The William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library
History

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Collis P. Huntington Memorial Library
William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library

The William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library (Harvey Library), named in recognition of Hampton University’s twelfth and current president and his wife, was dedicated on January 26, 1992. The Harvey Library is the main academic library of Hampton University. The ten million dollar, 125,000 square foot building was designed to employ technology to deliver the library’s services and resources to the academic community in the most efficient way. Hampton University also has satellite libraries for Architecture, Music, and Nursing located on campus.


From its founding by General Samuel Armstrong, Hampton has had a strong tradition of supporting excellence in academic endeavors and research. Since its founding, library services were supported, from a collection of books housed in the Mansion House (the home of General Armstrong), to reading rooms in Virginia Hall. To support this tradition, in 1903 the Collis P. Huntington Memorial Library was built and dedicated. This handsome Jeffersonian-style building served as the main university library until 1992. It was named in memory of Collis P. Huntington, Hampton Institute benefactor, railroad magnate, and founder of the Chesapeake & Ohio and Central Pacific Railroads, and the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company (America’s largest private shipyard). The library was later extended in 1920 and 1968.

By the 1980s it was clear the building was inadequate for providing state-of-the-art library and information services. A local architectural company, Livas Associates, was hired to design a new library building. The architects responsible for the design of the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library, Hubert Taylor (now deceased) and William Milligan, both graduated from Hampton University. The Huntington building has recently been renovated and is now the home of the Hampton University Museum and Archives.

The University Libraries support the instructional program of Hampton University by providing access to its collection, services, facilities, programs, and staff. Students, faculty, researchers, and scholars are the primary users of the University Libraries. The resources of the Libraries are enhanced via the networks they have established with other academic libraries on local, state, and national levels. The sharing of resources by the network of academic libraries is accomplished through the use of interlibrary loan, consortium borrowing privileges, shared cataloging of materials, and access to online bibliographic databases and the Internet.

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