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The University of Dayton’s newly renovated Roesch Library might stir up fond memories of the good old days or present a whole new image of what a library has to offer. One thing for certain: The current library is vastly different from the one St. Mary’s Institute students used during the 1860s. In this essay, librarian emerita Kathleen Tiller shares a brief history of libraries on the University of Dayton campus.


This essay coincided with the reopening of the first and second floors of Roesch Library following "Roesch Refresh," a renovation that made possible the reimagining of academic library spaces and services.

A version of this history appeared on the Libraries blog at

A display of photographs and artwork in Roesch Library's first-floor gallery from Monday, Sept. 9, through Friday, Nov. 1, 2019, also featured content from this essay.