History of the Engineering Library at Notre Dame

Library circa 1960'sstacksHavlikstudent assistantslibrary

The University of Notre Dame began offering courses in Civil Engineering in 1873; it was the first Catholic university in this country to have a formal course in engineering.  Courses in Mechanical Engineering were provided in 1886.  In the year 1897, the College of Engineering was established as a distinct unit in the University.  In the same year the Department of Electrical Engineering was established, followed by the Departments of Architecture in 1898, Chemical Engineering and Mining Engineering in 1908, Metallurgy in 1933 and Aeronautical Engineering in 1935.  A Dean for the College of Engineering would not be appointed until 1920.

Before 1932, there were several scattered library collections supplying the College of Engineering faculty and students, some of these collections were housed outside Engineering Hall in the Architecture Building.

John F. Cushing, a 1906 graduate of the school of Civil Engineering, contributed $300,000 toward the construction of a much needed Engineering Building.  Engineering Hall had been severely damaged by fire after a lightening strike and couldn't accommodate the needs of a growing student body and faculty.  Cushing Hall was dedicated in 1932, and in this new building was a library.  The first engineering library was located on the first floor, in what is today room 105A.  By 1938, the engineering library had outgrown this space and the library was moved from the first floor to a classroom on the second floor in Cushing Hall.

.map of the first floorSecond floor library

Continued growth over forty years pushed the second floor accommodations to the limit of capacity and, in fact, an adjoining classroom was taken over to ease the strain.  Various schemes of transferring older books to the Hesburgh Library (formally known as Memorial Library) were also used.  In 1976, when plans began to be formed for the Fitzpatrick Hall of Engineering, work on an expanded and relocated library began.

Machine shop where the movable shelving now stands.



The location chosen for the new Engineering Library would be the former Machine Shop on the ground floor of Cushing Hall.  This location would prove advantageous when in 2000, the Library added electronic moveable shelving to help ease spacing constraints.  The solid concrete flooring used for the machine shop provided the support necessary for the heavy shelving and collection.



The Engineering Library collection has over 56,000 items of catalogued books and proceedings; more than 150 print journals, and access to over 1,200 electronic journals (e-Journals).

The collections of the Chemistry/Physics, Life Sciences, and Mathematics libraries supply scientific information in areas closely related to multi-disciplinary engineering.


We provide access to information critical to student and faculty success.  Borrowing and circulation of print material.  Purchasing access to electronic journals ,science databases such as: Compendex, GeoRef, INSPEC, Web of science, IEEE Xplore, and online Engineering encyclopedias.   Interlibrary Loan of books and journal articlesSubject Specialists and Ask a Librarian.

For faculty we have course planning services that facilitate access to high demand items in book form and electronic formatsDocument delivery. As well as library instruction for their students on request.


Wireless internet (NOMAD), Express internet stations and Net ID stations with Microsoft office software, Print@ND (Pharos).

Students, faculty and staff can check out laptop computers for use while in the Library.

Poster printing services for the College of Engineering.

On or off campus, use our online resourcesServices for students studying abroad.

Engineering computer lab located across the hallway.

Engineering Librarians

Carol Brach (1997-present)

Aaron Bales, Assistant Librarian (2002-2008)

Thurston Miller (1996-1997)

Sheila Curl

Robert Havlik

Gary Adams

Miss Eileen A. Conley

Frank Long

Mary Jo Gallagher (BS)

Mary Jean Strobel (BS)

Jeanne Des Marais (AB in LS)