History of the Carnegie-Vincent Library
“With Malice Towards None With Charity For All” -Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Memorial University was founded in 1897 by General Oliver Otis Howard as an institution dedicated to the educational needs of the people of this area. The Carnegie-Vincent Library (CVL) supports the mission of Lincoln Memorial University by providing the services, collections, staff and facilities to meet the information and research needs of the faculty, staff, and students of the University; it further provides a setting conducive to research and study, while providing library patrons the opportunity to develop the information literacy skills necessary to become lifelong learners.
When Lincoln Memorial University opened its doors in 1897 there was only 1 building on campus, The Harrow School. In 1893 the School Library contained 500 books, including a number of Textbooks, available to the entire student body. In 1901 General Howard began raising funds for a number of buildings, including Grant-Lee Hall (the first building built as part of Lincoln Memorial University), the Library, dormitories, a Gymnasium, and other necessary buildings. In 1904 Mr. Andrew Carnegie donated $20,000 for the building of a much-needed library. In 1906 the Carnegie Library was opened. The original building housed a number of important collections including Lincolniana (the third largest collection of Lincoln memorabilia in the country), The Civil War collection, Appalachian writers, and Appalachian history collections. The building was also used as temporary classrooms, a chapel, and administrative offices.
In 1972 funds were raised to expand the Carnegie Library with an additional wing. Bert Vincent, a beloved local writer most famous for his long time column in the Knoxville News-Sentinel: Strolling with Bert Vincent. Bert was a long-time supporter of LMU and he often wrote about the beauty of the campus. In 1974 The Bert Vincent Memorial Wing was dedicated as a way to memorialize this much loved local figure.
Further renovation and expansion in 1987 was funded by a generous donation by the Kresge Foundation and the Mabel Pew Myrin Trust. Another renovation in 1989 was supported by Dr. Harold M Finley. His support allowed the library to create the Harold M Finley Learning Resources Center, which has evolved into a media center, providing a/v equipment, computers and electronic resources.
Today the Carnegie-Vincent Library continues to support students and faculty as Lincoln Memorial University continues to grow. The Library serves the needs of 12 extended sites as well as the needs of the local community. In 2006 the DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine opened its doors and The Lon and Elizabeth Parr Reed Medical and Allied Health Library was opened to support the Medical students. In 2008 the library was given a much needed face lift. The Brooks family generously donated funds to decorate and outfit the new Brooks Reading Room. Additionally, new sofas, chairs, and tables were installed throughout a large portion of the 2nd floor to give students more comfortable places to study.
As the University grows the library will grow with it to continue meeting the educational needs of students and the community. If you are interested in learning more about the history of the library come visit the Archives or contact the Archivist.
Suppiger, Joseph E. The Phoenix of the Mountains. 2nd ed. Harrogate, TN: Lincoln Memorial University Press, 1988.