The University of Miami‚Äôs library started small and grew steadily through donations by friends, faculty, and students. The first central library was created in December 1949 in a section of the non-air-conditioned Merrick Building. Dr. Archie L. McNeal was appointed as Director of Libraries in 1952 and he oversaw the planning and construction of the new Otto G. Richter Library dedicated on June 10, 1962 by retiring President Jay Pearson. The $3 million state-of-the-art building was made possible through major donations from the estate of the late OttoG. Richter, the Meyer Gold Estate, and the George A. Brockway Foundation. The images below give a visual overview of the Library’s early beginnings.

Image Details: 1926 (part I)

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George Merrick

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Administrators, Deans, Faculty, Presidents

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Merrick Building dedication ceremony

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 1926 (part II)

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Anastasia Building

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Interior view of the Anastasia Library

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 1940s

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Aerial view of the Merrick Building on the Coral Gables campus

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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University of Miami Merrick Building Under Construction


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William G. Harkins

William G. Harkins was appointed the first University of Miami Library director.





Image Details: 1950s

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Technical services building for campus library in Merrick Building previous to construction of Richter library

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Temporary library processing unit

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 1959

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Groundbreaking of the Otto G. Richter Library

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Otto G. Richter, Donor

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Alumni and Other Support Organizations

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Image Details: 1961

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Construction of the Otto G. Richter Library on the Coral Gables campus

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Construction of the Otto G. Richter Library on the Coral Gables campus

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Construction of the Otto G. Richter Library on the Coral Gables campus

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 1962 (part I)

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Dignitaries pose with Richter Portrait at the Library Dedication

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Archie McNeal, Library Director (1952-1970), speaks at the Otto G. Richter Library dedication

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 1962 (part II)

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Richter Staircase

The Otto G. Richter Library featured this impressive staircase. The staircase led to all three floors of the Richter Library and was crowned with 27 translucent skylights.


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Staircase Inside of the Richter Library

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 1980s

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View of the stacks tower at the Otto G. Richter Library.

Collection: UM Historical Photographs - Buildings and Grounds

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Image Details: 2000s

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The Dr. Maxwell and Reva B. Dauer Clock Tower

Completed in 2000, the Clock Tower was part of the Library's major renovation.


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Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion

Home to the Cuban Heritage Collection, the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion opened in 2003.