Mugar Memorial Library

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Coordinates: 42°21′04″N 71°06′29″W / 42.351°N 71.108°W / 42.351; -71.108

Mugar Memorial Library Exterior.jpg

The Mugar Memorial Library is the primary library for study, teaching, and research in the humanities and social sciences for Boston University. It was opened in 1966. Stephen P. Mugar, an Armenian immigrant who was successful in the grocery business, provided the naming gift to commemorate his parents. Mugar's entrance carries an inscription from Stephen honoring his parents.

In coming to America from Armenia my parents opened the door of Freedom to me. America's public schools & libraries opened my eyes to the unlimited opportunity in this great land, as well as the privileges and obligations of citizenship. May this library serve over the years as a similar inspiration to all who use it. In memory of my father and mother Sarkis and Vosgitel Mugar. By their grateful son

- Stephen P. Mugar -


In front of Mugar Memorial Library and adjacent to the nearby George Sherman Union, the courtyard provides a space for students to congregate. Often the pre-frosh are brought together to familiarize them with the University. Many benches flank the Courtyard and the area is the scene of assiduous gardening, with a great deal of cultivation taking place throughout the spring and summer. Students may sit along the steps of Mugar Memorial.

The courtyard is most often used in the spring and summer. The area offers a full view of Commonwealth Avenue as well as the adjacent courtyard where bicycle storage is available.


The basement contains current periodicals, microfilm and microfiche readers and printers, and a study area.

First floor[edit]

The first floor contains the circulation desk, the reference desk, reserve, computer banks, and reshelving. Computers with blue tabs are for public use while computers with peach tabs are for use by members of the Boston University Community. These include 20 library PCs and 24 IT, or Information Technology PCs, the latter for use by members of the Boston University community only. The first floor also has 9 Library of Congress style computers for searching the card catalogue.

Reference materials such as Encyclopedias and the Physician Desk Reference are available in the X section of the first floor.

The first floor also rotating exhibits of papers held by the Boston University Library system, and an exhibit of Napoleon Bonaparte's death mask.

The security booth is also located on the 1st floor near the building exit.

Second floor[edit]

The second floor houses the Music Library, with a diverse collection of works ranging from classical, jazz, and rock to contemporary artists. Musical scores are included in the collection as are records, CDs, cassettes and 8-track tapes. The Fiedler Reading Room and the Listening Room are located on this floor.

Third floor[edit]

The third floor contains the PAL Study Lounge as well as offices for many administrative functions of the Library. Technical services are on this floor, as are many of the librarians. The Martin Luther King reading room,offering some of the work of Boston University's most famous alumnus, is also located on the third floor.

Fourth floor[edit]

The fourth floor contains study carrels for users with disabilities. Classics, history, linguistics, politics, geography, sports, philosophy, religion, education, law and photography are all on the fourth floor. The fourth floor also contains the library staff lounge.

Branch libraries[edit]

  • African Studies Library - located on the sixth floor of the Mugar Memorial Library building
  • Michael D. Papagiannis Astronomy Library
  • George H. Beebe Communications Library
  • Pickering Educational Resources Library
  • Frederick S. Pardee Management Library
  • Music Library
  • Science and Engineering Library

The other major Boston University libraries and the Archives[edit]

Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center[edit]

The University's rare book and manuscript collections are held in the Howard Gotlieb Archival Research Center, formerly called the Twentieth Century Archives. The Research Center is housed on the fifth floor of the Mugar Library and is open to the public for research and viewing. The Center also includes a large display area where examples of its holdings are on display.

Research scholars must make appointments at least two days in advance to use papers from the collections.

The holdings of the Gotlieb Archive include Isaac Asimov's papers, which fill 464 boxes on 232 feet (71 meters) of shelf space, as well as the archives of Bette Davis, Gene Kelly, Adele Astaire, Martin Luther King, David B. Zilberman and many other notable individuals from the Twentieth century. Also included are original manuscripts and papers of American spy novelist Dan Sherman and the same again for many another of the mystery/espionage genre.

As the Einstein Papers Project was located at Boston University Center for Einstein Studies, the Library holds a complete copy of Einstein's papers. Such copies, whose originals are in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, can only be found at Boston University, Princeton University, and at the California Institute of Technology where the Einstein Papers Project is now located.

Samuel M. Fineman Law Library & Pappas Law Library[edit]

The Samuel M. Fineman Law Library and the Pappas Law Library provides scholarly resources, collections and services to support the research needs of the students and faculty at Boston University School of Law as well as other legal researchers at Boston University. The law library contains federal and state primary legal materials; major serials, treatises and other secondary materials; legal documents and reports and international law materials.

Medical Library[edit]

The Alumni Medical Library serves as the library and knowledge-based literature and information provider to the faculty, staff, and students of Boston University Schools of Medicine, Dental Medicine, Public Health, and the Boston Medical Center.

School of Theology Library[edit]

The collections of the School of Theology are developed in concert with those of Mugar Memorial Library. The School of Theology library concentrates on theology, Bible, church history, ministry, and historic Judaism, while Mugar collects in comparative religion and the academic disciplines of religion, philosophy, sociology, including contemporary Jewish life and culture.


External links and references[edit]