Main content start

Brief History

Obert C. & Grace Tanner c. 1990

In 1950 a gift of books from the late Professor Harold C. Brown was put on the shelves in one of the small classrooms in the Philosophy Department. Later faculty coordinated duplicates from Green Library to be moved to the "Philosophy Library" that was slowing growing. By 1959, the collection had grown to about 700 volumes.

That same year philosopher and philanthropist, Obert C. Tanner, MA '37, and wife, Grace A. Tanner, (pictured left) offered to underwrite the costs of creating a library within the department. On March 4, 1960, 150 people attended Tanner's opening ceremony, during which the Tanners dedicated the library as a memorial to three of their sons who had passed away.

The library collection has developed steadily over the years, from the original bequests of books by Professors Henry W. Stuart and Clarence I. Lewis, to the 7,000 volumes it houses today. The Tanners continued their patronage of the library over the next thirty years and in 1990 they secured its future by enhancing an endowment they established in 1961. The Tanner's children and grandchildren continue to support Tanner library to this day.