A Chronology of Williams College Libraries and their Librarians

1791- The first college library was constructed in West College on the third floor. It was so small that the librarian could reach any book in the room while standing at the library's center.

1846- With money given to the college by Amos Lawrence, the college constructed Lawrence Hall, an octagonal shaped building, to serve as the college's library. The books were contained in a series of alcoves lined with bookcases, and the librarian could easily sit in the center of the room and monitor students with the college books.

1904- The old chapel room in Griffin Hall was transformed into a library to add to the minimal space for books allowed in Lawrence Hall. Some collections were also moved to Hopkins and Goodrich Halls.

1923- Inadequate space for books led to the construction of Stetson Hall in the early 1920's. Alfred Clark Chapin (W.C. 1869) and Francis Lynde Stetson (W.C. 1867) gave money to the college to make the new library possible, creating a larger, collective space for books, as well as a place for the Chapin Rare Books Collection. Stetson opened in 1923.

1969-Plans begin for a new campus library. Sawyer Library is built across the courtyard from its predecessor during the early 1970's and opens its doors in 1975.

College Librarians, 1815-1998
Ebenezer Kellogg 1815-1845
John Tatlock 1845-1856
Nathaniel Griffin 1856-1876
John Phillips 1877-1879
Truman Safford 1879-1888
Charles H. Burr 1889-1910
John Adams Lowe 1911-1915
Christine Price 1915-1922
William N. C. Carlton 1922-1937
Peyton Hurt 1937-1942
Alida Stephens 1942-1947
Willis Wright 1947-1968
Lawrence Wikander 1968-1982
Phyllis Cutler 1982-1998
David Pilachowski 1998-

Williams College Librarian Records, 1793-1998

Scope and Content Note