One Thousand Days Transformed - The Campaign for Cedarville
tree in bloom outside library

Library History

Library History

During the 1995-96 academic year, the staff of the Centennial Library celebrated the centennial year for the Cedarville College Library.

In the fall of 1895, Dr. McChesney, the first faculty member hired by the college and later to be its second president, made an appeal to the congregations of the Reformed Presbyterian Church for contributions to a library. In answer to this appeal, more than 1,200 volumes were donated, and a number of periodicals were provided. The collection and reading tables were located in the chemistry recitation room in College Hall, now Founder's Hall, and managed jointly by faculty and students.

This arrangement only partially met the needs of the students. So in December 1905, through the efforts of Dr. McKinney, first president of the College, and Whitelaw Reid, a prominent resident of Cedarville, Andrew Carnegie offered a gift equal to the sum the college could raise to erect a library building. That condition was fully met, and the building, one of hundreds of "Carnegie Libraries" built across the country, was completed in 1908. That building, currently the Fine Arts Center located on North Main Street, served as the college library until 1967.

In 1966, construction on a new library was begun with the big moving day coming uptown from the old Carnegie Library in May 1967; that building was occupied by library operations for 20 years and is now the Milner Business Administration Building.

In 1986, after five years of planning, construction on the current Centennial Library was begun and the facility was completed in 1987 during the College's centennial year. Library operations were moved to the Centennial Library on April 29, 1987, and the building was dedicated during homecoming festivities in October 1987.