 6,600 patrons through its doors daily, generating nearly 2.3 million annual visitors. The building’s world-famous Brutalist architectural design conveys the idea that powerful and permanent hands are holding aloft knowledge itself, which was Pereira’s stated intention.