History of the Carnegie Library building

The UGA Carnegie Library Learning Center was built at the Georgia State Normal School, a college for training teachers, to provide space for the School’s book collection which had until then been housed in Gilmer Hall (demolished in 1961).  Funding for the structure, in the Beaux Arts style, was provided by an educational institution grant of $20,000 from the Andrew Carnegie Foundation, with the State providing about $5000.  The architects selected by the Normal School were the firm of William O. Ludlow & Charles S. Peabody of New York (who also designed New York City’s Mercantile and Johns-Manville Buildings), and the builder was Moise de Leon of Atlanta.  The State Normal School Carnegie Library opened on September 6th, 1910 in the charge of Librarian Miss Agnes C. Goss, a graduate of the Carnegie Library Training School in Atlanta, with cataloguer Miss Margaret M. Gibbs and student assistant Miss Emma Pollard comprising her staff. 

Ownership of the Normal School campus and programs was transferred to the UGA College of Education in 1932, with the Carnegie Library continuing to serve the Normaltown campus and its academic programs.

In 1953, the Normal School campus was sold to the U.S. government for use as the US Navy Supply Corps School. The Carnegie Library building was added to the National Register of Historic Places on 11 November 1974 and, for a time, served as a museum for the Navy School. The campus was transferred to UGA in 2011 for its College of Public Health from the Navy under the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The Augusta University/UGA Medical Partnership is also located at the Prince Avenue site.

In 2013, UGA began a $2m restoration/renovation project on the Carnegie Library with a view to establishing a satellite location of the UGA Libraries on the HSC campus.  Partial funding for this project was made available through the support of the Callaway Foundation and the Tull Charitable Foundation.

Careful attention has been paid to preserving as many original features as possible, while repurposing the building’s spaces to meet the needs of 21st century students and to ensure compliance with modern building codes and the Americans With Disabilities Act.  In June of 2016 the Carnegie Library received an Outstanding Rehabilitation Award from the Athens-Clarke Heritage Foundation.