Hunt Library

The history of the Carnegie Mellon University library is a reflection of Carnegie Mellon’s history – pragmatic and entrepreneurial.  The first libraries on campus were departmental libraries scattered across campus and tucked away in offices.  As faculty and students realized a central library was needed, the various collections were moved into the Hut, a converted WWI canteen.  During WWII, the library was moved back into repurposed offices.  Finally, in 1961, thanks to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Hunt, we moved into our first (and only) purpose-built library.  Carnegie Mellon now also has two disciplinary libraries -- Sorrells Engineering and Science Library and the Mellon Institute, as well as a library in Qatar.   


1900   The Carnegie Technical Schools are founded.  Students have to walk across Junction Hollow to use the Carnegie Public Library in Oakland.  

1920  Carnegie Tech’s first central library, affectionately known as “The Hut,” opens in a converted WWI soldier’s canteen.

1943  The library moves into room 240 Industries Hall (now Porter Hall), so that the Hut could be returned to its original purpose, a dining facility.

1949  The ever-growing library collection moves to the more spacious rooms 355-360 Administration Hall (now Baker Hall).

1958  Mr. and Mrs. Roy A. Hunt donates the funds to build Hunt Botanical Library to house Carnegie Tech’s library and Mrs. Hunt’s collection of fine and rare botanical books.

1961  Hunt Library opens, with the Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation Institute occupying the 5th floor.

1967  Carnegie Tech gains a second library, following its merger with the Mellon Institute.

1971  The Engineering and Science Library, Carnegie Mellon’s third official library, opens on the fourth floor of Science Hall (now Wean Hall).  

2004  The Posner Center opens, housing the Posner Memorial Collection.

2006  The Maggie Murph CafĂ© opens in Hunt Library.

2010  Exterior lights are added to Hunt Library.

2012  The Engineering and Science Library is renamed the Roger Sorrells Engineering and Science Library.