This year, Doe Library celebrates the centennial of its dedication. The estate of Charles Franklin Doe funded the construction of the library building, designed by architect John Galen Howard who was trained at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Ground was broken for the library in 1905, the cornerstone laid in 1908, and it was completed in the summer of 1911 and formally dedicated on Charter Day of 1912.
Throughout the year—including a big birthday party on Wednesday, March 12—the Library will host an array of events. Last week, an exhibit titled Heart of the Campus: Doe Library 1912-2012 was installed in the Bernice Layne Brown Gallery on the first floor. Curated by Steve Mendoza, assistant for the Romance Language Collections, the exhibit puts on display some of the Library’s earliest acquisitions. Founding donors to the Doe Library included Henry Douglas Bacon, Michael Reese, Benjamin Ide Wheeler, Mrs. Benjamin Avery, the Class of 1883, and the estate of Marius Spinello, a Berkeley professor in Romance languages from 1902-1904.
It is no surprise that many of Doe’s first tomes were in French and Italian. Works on display include the 1823 edition of Voltaire’s Oeuvres complètes, Tommaso Piroli’s Les monumens antiques du Musée Napoléon (1804), Litré’s Histoire de langue française (1869), Notizie per la vita di Lodovico Ariosto (1896), Dictionnaire historique et critique de Pierre Bayle (1820), and the Journal des sçavans (savants) – the world’s oldest scholarly journal first published in 1665 and still active today.
Hyperlinked titles listed above take you directly to the Berkeley-owned texts (now in public domain) that have been digitized and are freely available for the world to use through the HathiTrust Digital Library.