The library was first housed in Old Main, which also contained the college's reception room, lecture hall, specimen museum, students' rooms, a chapel, kitchen, laundry, and dining room. An initial purchase of $2,500 for books for the library was made in 1870 by President Welch. The library was moved to Morrill Hall in 1896 and to the Central Building (now Beardshear Hall) in 1913. In 1925, the new library building was completed to house the library's 115,000 volumes under one roof. The new facility was not large enough to allow for adequate expansion and was outgrown within five years. The first addition to the library was completed in 1961, with a second addition completed in 1969 and a third addition was completed in 1983. In 1984, the Iowa State University Library was officially dedicated as the W. Robert and Ellen Sorge Parks Library.
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