This web site celebrates the 50th anniversary of Brown University’s Rockefeller Library.


Rock Memories | Submit here


As part of our anniversary celebration, the Library is gathering and sharing stories from alumni, students, faculty, staff, and friends of the library about their favorite memories or experiences in the Rockefeller Library. Please submit here or use the hashtag #Rock50Memories to share your Rock Memories on twitter or instagram.

…no mere warehouse for books

Construction of the Rockefeller Library began in 1962, and the new library was dedicated on November 16, 1964. Designed, according to then University Librarian David R. Jonah, as “no mere warehouse for books,” the Rockefeller Library in 1964 offered a diversity of internal spaces constructed “with a careful consideration of the habits, comfort, and convenience of the students.” At the dedication ceremony, David Rockefeller observed that “the subtitle of this edifice might well be ‘studying with sumptuousness'” and that the building named in honor of his father (John D. Rockefeller, Jr., Brown Class of 1897) evoked “an atmosphere of intimacy and friendliness.”

Those design ideals carry on today and are embodied in the services the Library provides to students and faculty as well as the recent renovations to the Rock. Areas like the Finn Reading Room continue to offer students comfortable spaces to work and study. And the state-of-the-art Patrick Ma Digital Scholarship Lab builds upon David Jonah’s concept that the library serves as “the nerve center of a contemporary university.”