- Archbishop Alemany Library
Archbishop Alemany Library
The Library helps students and faculty reach their academic goals by providing instruction in, and access to, a wide-range of academic resources and technologies, information literacy, critical thinking mentorship, and personalized research assistance.
Learn more about our services for students, staff and faculty at Library services.
The History of the Archbishop Alemany Library
Dating back to the 1930s, the library was originally located in Guzman Lecture Hall. When the number of books and reference materials outgrew their shelves and began spilling into the adjoining classrooms, the University determined it was time for a new library that could accommodate the planned expansion from 750 to 1,000 students.
The site chosen for the new contemporary library was that of the Victorian house called, Benincasa which had been used as a senior residence hall, formal entertainment venue, tea garden, and Shield Day backdrop. To make way for the new library, Benincasa was razed in the summer of 1961.
The Archbishop Alemany Library opened its doors on April 17,1963. Named after the first Archbishop of San Francisco, Joseph Sadoc Alemany, the library marked the final building in a period of major campus growth from the mid 1950s through the early 1960s. Head Librarian, Sister Mary Marguerite was instrumental in the design and construction. Upon the opening of the library, she remarked: “The opening of a new library is a significant event in the life of a college, for it denotes the transition from one period of academic growth to another… if there were no other measuring standards available, the quality of a college could be very nearly judged by the quality of its library”.
The library was designed by architects Howard A. Friedman and Henry Schubart and won a 1964 Library Building Awards Program Award of Merit from the American Library Association and the American Institute of Architects.
At the time of its opening, the Alemany Library housed the book and journal collections, seminar rooms, faculty reading and conference rooms, a curriculum library, rooms for slide and microfilm viewing, recorded sound and language lab, lounge area for leisure reading, and outdoor reading garden.