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Adelphi University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives
by Tatiana Bryant, MPA, MLIS

Adelphi University is a private doctoral university founded in 1896. Adelphi University Libraries is comprised of four libraries located across four sites in Long Island, New York City, and the Hudson Valley. The flagship library, the Leon A. Swirbul Library, is located at the Garden City, NY campus. Opened in 1963, it was designed by well-known 20th century modernist architect Richard Neutra, who envisioned a “living library” that would incorporate print materials as well as futurist features like “a news ticker-tape display, closed-circuit TV for distance learning..., a belt conveyor and electric lifts for speedy book handling, and interdisciplinary gathering places...”. These elements were not built, but the “living library” concept was embodied in other unique ways. The building includes two exterior reflecting ponds (which are home to fish and birds), interior artificial plantscapes, and a feature called the “Ascent to Knowledge”; a white curved staircase opposite a one-story mirrored wall. Read more about Neutra’s design and learn more about Swirbul Library.

Adelphi University Archives and Special Collections is also located at the Garden City, NY campus and holds 6552 linear feet of material including a number of notable and interesting collections, such as the papers of the novelist Alice Hoffman, significant collections of material related to the English radicals William Cobbett and William Hone, Adelphiana (including university records, yearbooks, and newspapers), and historical materials related to the Spanish Civil War, the Panama Canal, the essayist and poet Christopher Morley, and more.



Copyright 2018 by Tatiana Bryant

About the author:

Tatiana Bryant is the Outreach and Promotion Librarian at Adelphi University and a current NEH Digital Native American and Indigenous Studies Fellow. Previously she was the Digital Projects and Engagement Librarian at the University of Oregon. She holds a MPA from New York University and a MLIS from Pratt Institute. She is the co-editor of the forthcoming book Nonprofits and Libraries: Collaboration for the Public Good (Library Juice Press). She can be reached at tbryant@adelphi.edu.