Uta Kruger

Uta Kruger

Published: 23 Sep 2023

Source: Wikipedia.org

Gelman Library, located on the Foggy Bottom campus of George Washington University in Washington, D.C., is more than just a house of books. It is a cultural and architectural landmark that has served as a hub of knowledge and intellectual exploration for decades. With its iconic facade and rich history, Gelman Library holds many fascinating facts that make it stand out among the myriad of libraries in the nation’s capital. From its unique architecture to its impressive collection, Gelman Library has captivated students, researchers, and visitors alike. In this article, we will explore 16 intriguing facts about Gelman Library, shedding light on its significance and highlighting the reasons why it continues to be a beloved institution in the heart of Washington, D.C.

Table of Contents

The Gelman Library is the main library of The George Washington University.

The Gelman Library, located in the heart of Washington, D.C., serves as the central hub for research, study, and intellectual exploration for students and faculty.

The library is named after Charles Gelman, a prominent donor to the university.

Charles Gelman, an alumnus of The George Washington University, made a significant contribution to the institution, which led to the library being named in his honor.

The Gelman Library holds over 2 million volumes in its collection.

With a vast collection of books, journals, digital resources, and more, the library provides students and researchers with a wealth of information across various disciplines.

The library offers state-of-the-art technology and research facilities.

Equipped with modern technology, computer labs, and specialized research areas, Gelman Library provides an ideal environment for academic pursuits and scholarly exploration.

Gelman Library houses rare and unique collections.

From rare manuscripts to special collections, the library offers a treasure trove of valuable materials that allow researchers to delve into diverse subjects and historical periods.

The library provides access to a wide range of online databases.

Through its subscription to various online databases, Gelman Library grants users access to a multitude of scholarly articles, research papers, and other digital resources.

Gelman Library has dedicated spaces for group study and collaborative work.

Recognizing the importance of collaborative learning, the library offers designated areas where students can work together on projects, exchange ideas, and engage in group discussions.

The library offers research assistance through its expert librarians.

Trained librarians at Gelman Library are available to assist students and researchers with their information needs, offering guidance on effective research strategies and access to relevant resources.

The library holds regular workshops and events to enhance research skills.

Gelman Library organizes workshops, seminars, and training sessions to help students and faculty develop their research skills, stay updated on emerging trends, and make the most of the library’s resources.

Gelman Library is open 24/7 during exam periods.

To support students during crucial study periods, the library extends its operating hours and provides round-the-clock access to its resources and study spaces.

The library has a café for relaxation and refreshment.

Gelman Library features a cozy café where students can take a break, grab a coffee, and recharge before getting back to their studies.

The library offers interlibrary loan services.

Through interlibrary loan services, patrons of Gelman Library can request materials from other libraries, expanding their access to resources beyond the library’s own collection.

Gelman Library has designated quiet study areas.

For those seeking a tranquil and focused study environment, the library provides designated quiet areas where silence is strictly maintained.

The library has an extensive digital archives collection.

Gelman Library’s digital archives contain a wealth of historical documents, photographs, and recordings that offer unique insights into the university’s rich past.

The library collaborates with other libraries and institutions worldwide.

Gelman Library actively engages in partnerships and collaborations with other libraries and institutions, fostering a global network of knowledge sharing and resource accessibility.

The Gelman Library holds special exhibitions throughout the year.

From art displays to thematic exhibits, the library showcases a variety of special exhibitions that educate, inspire, and enrich the university community.


In conclusion, Gelman Library is a fascinating landmark that holds a wealth of history, knowledge, and resources for students and researchers alike. From its unique architectural design to its impressive collection of books and manuscripts, Gelman Library stands as a symbol of academic excellence and intellectual pursuit. Whether you are a student, a scholar, or simply someone interested in exploring the world of knowledge, Gelman Library is a must-visit destination. So, next time you find yourself in Washington, D.C., be sure to pay a visit to this remarkable landmark and embark on a journey of discovery.


1. Is Gelman Library open to the public?

Yes, Gelman Library is open to both the George Washington University community and the general public. However, certain resources and services may be restricted to GWU students, faculty, and staff.

2. Can I borrow books from Gelman Library?

Yes, GWU students, faculty, and staff have borrowing privileges at Gelman Library. Members of the public may access the library’s collection on-site but cannot borrow materials.

3. Are there study areas available at Gelman Library?

Absolutely! Gelman Library offers a variety of study areas, including quiet zones, group study rooms, and collaborative spaces. Whether you prefer a silent study environment or a place to collaborate with others, Gelman Library has you covered.

4. Can I access electronic resources from Gelman Library remotely?

Yes, GWU students and faculty can access Gelman Library’s extensive collection of electronic resources, including e-books, databases, and journals, from anywhere with an internet connection. Remote access is provided through the library’s website using your GWU login credentials.

5. Are there any special collections or archives at Gelman Library?

Yes, Gelman Library houses several special collections and archives, including the Washingtoniana Collection, the Estelle and Melvin Gelman Research Center, and the Richard J. Ernst Collection. These collections contain rare books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, and other unique materials that offer a glimpse into the region’s history and culture.