George Merrick and more than 5000 guests attended the University of Miami’s dedication on the Coral Gables campus on February 4, 1926.


The University of Miami opened at the Anastasia Hotel in Coral Gables. Classes began on October 18, 1926 at the Anastasia Hotel in Coral Gables, which was considered a temporary campus due to time and budget constraints. There was a library in the building.


The move to the main campus started in 1946. In December 1949 the first central library was created. William G. Harkins was the first library director from 1946 to 1951.


Various departments of the library were housed in separate buildings around the campus until the construction of the Richter Library. Construction was done in two phases with a two-story building from Dec. 1959 to July 1960 and a the final portion from April 1961 to April 1962s


The new library was named after Otto G. Richter, 1892 - 1959, an accountant from Pittsburgh. He was one of the biggest benefactors of the university in the 1950s.

Groundbreaking was in 1959.


The Richter Library under construction.


Guests pose at Richter's dedication ceremony on June 10, 1962 with Otto G. Richter’s portrait.

Library Director Archie McNeal at the dedication.


The Library featured this grand staircase in the lobby. The Library also had an escalator, a very modern feature at that time.


The exterior of the stack towers were originally covered in blue tiles. In earlier years, the Library had closed stacks. Graduate students were the only students allowed access to the closed stacks.


The Library's major renovation saw the addition of the Dauer Clock Tower, the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion for the Cuban Heritage Collection, and a major renovation of the first floor and lobby.


Opened in 1962, the Otto G. Richter Library at the University of Miami celebrates 50 years of supporting scholarship, research, and discovery this fall. Today, the Library offers students and researchers one of the most comprehensive information resources in the Southeast and continues to build its print, multimedia, and networked information resources at a robust pace. Also, the Library promotes the humanities with year-round exhibitions in which exceptional and unique items are displayed and provides noteworthy cultural programming that includes prominent guest speakers from around the world.

Find out more about the Library and its history

News & Events

In the News

Richter Library celebrates 50 years with laughs, rare artifacts
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Richter Library to celebrate 50th anniversary throughout fall
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Five Decades in the Stacks: Richter Library Celebrates 50th Anniversary
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Global Perspectives Speaker Series: Robert Tomes
eVeritas, University of Miami - Not available online