Mentions of a college library at Notre Dame date as far back as 1869. In 1873, a central circulating library for students was established in the Main Building. In 1917, Bond Hall was built to house the expanding central library, and there it remained until Memorial Library opened in 1963.
More than 50 years ago, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., dreamed of a new library building that would serve, along with the Basilica and the Golden Dome, as one of the three pillars of the Notre Dame campus. It would become the academic heart of the University. He envisioned that Memorial Library and its now world famous Word of Life mural would stand, for all to see, as a symbol of academic excellence and the pursuit of truth.
On the 50th anniversary of the opening of Memorial Library (renamed Hesburgh Library in 1987), we reflect on this vision-turned-reality and the vital contributions the Libraries have made to the advancement of Notre Dame, its faculty, students, and alumni.
We celebrate the Libraries’ enduring mission of connecting people to the world’s knowledge and preserving that knowledge for scholars throughout time.
Join us as we embrace this vision anew, ensuring that the Libraries of Notre Dame will inspire intellectual inquiry and academic excellence for the next 50 years and beyond.
Thomas G. Burish
Diane Parr Walker
Edward H. Arnold University Librarian