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University System

The 2004-2005 75th Anniversary Celebration

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About MSU-Northern



The original library was located on the third floor of the high school's west wing. The library moved to the basement of the Presbyterian Church just across the street to the east in 1936 because of a need for additional classroom space. The church basement had been designed as a gym and recreation area. It was later remodeled into classrooms and rented by the public schools for classes.


Books on steps of Presbyterian church
An early flood in the basement of the
Presbyterian church found the college's
library books set out to dry on the
church steps

East Hall
Pershing Hall
Donaldson Hall
Men's Co-Op
Industrial Arts
Vets Housing
Student Union
Cowan Hall
Physical Plant
Campus Houses
Morgan Hall
Food Service
Married Student Housing
Engineering Tech
MacKenzie Hall
Farm Mechanics
Applied Technology

Located below ground level and within a few feet of an open creek channel (Bullhook), the library was flooded regularly each spring. When the creek overflowed its banks, students and faculty alike were called upon to move books from the lower shelves.


Library in Cowan HallAs classrooms were moved to the campus, the library became more isolated. It seemed totally abandoned in the 1942-43 year when all other units had been moved to campus. It was moved into the second floor of the east wing of Cowan Hall in the summer of 1953. As the library expanded it occupied more of the east wing and gradually filled both the first and ground floor levels.

The importance of the library to the college was stressed repeatedly throughout the development of the college. Several grants and donations received over the years augmented the meager regular funds to improve the library collections. Money provided through the Bonine Memorial in 1956 supplied furnishings for the Cowan Hall Library.

Planning for a new library building began in earnest in 1975. An attempt to gain funds for the construction of a building was made in the 1977 legislative session. Though the building was approved, no funding was provided. In the 1979 legislative session, however, $2,302,000.00 was approved for the construction of a new library building and plans for its construction were set in motion. Bids were let in March of 1980 and the building was dedicated in 1982. The two story library is centrally located on campus and easily accessible from all classroom buildings.

Vande Bogart Library

It is located at the top of the hill west of Pershing Hall and on the eastern edge of the Cowan Hall parking lot. The library was automated in 1986. In addition to reference materials, the library is a U.S. Government depository, has an excellent archival collection of materials, and an extensive photo collection that includes those of Al Lucke, Fred Miller and Don Greytak, and the Harrison Lane Collection of American History.

In 1980, upon the recommendation of retired faculty member Louis Hagener and with the support of the Classes of 1940-42, the new library building was named in honor of G.H. Vande Bogart, NMC's first president.