Beginning in 2018, we will be embarking on a major renovation of Alderman Library. This site will carry up-to-date construction alerts and service information.

Alderman Renovation: What is to come?

The renovation of Alderman, beginning in 2018, marks the third chapter in the University’s history. The first chapter began when the Rotunda, UVA’s first Library, was built as the center point of grounds—a notable departure from the practice of building universities around religious organizations, which was customary at the time. The second chapter began with the building of Alderman Library in 1937, with shelving for a much larger (and newer) collection of printed information, marking the faculty’s determination that the University of Virginia should become a research institution.

A domed building with columns against a purple blue sunset.

The Rotunda was the site of UVA’s first Library and remains a central point on grounds.

Alderman is still the University’s main library, and its renovation is essential to bringing the Library up to contemporary standards of safety, accessibility, usability, and service. Additionally—and perhaps most importantly—it provides an opportunity for us to create the library for this University’s third century.  You can read more of the history of Alderman, and the history of the renovation, on the project’s About page.

The renovation of Alderman has been a University goal for more than decade, and in that time various engineering studies, historic structure reports, design documents, and other materials have been produced.  The documentation of those past efforts is made available here.  These documents were created with public funds and so should be public documents, and they may inform the actual renovation that is now going to take place, but their publication on this site does not constitute an endorsement of any of their particulars.   The plans that will guide the actual renovation of Alderman have not yet been created. In the current moment, the Library is developing a planning document based on interviews with faculty, staff, and students that will guide space planning and architectural design in a renovated Alderman, and help us to identify an architectural firm that can turn our shared vision into shared space and collections.

First step

Beginning in the summer of 2017, the Library will be extending its off-site storage capacity through an expansion of Ivy Stacks. This will enable off-site storage of Alderman’s collection in preservation-quality conditions during the renovation.

Questions? Concerns?

This site will serve as the central location for information about Alderman’s renovation and all related Library activity. As the renovation gathers momentum, any updates, advisories, or announcements will be found here.

If you have questions, concerns, or ideas about the Alderman renovation, email University Librarian John Unsworth (Unsworth@virginia.edu) using the subject line “Alderman renovation”.  He will read and reply to all email with that subject line.