Join Notre Dame students, faculty, and staff as we celebrate the opening of the Beth and Lou Holtz Family Grand Reading Room and kick off the year-long 60th Anniversary Celebration for the Hesburgh Library.
- Enjoy music, food, and refreshments.
- View digital exhibits spanning more than 60 years of the iconic landmark.
- Take a 60th-anniversary commemorative mug—it’s our way of saying thank you to the campus community for your inspiration and partnership.
The newly transformed Grand Reading Room was designed to inspire focused and contemplative intellectual work, which is as vital to academic success as the renewed collaborative spaces throughout the building.
The 20,000 square foot, two-story space is furnished with over 250 table seats for individual study and comfortable seating around a large enclosed fireplace. Natural light now floods the space and a 100-pendant light installation hangs in the center of a new atrium, creating a magical ambiance. Walls of windows provide expansive views of west campus, including the Basilica’s spire and the Dome of the Main Building.
Leisure Periodicals, Current Newspapers, Catholic Newspapers, and the new Notre Dame Authors Collection are located just outside the first floor Grand Reading Room entrance.
All are invited to celebrate this important milestone. Please join us in our newest study space and celebrate 60 years of the Hesburgh Library. Look for additional 60th Anniversary activities throughout the academic year.
Celebrating 60 Years of the Hesburgh Library
More than 60 years ago, Rev. Theodore M. Hesburgh, C.S.C., dreamed of a new library building that would serve, along with the Basilica and the Golden Dome, as one of the three pillars of the Notre Dame campus. It would become the academic heart of the University. He envisioned that the Memorial Library (renamed Hesburgh Library in 1987) and its now world famous Word of Life mural would stand, for all to see, as a symbol of academic excellence and the pursuit of truth.
Reflecting on his goals for this building, Fr. Hesburgh said, "When I began to dream of a greater Notre Dame, it seemed to me that there was no greater step forward we could make, as a great Catholic university, than to have the best Catholic university library in the world."
This dream was realized when the building opened on September 18, 1963, and was dedicated on May 7, 1964. We have launched a year-long 60th Anniversary Celebration framed by these two significant dates to honor this important milestone.
Throughout this 60th anniversary year, we will reflect on this vision-turned-reality and the vital contributions the Hesburgh Libraries have made to the advancement of Notre Dame.
This look back anchors our renewed vision as we create a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive community that advances human flourishing. Collectively, we will shift the paradigm on how research libraries further the creation, understanding, and use of knowledge.
Please join us throughout the year as we embrace this vision anew, ensuring that the Hesburgh Libraries will inspire intellectual inquiry and remain a symbol of academic excellence in pursuit of truth and human flourishing for generations to come.