For many years the Great Hall was the active hub of the library where the circulation desk and card catalog were located. It provided the only entrance and exit to the stacks. One could gaze down into the room through the windows in the corridor one floor up. When the Library was redesigned in the late 1960s, the crucial circulation and reference functions were relocated to the first floor and the space became the Great Hall. Today it provides a quiet place for study. Portraits of George Eastman, Rush Rhees and several trustees can be viewed here. The spacious cases contain exhibits relating to the University’s history.
The Great Hall was renovated in 2000 on the occasion of the 150th anniversary of the University through the generosity of the Gleason Foundation.