Otto G. Richter Library Celebrates 50 Years

Opened in 1962, the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami celebrates 50 years of supporting scholarship, research, and discovery this fall. Originally housed in temporary quarters in several locations throughout the University, the first central library was created in December 1949 by moving books from four locations into a section of the Merrick Building. Through donations from the estate of the late Otto G. Richter, the estate of Meyer Gold, and the George A. Brockway Foundation, construction of the Watson, Deutschman, and Kruse-designed Library began in 1959.

On June 10, 1962, University President Jay Pearson dedicated the new $3 Million, state-of-the-art facility. The modern building included amenities such as an escalator, a nine-story tower with closed stacks, bookveyors that allowed staff to quickly deliver books from the second to ninth floor, an undergraduate students floor, and graduate student reading rooms.

As the needs of Library users changed over the years, the University has updated the Library to reflect advances in the academic and research agendas. Thanks to substantial donor support, the University undertook major renovations from 1999 to 2003. The Dr. Maxwell and Reva B. Dauer Clock Tower was completed in 2000; the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion opened in 2003, which serves as the home of the acclaimed Cuban Heritage Collection; and a Starbucks on the first floor of the Brockway building opened, where students can sit and study.

The new design added classrooms, conference rooms, and student group study rooms. With a focus on technology, the Library has added a high-tech information commons, digital media lab, digital production and scanning facilities, and a sophisticated conservation laboratory that ensures preservation of fragile materials.

“Computing and technological advances have had a major impact on shaping service delivery, but just as important are the closer partnerships the Library has developed with students and faculty over the years,” said Dr. Lyn MacCorkle, Digital Repository Librarian who has been with the Richter Library for 30 years and seen the transformation occur.

Today, the Library offers students and researchers one of the most comprehensive information resources in the Southeast and continues to build its print, multimedia, and networked information resources at a robust pace. Also, the Library promotes the humanities with year-round exhibitions in which exceptional and unique items are displayed and provides noteworthy cultural programming that includes prominent guest speakers from around the world.

“As a champion of scholarship, the Library team has transformed the Richter Library into a sophisticated, high-tech program. Our community can use both materials born digitally as well as print for discovery and dissemination of new ideas and concepts. Physical library space still matters in this digital age. Richter is one of the most frequented venues on campus with a door count of over 950,000 visitors a year.  The Library has become a gateway to new technologies which give UM students exceptional opportunities to work in a highly innovative learning environment,” said Dean and University Librarian William Walker.

Richter Library will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a series of celebrations, which include exhibitions, speaker series and poetry series. The fall exhibitions will include a showcase on political poetry and join the centennial celebration of Cuban playwright Virgilio Pinera with an exhibition titled, Absurd Celebration, part of the kick-off event for Taking Flight: The Year of Humanities and Arts at the University of Miami.

For more information on the UM Libraries, please go to For more information on Richter’s 50th Anniversary, please click here.


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UM Libraries Join HathiTrust

UM Community Now Has Access to 2.6 Million More Texts

Coral Gables, Florida, – October 13, 2011

The University of Miami has become a member of HathiTrust (, a partnership of major academic and research libraries collaborating in an extraordinary digital library initiative to preserve and provide access to the published record in digital form.

William Walker, Dean and University Librarian, announced today that the University’s HathiTrust membership will give the UM community access to an additional 2.6 million public domain books published before 1923. The volumes were primarily scanned from the collections of American and British research libraries, including The University of Michigan, Stanford, the New York Public Library, Oxford University, and Harvard,  primarily as part of the Google Books Project.

“University of Miami students and scholars will now have access to a significantly richer online collection of early imprints in all disciplines. The HathiTrust content gives the UM community access to a wealth of materials that were published long before the University was established, and it helps raise our resources to even greater stature,” said Walker.

As members of the Trust, members of the UM community will be able to search the Trust catalog and download imprints in the public domain. This will allow UM users to create private libraries of these electronic imprints. The UM Libraries will also be able to contribute digitized works that can be uploaded into the Trust’s repository.

For information on how to access HathiTrust content see

About the HathiTrust

Launched in 2008, HathiTrust has a growing membership currently comprising more than fifty partners.

Over the last two years, the partners have contributed more than 9 million volumes to the digital library, digitized from their library collections through a number of means including Google and Internet Archive digitization and in-house initiatives.

HathiTrust serves a dual role. First, as a trusted repository it guarantees the long-term preservation of the materials it holds, providing the expert curation and consistent access long associated with research libraries. Second, as a service for partners and a public good, HathiTrust offers persistent access to the digital collections. This includes viewing, downloading, and searching access to public domain volumes, and searching access to in copyright volumes. Specialized features are also available which facilitate access by persons with print disabilities, and allow users to gather subsets of the digital library into “collections” that can be searched and browsed.

Browsable DVDs!

Browsable dvds Richter Library first floor

Have some free time at the start of the semester?   Need a break once classes kick into gear?

Now you can easily browse the Libraries extensive DVD collection and escape into another world for a few hours.

In response to student requests, the Libraries spent the summer reorganizing the DVDs into broad genre categories and moving the entire collection  onto browsable shelves on  Richter Library’s First Floor.

Located just off the Reading Room, the DVD collection is shelved by broad genre, à la Netflix or your favorite video store:  Animation, Comedy, Drama, Foreign Films, Horror, Science Fiction/Fantasy, TV Programs, and Non-Fiction.

Find a title that interests you, take it to the Richter Circ Desk to have a staff member remove the locked case, and check it out.