Marcelia Kirchner

Written by Marcelia Kirchner

Modified & Updated: 29 May 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


Kelvin Smith Library, located at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, is more than just a collection of books and study spaces. It is a hub of knowledge and innovation, serving as a vital resource for students, faculty, and researchers. The library boasts a rich history and offers a multitude of services and amenities to enhance the academic experience of its users. From its unique architecture to its diverse collections and cutting-edge technology, Kelvin Smith Library has become an integral part of the university community. In this article, we will delve into 11 fascinating facts about this iconic landmark, shedding light on its hidden treasures and highlighting why it is a must-visit destination for book lovers and scholars alike.

Key Takeaways:

  • Step into the world of Kelvin Smith Library, a historic hub of knowledge and learning dating back to 1915. With its impressive architecture, vast book collection, and innovative digital resources, it’s a treasure trove for students and researchers alike.
  • Explore the fascinating Kelvin Smith Library, where history and modernity collide. From rare collections and engaging events to collaborative spaces and award-winning services, it’s a welcoming oasis for knowledge seekers and book lovers.
Table of Contents

A Rich History Dating Back to 1915

The Kelvin Smith Library, part of Case Western Reserve University, has a long and storied history, dating back to its founding in It has been a central hub of knowledge and learning for over a century, providing invaluable resources to students, faculty, and researchers.

An Architectural Marvel

One cannot help but be awestruck by the stunning architecture of the Kelvin Smith Library. Designed by the renowned architect Marcel Breuer, the library boasts a sleek and modernist design that seamlessly blends form and function.

An Impressive Collection of Books

The library is home to an extensive collection of books, with over 2 million volumes lining its shelves. From classic literary works to the latest academic publications, there is something for every reader and researcher.

A Digital Oasis

In addition to its vast physical collection, the Kelvin Smith Library has embraced the digital age, offering access to countless digital resources and databases. Students and scholars can explore a wealth of information at their fingertips.

The Innovative Freedman Center

The Kelvin Smith Library is also home to the Freedman Center, a cutting-edge space that promotes innovative learning and research. Equipped with state-of-the-art technology, the center allows users to collaborate, experiment, and create in a dynamic environment.

Extraordinary Special Collections

The library is proud to house a diverse range of special collections that captivate the imagination. From rare manuscripts and archival materials to unique artifacts, these collections offer a glimpse into history and culture.

Engaging Exhibitions and Events

The Kelvin Smith Library hosts engaging exhibitions and events throughout the year, showcasing the richness of its collections and fostering a sense of community among its patrons. From art exhibits to author talks, there is always something exciting happening within its walls.

A Hub for Collaboration

With its open and inviting spaces, the library serves as a hub for collaboration. Students and researchers can gather together to exchange ideas, work on group projects, and engage in stimulating discussions.

Award-Winning Services

The library’s commitment to excellence has not gone unnoticed. It has received numerous accolades and awards for its exceptional services, including recognition for its innovative use of technology and its dedication to student success.

A Welcoming Atmosphere

Step inside the Kelvin Smith Library, and you will be greeted by a warm and welcoming atmosphere. The friendly and knowledgeable staff are always ready to assist users in their quest for knowledge and information.

Continuing to Shape the Future

The Kelvin Smith Library is constantly evolving to meet the changing needs of its users. With ongoing renovations, technological advancements, and a forward-thinking approach, it is poised to remain at the forefront of academic libraries for years to come.


In conclusion, the Kelvin Smith Library is not just a place to study and borrow books. It is a fascinating landmark that holds a wealth of knowledge and history. With its stunning architectural design, innovative services, and extensive collection, it continues to be a hub of learning and research for students, faculty, and the local community. The library’s commitment to providing access to information and fostering a collaborative environment is evident in its state-of-the-art facilities and dedication to digital resources. Whether you’re a bookworm, a history enthusiast, or a technology lover, the Kelvin Smith Library is sure to captivate your senses and expand your mind.


1. How old is the Kelvin Smith Library?

The Kelvin Smith Library was established in 1996, making it over two decades old.

2. Is the library open to the public?

Yes, the Kelvin Smith Library is open to the public. While some services may be limited to Case Western Reserve University affiliates, anyone can visit the library and access its resources.

3. How many books are in the library’s collection?

The library boasts an impressive collection of over 1.5 million books, spanning various subjects and genres.

4. Are there any unique features or exhibits in the library?

Yes, the library is known for its unique features, including a rare book room that houses valuable and historic texts, as well as rotating exhibits that showcase special collections and artifacts.

5. Can I use the library’s resources even if I’m not a student or faculty member?

Yes, the library provides access to its digital resources and online databases to library patrons. However, some privileges and services may be restricted to Case Western Reserve University affiliates.

Kelvin Smith Library's fascinating history, impressive collections, and innovative services make it a true gem. If you enjoyed learning about this remarkable library, why not explore some other captivating topics? Dive into the rich tapestry of local legends and folklore in Cleveland, Ohio, or uncover the marvels of digital collections at the British Library. For more library-related content, check out the unbelievable facts about university libraries that will leave you amazed.

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