Library Centennial

The University Library: Building a Foundation, 1908-2008

Peter J. Shields Library Lobby
Fall 2008 through Spring 2009

The University Library celebrates the UC Davis Centennial year with an exhibit that reviews the origins of the modern University Library. In 1908 a library room was established in the Creamery Building at the new University Farm. Photographs from the University Archives Photograph Collection show the various buildings the library occupied as it grew and developed. Selections from the Library's own archival files show the character of the librarians and collections that have helped establish the Library at Davis as a unique research experience.

From its modest beginnings in an upstairs room, the Library has grown into a highly regarded academic resource. The half-time bookkeeper of a hundred years ago has become a community of more than 200 librarians, library staff and student assistants, dedicated to acquiring, cataloging, interpreting, and preserving one of the major library collections in the country. This community and the collection it serves provide the foundation for another century of University research.

For more information, please contact John Skarstad, Special Collections, (530) 752‑1628,

Photographs of two students at a desk in the Library
Photograph of study area in the Library
Photograph of two students using the Library card catalog