The Perry-Castañeda Library Turns Forty Years Old
The University of Texas Libraries are celebrating the 40th anniversary of the Perry-Castañeda Library, the flagship branch and main library for the students, faculty and staff of The University of Texas at Austin.
In recognition of the anniversary, the Libraries is hosting a series of public and private events with the campus community and members of the Perry and Castañeda families, as well as exhibits presenting a retrospective on the library’s life on campus.
Funding for the Perry-Castañeda Library (PCL) was approved by the Board of Regents in 1972, and construction began in 1974 on the 6-level, open-stack monolithic structure just off the southeast corner of the original Forty Acres. Completed in 1977, the building is notable for being the first on campus to carry the names of notable minority figures in the history of the university, recognizing the contributions of Dr. Ervin S. Perry — an accomplished engineer and the first African American faculty member at the university — and Dr. Carlos Castañeda — an esteemed Latin American scholar and one of the driving forces behind the development of the university’s Latin American Collections.
What was proposed to be a home suited to sustain collections growth for a relatively short 15-year timespan, has outlived those projections long enough to see the birth of the internet and the shift toward digital resources. Meanwhile, the PCL has become a much-beloved community center on campus that has evolved with the growth in productivity technology to become much more than a destination for information resources. The space is now home to multimedia computer and data visualization labs, the University Writing Center, STEM tutorial spaces and enough power outlets to support the army of devices needed by modern library users.
Festivities start at noon on Wednesday, August 30, with a cake-cutting and birthday celebration at the PCL that is open to the public. On the morning of Friday, September 8, members of the Perry and Castañeda families will attend private breakfast gatherings with Libraries administrators and guests, and later that evening, the Libraries will host the invitation-only sixth annual Distinguished Leader Dinner with Dr. George C. Wright, former president and professor at Ervin Perry’s alma mater Prairie View A&M University. Then on Saturday, September 9, the Libraries welcome the public for a blowout tailgate for the Longhorns home game against San Jose State, with a celebration of the PCL that includes a historical retrospective, trivia, food and beverages.
See the complete schedule of events for more details.