Knowledge Base

History of Bizzell Memorial Library

Bizzell Memorial Library was built in 1929 and later named for William Bennett Bizzell, the University's fifth president. It is located in the heart of the Norman campus. A north wing was added in 1958 and the Doris W. Neustadt Wing was constructed in 1982, creating a new main entrance on the west while retaining the original south entrance.

Bizzell Memorial Library is the main library building within University Libraries. University Libraries, the largest research collections in the state, includes more than 5 million volumes and more than 17,900 periodicals and distinguished special collections such as the Harry W. Bass Collection in Business History, the Bizzell Bible Collection, the John and Mary Nichols Rare Books and Special Collections and the History of Science Collections.

The John and Mary Nichols Collections is composed of rare books and special materials in European and American literatures dating from the 15th century to the present. The collections feature a number of first-edition works by Charles Dickens.

The History of Science Collections is one of the largest collections of rare scientific books and documents in the United States and includes Galileo's handwritten corrections to one of his first editions.

Located in the original library, the beautifully decorated Evelyena D. Honeymon Ante Room is a spectacular entryway to the Peggy V. Helmerich Great Reading Room. This architectural masterpiece is a favorite student study place. The walls are lined with beautiful carved bookcases that hold theses and dissertations of OU graduates and the ceiling features intricately carved angels.

The School of Library and Information Studies, which occupies the south end of the original library building, was formally established in 1929, the same year the library was built. The School quarters combine the architecture and carved woodwork of the original building with the latest in information technology.