Ella Strong Denison Library
Although the Denison Library building is closed to the public at this time, we can help you remotely with your research questions. Email Denison or call us at (909) 607-3941. For the latest information about Denison Library and its collections, take a look at our e-newsletter, The Denison Dispatch!
Scripps College continues to monitor the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) and is working diligently to safeguard the safety and well being of our communities. Visit Scripps Strong to learn more.
Celebrate Denison’s 90th birthday in February 2021!
As the third building constructed on the Scripps campus, Denison Library has been the intellectual heart of the college since its dedication on February 13, 1931. To commemorate the anniversary of this remarkable and beloved structure, a series of three half-hour Zoom presentations will be offered. Register in advance for each session using the links below.
Join us for one session, or all, to learn more about how Scripps College came to have one of the most beautiful and distinctive library buildings in California.
Ella Strong Denison: The Woman Behind the Name
Monday, February 8 @ 12:15pm (register here)
Designed to Inspire: Gordon Kaufmann, Architect of early Scripps Buildings
Wednesday, February 17th @ 12:15pm (register here)
Illuminated Learning: the Stained Glass Windows of Denison Library
Friday, February 26th @ 12:15pm (register here)
Our Blind Date with a Rare Book Will Zoom Straight to Your Heart on Friday, February 12
What sweeter way to celebrate Valentine’s Day than by attending Denison Library’s Blind Date with a Rare Book? This year’s event is moving from the library’s magnificent Holbein Room to Zoom, but you’ll still have an opportunity to be matched with amazing treasures from the library’s collections. Come alone or bring your loved one(s) or anyone else you know whose heart goes a-flutter at the sound of centuries-old parchment pages turning. Register in advance for the Zoom meeting link here.
About Denison Library
The Ella Strong Denison Library is the oldest and many would say the most beautiful library at The Claremont Colleges. A desire by the library’s donor and namesake to place a stained-glass window on the Scripps College campus led to the construction of the Ella Strong Denison Library, which opened in 1931. The library’s prominent Gutenberg window depicting the evolution of the written word dedicated “to the greater wisdom of women” was created by artist Nicola D’Ascenzo. Designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann (1888-1949) in the cruciform shape of a chapel featuring stylistic elements from Spanish Colonial Revival style and ecclesiastical architecture, Denison Library was the second academic building to be built on the Scripps campus and was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.
Today, Scripps is the only one of The Claremont Colleges with its own library. Denison Library now functions as a non-circulating special collections library with comfortable and quiet spaces for study and research, including the Holbein Room with its gothic fireplace and the smaller Ellen Browning Scripps Room. The library’s beautiful hand-carved wood interiors create an environment encouraging learning and reflection, and it is open in the evenings during the academic year to provide spaces in which students may study. Faculty collaborate with library staff to host classes in Denison Library so that students may engage with the library’s unique collections in a hands-on learning environment, and the Holbein Room is also a popular space on campus for meetings or special events like poetry readings, receptions, and lectures.
Denison Library represents the symbolic beginning and completion of a student’s education at Scripps through two events that traditionally begin at its doors: Matriculation and Commencement. The college’s annual Matriculation Ceremony occurs in the first few days of orientation at the start of the new academic year, when incoming students process into the building through the library’s intricately carved pair of east doors and sign their names in a special handmade book. A few years later, graduating seniors exit the library through this same pair of doors as part of the Commencement procession, signifying the end of their educational journey at Scripps College.
Learn more about Denison Library:
The Claremont Colleges Library
The Claremont Colleges Library supports the seven institutions comprising The Claremont Colleges consortium. Its mission is to “partner with faculty, students, and staff to provide a vital physical and digital center for research, teaching, learning, and other forms of intellectual engagement at The Claremont Colleges.”
As a member of The Claremont Colleges consortium, Scripps College students have access to more than 3 million print and electronic volumes and myriad full text and other electronic sources, resources far exceeding those of colleges of comparable size.