About the Smathers Library

image of Smathers Library with cars circa 1930

Timeline adapted from UF Libraries Timeline

1925 – The first section of what is now Smathers Library opened. The new library had a seating capacity of approximately 800 and a stack capacity of 200,000 volumes.

1931 – South Tower added in 1931.

1950 – The library added a stacks unit and the North Tower opened.

1967 – The Graduate Research Library opened and the old library was designated the College Library. The names were changed to Library West and Library East in 1970. Undergraduates were given access to the stacks for the first time in 1967.

1987 – Organization of a new Department of Special Collections, combining the Library of Florida History, the University Archives, Rare Books and Manuscripts, and the Baldwin Library. Library East was renamed Smathers Library after Senator George A. Smathers provided a significant gift to renovate the building. The renovations were completed in 1996.

2014 – The Judaica Suite, designed by world-renowned architect and artist Kenneth Treister was officially opened in Smathers Library. The Map & Imagery Library moved to the first floor of Smathers Library. The Latin American and Caribbean Collection and Reading Room moved from the fourth floor of Smathers Library to the third floor into a larger and renovated space.

2017 – The Albert H. Nahmad Panama Canal Gallery opened in Smathers Library to showcase items from the Panama Canal Collection.