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A Short History of the College Library
The Watts-de Peyster Library, built in 1897, faced College Avenue.
1897-1898 - First College library building constructed in Richardsonian Romanesque style at a cost of $16,055 plus $990 for a steam heating plant and $5,150 for steel book stacks; Named Watts-de Peyster Library after Frederick de Peyster and John Watts, father and maternal grandfather of donor, John Watts de Peyster (1821-1907); Library collections were formerly housed in the Literary Society buildings and in the college library, ground floor/Old Main; M. (Michael) O'Connor of Hudson, NY., Architect; George H. Oster of Lancaster, Builder. Original cornerstone laid May 1897 is located in lobby along with busts of John Watts and John Watts de Peyster. A sculpture of the donor's ancestor Abraham de Peyster was located in front of the building along College Avenue. It was moved to its present location along Buchanan Avenue in 1937.
1928 - Remodeled at a cost of $10,000.
The original Browsing Room of Fackenthal Library, ca. 1955, was dedicated to B.F. Fackenthal's wife Sarah Riegel who died in 1925. It is now the site of the Cataloging Department.
1937-1938 - Fackenthal Library constructed in Colonial Revival style at a cost of $250,000, incorporating portions of the Watts-de Peyster library into the core of the new structure. Named after and funded by B. F. Fackenthal, Jr. (F & M Trustee); Begun April 19, 1937 (cornerstone laid July 28). William H. Lee, Architect (Philadelphia). D.S. Warfel, (Lancaster) Contractor. Mural by John C. Wonsetler.
1938 - May 31st, Fackenthal Library dedicated.
1981-1983- Fackenthal Library enlarged and renovated at a cost of $4.1 million. Architects Shepley, Bullfinch, Richardson and Abbott of Boston, MA. Completed January 1983.
1983 Oct. - Dedication of renovation and addition; renamed Shadek-Fackenthal Library; in honor of Arthur Shadek, member of Board of Trustees and major donor to library renovation.
The facade of Fackenthal Library shortly after being renamed Shadek-Fackenthal, ca. 1984.
1984 - College Archives and Academy Room opened (built as part of the renovations).
1988- 1990 -Martin Library of the Sciences constructed. The $5.1 million Martin Library of the Sciences, which opened at the start of the 1990 Fall semester, was officially dedicated and named in 1991 for Aaron J. Martin, Ph.D. '50, who was chairman of the college's Board of Trustees from 1985 until the spring of 1991, and his wife Jean. The Martins, along with members of the Benjamin Rush Society, were directly responsible for financing the building's construction. Architects for the 19,000-square-foot structure were Shepley Bulfinch Richardson & Abbott, and the general contractor was Warfel Construction Company of Lancaster, PA. The elegant facade was modeled on the streamlined symmetries of the 16th century Italian architect Andrea Palladio, and the open, uncluttered interior design echoes this as well. The library houses on three floors approximately 58,000 book volumes and over 400 periodical titles (initially gathered from the campus's main library and dispersed science departments). These include F&M's biology, chemistry, geology, physics, mathematics and astronomy collections, as well as a large selection of psychology titles. The college's Computing Center occupies the ground floor, and includes a fully equipped electronic classroom, a computer store, and staff offices. In addition the first floor contains a computer workroom, directly opposite the Circulation Desk, for use by students, faculty, and F&M personnel during the library's hours of operation, along with workstations placed just outside the workroom's entrance.
A Technical Services Room located to the rear of the Circulation Desk houses the microform reader/printer/scanners, videos and video cassette players, CDs and computer workstations. Current periodicals are displayed on the first floor's west side, while indices and reference holdings are opposite to this on the east.
The second floor contains the bound periodical holdings, and drawers for a large number of topographical and other maps. The Martin Library is a certified depository for science-related U.S. Government Documents, including an extensive collection of U.S. Geological Survey maps, and these too are on the second floor. The third floor mezzanine houses the major portion of the circulating titles, with new acquisitions specially displayed opposite the Circulation Desk and flanked by a curving, oak-encased reading area.
The library has seating capacity for 95 readers. This includes carrels as well as individual and group study rooms. In addition a Seminar Room on the second floor is available for classes, meetings, audio/visual demonstrations, and so on. Photocopiers are available on the first and second floors.
Source: Whipple, Linda. "The Martin Science Library" F&M news, Vol. III, no.3. October/November 1990.
Revised January 2004.
John Watts DePeyster
Soldier, Author, Philanthropist
John Watts DePeyster at the age of 70, 1891.
Born in New York City, DePeyster was the descendent of early New York Mayor (1692-1694) Colonel de Heer Abraham DePeyster (1657-1728). A member of a wealthy family active in civil and military affairs, DePeyster authored numerous works on military and world history and served as Brigadier General in the New York State Militia in the 1850s and during the Civil War. Although ill health prevented DePeyster from serving as a field commander, he was active in raising and training troops and was granted the honorary rank of Brevet Major General in 1866 for his service. After the war the General continued his literary pursuits and civil leadership, advocating improvements in New York's police and fire protection, and became a benefactor to many municipalities, charities and libraries, including Franklin and Marshall.
DePeyster's association with the College began in 1885 when he donated books to the Diagnothian Literary Society as a gesture for their having elected him an honorary member in recognition of his literary achievements. A friendship then developed between Abraham Rothermel, the secretary of the Society, and General DePeyster that resulted in further donations to the library. In 1897 DePeyster donated $25,000 to build the College's first library building which was located on this site until replaced by the current structure in 1937.
On May 12, 1897 the cornerstone (now on display in the lobby of the current library) of the new Watts-DePeyster Library (named after DePeyster's father Frederic and grandfather John Watts) was dedicated by a party of dignitaries including Abraham Rothermel, College President John Stahr, Librarian John B. Kieffer and Architect M. O'Connor. Curiously DePeyster did not attend the dedication nor did he ever visit Lancaster in his lifetime. By the end of the decade the College had granted DePeyster three Honorary degrees in recognition of his generosity.
Benjamin F. Fackenthal (1851-1941) F&M Trustee. Oil on canvas, ca.1938. Originally hung in Browsing Room. Currently displayed in Academy Room.
The death of Dr. Fackenthal had brought to an end the marked career of a great industrialist and a munificent benefactor who for forty-two years had served faithfully on the Board of Trustees of the College, and who had been the efficient President of the Board since 1915. He had never been a student at Franklin and Marshall, but had always been an ardent supporter of the Institution, giving generously of his time and means to further the best interests of the College.
Dr. Fackenthal was born June 2, 1851, at Doylestown, Pa. He attended the public schools and also took special courses in chemistry and metallurgy at Lafayette College. While he did not graduate from Lafayette College he received from that institution very deservedly an honorary degree of Master of Arts in 1891, of Doctor of Science in 1911, and of Doctor of Laws in 1929.
Dr. Fackenthal had a strikingly successful industrial career. At the age of fifteen he became associated with the Durham Iron Works. In 1872 he became superintendent of works and mines. Three years later, at the age of twenty-four, he was promoted to the position of general manager of Cooper and Rewitt's blast furnaces and mines at -Ringwood and Pequest, N. J., and at Riegelsville, Pa. From 1893 until 1913, he served as President of the Thomas Iron Company and as President of the Ironton Railroad. From 1893 to 1926 he was associated with the Clymer Power Company. In 1927 he assumed the presidency of Taylor, Styles and Company, knife works. Dr. Fackenthal also served as vice-president and chairman of the Executive Committee of the Easton Trust Company, and as Director of the Lehigh Portland Cement Company of Sault Ste. Marie.
Over a period of thirty years, Dr. Fackenthal was a generous benefactor to Franklin and Marshall College. In 1910 he gave a large endowment to the College which provided for the B. F. Fackenthal, Jr. Professorship of Biology, a Chair held by Dr. Richard C. Schiedt and later by Dr. Mitchel Carroll. The Fackenthal Laboratories he erected in 1929 not only added to the campus a handsome building of colonial type architecture but furnished the College with the most complete modern equipment in biology and chemistry. The following year he made possible the erection of the Fackenthal Swimming Pool, adjoining the gymnasium and completing the group of buildings at the end of the quadrangle in the lower campus.
His most generous gift was the Fackenthal Library, erected in 1938. This beautiful edifice contains modern equipment in every detail, and provides facilities for study, research, and recreation.
- by H.M.J. Klein, excerpted from History of Franklin and Marshall College 1787-1948. Lancaster:
Franklin and Marshall College Alumni Association, 1952. pp 281-283
Franklin and Marshall College Librarians
Before 1888 the position of College Librarian (director) was a part-time job carried out by a member of the faculty. This was sufficient since the College Library collection was very small and only occupied a small room located in Old Main. The majority of the books available to students were kept by independent libraries maintained by the Diagnothian and Goethean Literary Societies. However with the College growing it became necessary to make the position more or less full-time in 1888. The first College Library building didn't become a reality until 1897.
Pre-1888 part-time Librarians.
Theodore Appel 1853-1866
John B. Kieffer 1888-1910
Archives and Special Collections, College Archives Record Group 08/03/01
Architectural Specifications and Cost projections of William H. Lee, Architect, 1937.
Dedication Program, Fackenthal Library, May 31, 1938.
Architectural Specifications , Watts de Peyster Library by M. O'Connor, Architect, 1897
Ugolnik, Elaine. "A Marriage of Poetry and Pragmatism" F&M Today, Vol. 13, no. 1. February 1984.
Dubbs, Joseph Henry. History of Franklin & Marshall College. Lancaster: Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Association, 1903.
Klein, H.M.J. History of Franklin & Marshall College 1787-1948. Lancaster: Franklin & Marshall College Alumni Association, 1952.
Originally compiled by Charlotte Brown, College Archivist, 1992. Revised March 2000, M.R. Lear, Archives & Special Collections Assistant