Thomas Jefferson Library

Thomas Jefferson Library

Thomas Jefferson Library

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The Thomas Jefferson Library is the main library for the University of Missouri–St. Louis, the largest public university in the St. Louis Metropolitan Area.


In 1963 the Normandy Residence Center, a two year junior college, officially became the institution now known as the University of Missouri–St. Louis. The original University library was located in a small section of what had previously been the clubhouse of Bellerive Country Club. It contained a meager 3,800 volumes under the stewardship of a single professional librarian. By 2005 the Libraries of the University housed more than one million volumes, including a Federal Depository Library, a computerized Library Research Commons, and the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri–St. Louis.

The Thomas Jefferson Library was one of the first of three new buildings constructed on the campus. It opened in 1968 under the leadership of its first Library Director, Susan Freegard. Within its 5 stories, the Library was designed to house more than 240,000 volumes and allow seating for 1,000 students. The original "TJ Library" entrance also sported a swimming pool and basketball court which have since been removed.

By the 1980s the growing library collections began to displace staff and study areas. Assistance was on the way with $6.1 million in funding provided by the State of Missouri and three local St. Louis corporations: McDonnell Douglas, Emerson Electric, and Anheuser-Busch. On June...
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