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About Drexel University Libraries

Danuta A. Nitecki, PhD, is Dean of Libraries at Drexel University.

About the Libraries

Drexel University Libraries is a learning enterprise dedicated to providing access to authoritative information regardless of format, to building learning environments, to making connections across disciplines to connect individuals with scholarship and to modeling an entrepreneurial organization. 

Our history

At the opening of the Drexel Institute of Art, Science, and Industry in 1891, the Library and Reading Room occupied a prominent location on the first floor of the Main Building. In its first year, the Library developed a collection of nearly eight thousand volumes through gifts and donations from Drexel's founder, Anthony J. Drexel, and his business partner, George W. Childs. The Standish Collection of rare books was acquired in 1898. The first director of the Drexel library and founder of the library school was Alice B. Kroeger (1864-1909), a former student of Melvil Dewey. Kroeger was followed by a series of prominent female librarians, each prolific writers and active members of the American Library Association. These directors led both the Library and Library School (the third such school to open in the United States and currently the second oldest in the nation) until 1962, when the leadership of Library and Library School was separated.

The Library moved to its own building in 1959, an unusual hexagonal structure, bordered on one side by Woodland Avenue; the building was later renamed the Korman Center and now houses academic and information technology functions. The Library moved across 33rd Street into the newly constructed W. W. Hagerty Library in 1983. In 2002, Drexel's merger with Medical College of Pennsylvania - Hahnemann University resulted in the addition of the Queen Lane and Hahnemann Health Sciences Libraries to the Drexel University Libraries. The Library Learning Terrace was opened in 2011.