History of Denison Library



The new Janet Jacks Balch academic hall includes a small room for a college library. This replaces the small house on the college campus that previously served as a library and faculty office space.




Ella Strong Denison of Denver, Colorado, and San Diego, California, donates funds to construct a library that is subsequently named in her honor. Gordon Kaufmann (1888-1949), creator of the original Scripps campus plan, is selected as architect. Margaret Withington, first hired at Scripps in 1928, was librarian at the time.




Dedication event on February 13 celebrates the opening of Denison Library. Scripps College President Ernest J. Jaqua describes the building as “symbolic of the developing intellectual life of the college” in the October 1931 Bulletin.




Dorothy Drake is hired as librarian, a position she holds until her retirement in 1970.




Dedication event celebrates opening of the Dorothy Drake Wing of Denison Library, designed by Criley & McDowell of Claremont, on June 3. At the east end of the building, a stained glass window by Scripps Professor Douglas McClellan features forms of the alphabet.




Denison Library joins the central Honnold Library in 1971 under an agreement providing for a unified administrative structure that, with the subsequent addition of two science libraries, became the Libraries of The Claremont Colleges.




Judy Harvey Sahak ’64 becomes librarian and serves in this role until her retirement in 2016.




The library’s original 1931 building, designed by architect Gordon Kaufmann, is placed on the National Register of Historic Places




As part of The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS) restructuring of the libraries, administration of Denison Library is returned to Scripps College, and the library becomes a non-circulating facility for the college’s rare books, archives, and special collections.