History of CMU Libraries

Illuminated exterior image of 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.


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


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


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.


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


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


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


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


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


Qatar Foundation invited Carnegie Mellon to join Education City, a groundbreaking center for scholarship and research, and in 2004, Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar opened its doors with 41 students.

The Posner Center opens, housing the Posner Memorial Collection.


The Maggie Murph Café opens in Hunt Library.


Exterior lights are added to Hunt Library.


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