Joana Valentino

Joana Valentino

Modified & Updated: 29 Nov 2023


The Hillman Library is not just a place for books and studying, it is a key landmark in the heart of the University of Pittsburgh campus. With its iconic architecture and rich history, this beloved library has captured the imaginations of students and visitors alike for decades. From its impressive collection of books and resources to the stunning views from its upper floors, Hillman Library offers more than just a place to study. In this article, we will explore 20 captivating facts about Hillman Library that highlight its significance and appeal to students, researchers, and the general public. So, whether you are a curious reader, a history enthusiast, or a student in search of a quiet spot to study, join us as we delve into the fascinating world of Hillman Library.

Table of Contents

A Gem in the Heart of Pittsburgh

Hillman Library, located in the scenic city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a true gem in the heart of the city.

The University of Pittsburgh’s Main Library

Hillman Library proudly serves as the main library for the University of Pittsburgh, catering to the academic needs of thousands of students.

Named after Henry Hillman

The library was named after Henry Hillman, a prominent philanthropist and real estate developer who generously contributed to its construction.

Architectural Marvel

Hillman Library boasts an impressive architectural design that seamlessly blends modern and traditional elements, creating a visually captivating space.

A Haven for Knowledge Seekers

The library houses a vast collection of over 4 million books, periodicals, and multimedia resources, making it a haven for knowledge seekers.

Extensive Digital Resources

In addition to its physical collection, Hillman Library offers a wide range of digital resources including e-books, online journals, and databases.

State-of-the-Art Technology

Hillman Library is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, providing students and researchers with access to cutting-edge research tools and facilities.

Architectural Diversity

The library is home to a diverse range of architectural styles, with different sections showcasing various themes and design elements.

Iconic “Cheese Grater” Exterior

Hillman Library’s unique exterior design, commonly referred to as the “Cheese Grater,” has become an iconic landmark of the University of Pittsburgh campus.

Renovations and Expansion

Over the years, Hillman Library has undergone several renovations and expansions to accommodate the growing needs of the university community.

Breathtaking Views

With its strategic location on the campus hill, Hillman Library offers breathtaking views of the surrounding cityscape and picturesque landscapes.

A Hub of Intellectual Activity

Hillman Library serves as a hub of intellectual activity, hosting numerous lectures, workshops, and academic events throughout the year.

Special Collections and Archives

The library houses unique special collections and archives, preserving rare and valuable materials that provide insight into various historical periods and disciplines.

Collaborative Learning Spaces

With its modern facilities and collaborative learning spaces, Hillman Library fosters an environment conducive to group study and interactive learning.

Dedicated Librarians and Staff

Hillman Library is staffed by a team of dedicated librarians and staff members who provide expert guidance and support to patrons.

Accessible to All

Hillman Library is committed to accessibility, providing resources and services to students, faculty, and community members of all abilities.

Hub for Research and Innovation

The library’s extensive collection and resources make it a hub for research and innovation, attracting scholars from various disciplines.

Vibrant and Engaging Events

Hillman Library regularly hosts vibrant and engaging events, including author talks, book signings, and exhibitions, enriching the academic and cultural life of the university.

Supportive Learning Environment

With its serene ambiance and supportive atmosphere, Hillman Library provides students with a conducive environment for focused study and academic success.

A Testament to the Power of Education

Hillman Library stands as a testament to the transformative power of education, empowering individuals to explore, discover, and redefine the boundaries of knowledge.

With its rich history, vast resources, and stunning architecture, Hillman Library truly embodies the spirit of academic excellence and intellectual curiosity. Whether you are a student seeking a quiet place to study or a researcher in pursuit of groundbreaking discoveries, Hillman Library welcomes you to immerse yourself in a world of knowledge and inspiration.


In conclusion, Hillman Library is a remarkable landmark that not only serves as a hub of knowledge and learning but also holds a captivating history and architectural value. With its vast collection, stunning design, and unique features like the Nationality Rooms and the Cathedral of Learning, Hillman Library is truly a treasure for the community and a must-visit destination for anyone interested in history, culture, and education. Whether you are a student, a researcher, or a curious visitor, Hillman Library offers an enriching and inspiring experience that will leave you in awe of its grandeur and significance. So next time you are in Pittsburgh, make sure to explore this incredible landmark and immerse yourself in its captivating atmosphere.


1. What are the operating hours of Hillman Library?

Hillman Library is open Monday through Thursday from 7:30 am to 2:00 am, Friday from 7:30 am to 10:00 pm, Saturday from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and Sunday from 10:00 am to 2:00 am. Please note that the hours may vary during holidays and breaks.

2. Are the Nationality Rooms open to the public?

Yes, the Nationality Rooms are open to the public for tours. Visitors can explore the various rooms and learn about the different cultures represented through the amazing architecture and interior design. Guided tours are available, or visitors can explore the rooms on their own.

3. Can I borrow books from Hillman Library?

Yes, Hillman Library is part of the University of Pittsburgh library system, and as a student or faculty member, you can borrow books and resources from the library. However, borrowing privileges may be restricted to members of the university community, so it’s best to check with the library for specific borrowing policies.

4. Is there parking available near Hillman Library?

Yes, there are parking options available near Hillman Library. The university provides parking garages and lots for visitors. However, it is advisable to check for availability and fees in advance, as parking can be limited during peak hours.

5. Can I access digital resources and databases remotely?

Yes, the University of Pittsburgh offers remote access to its digital resources and databases for students and faculty members. This means you can access these resources from anywhere with an internet connection, even if you are not physically present at Hillman Library.