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Libraries + Archives History

History of the William Allen White Library

Historical Ground Breaking photo

Note: We are indebted to several sources written about the evolution of what is now William Allen White Library. These sources are listed at the end of this history.

The history of William Allen White Library truly reflects the statement, “The more things change, the more they remain the same.” Since March 3, 1863 when the present Emporia State University was established as the Kansas State Normal School by the Kansas Legislature, the need for a library to meet the teaching and learning needs of faculty and students has always been a primary focus. February 15, 1865 saw the first term of instruction begin for the Kansas State Normal School in a stone building at the corner of Seventh Avenue and Constitution Street (Stephens 1).

To view our library history through the years, flip through the image carousel below: