Skip to Main Content

University History



Alkek Library celebrates 25 years

This research guide was recently reorganized to mange the growing content related to the history of the library.  There are now five separate pages: Construction, Symbolic Book Move/Book-it Brigade, Dedication and Naming, and Campus Library History. 

All photographs in slide shows can be downloaded with a right-click and save-as.  File names will contain any known publication information, such as year and page number of the Pedagog in which the photo can be found.

A Brief History of the Library

This is a draft of an article for an upcoming Library eNewsletter, included here because it gives an outline of library history from 1903 to the present.


A Brief History of the Library

When the Alkek Library opened in 1990, it continued a long tradition of the library as an integral part of the Texas State campus. 

For the first eight years (1903-1911), the library was located in a room on the first floor of Old Main.  This small space served the first 303 students who enrolled, but as the student body grew the need for additional library and classroom space became evident.

The library’s second home (1911-1939) was in Lueders Hall (where Chemistry is now).  When the building opened in 1911 the library served 506 students.  Within the next thirty years, the student body more than doubled in size and the library eventually took over the entire first floor.

Flowers Hall was built to house the growing library (1939-1969).  When it opened in 1939, two stories were dedicated to the library; within a few years a third story was added.   Monumental growth in the student body – from 1,371 to 8,406 students in thirty years – meant that the library again needed a larger space to serve student needs.

Construction of the J.C. Kellam Building, originally named the Library Administration Building (1969-1990), allowed the library to expand to the top nine floors.   During the twenty years that the library was in JCK, the student body doubled in size – from 9,372 to 20,770 students. 

The Alkek Library opened in the summer of 1990, with twice the collection and study space that was available in JCK.  Within 25 years, the student body nearly doubled again – from 20, 940 to 36,790 students.  Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the library includes actively planning for the future in order to better serve the research, collaboration, and study needs of the growing student population.   

The Library Now: digital archival resources

The Library Then: historical information