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Celebrating 130 Years of Cornell University Engineering Libraries, 1887-2017

Early Engineering Student Publications

The Crank Journal

The Crank, 1887-1891

         Sibley Journal, 1892-1935

Cornell Engineer

               Cornell Engineer, 1935-1994

Excerpt from The Crank referencing the Engineering Library, 1888
Excerpt from The Crank referencing the Engineering Library, 1888

Early references to Engineering Library in Sibley Hall, 1888

References are from early engineering student journal The Crank. This and other issues can be seen online via Cornell Historical Monographs Collection,

Lincoln Hall Library, 1890

Lincoln Hall Library, 1890 (civil)

Sibley Engineering Library, 1938

Sibley Engineering Library, 1938 (mechanical)

Additional libraries at the time were located in Franklin Hall (for electrical engineering) and Olin Hall (for chemical engineering).

Carpenter Hall, 1957
Engineering Library Call Desk, 1957


Carpenter Hall & circulation desk

Engineering library reading room, including card catalog, 1960


Engineering library reading room, including card catalog

Students using the Engineering Library card catalog, 1977


Using the Engineering Library card catalog

Carpenter Hall takeover, demonstrators camped in library, 1972
Carpenter Hall takeover, 1972
News article clipping depicting audience gathering outside Carpenter Hall takeover

Carpenter Hall takeover, 1972

125 anti-war demonstrators camped in library for 5 days:

April 26 –May 1, 1972



  • Divest from Cornell Aeronautical Lab (begun
    during WW2, Cornell had been trying to sell since
  • Conversion of CAL to non-defense research.
  • End to ROTC at Cornell
  • Cornell to help force Gulf Oil out of Angola in
View of a table in Carpenter Hall, 1990


Note graphing calculators on table and heavy use of paper.

Inside Carpenter Hall, 2005


Note clamshell Apple iBook, ca. 1999-2006.


Library at this point had 1,500 print journals and 150,000 books on site.

Viewing Engineering Library, 2016


Physical collection, including reference collection consolidated with Uris Library and Library Annex in 2011.

Thanks to:
  • Laura Linke and Evan Earle, Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University
  • The Crank, Sibley Journal of Engineering, Cornell Engineer and Cornell Alumni News
  • Images courtesy of Rare and Manuscript Collections, Cornell University and Jill Powell, Engineering Library