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 during remodeling. On March 4, 1960, 150 people attended the ceremony during which the Tanners dedicated the library as a memorial to three sons of theirs who had died young.
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 7,500 volumes it houses today. The Tanners continued their patronage of the library over the next thirty years and in 1990 they helped to secure its future by enhancing an endowment they had established in 1961. And to this day, the Tanner's children and grandchildren continue to support Tanner library.