The Focus of Our Community
Renowned architect Louis I. Kahn was commissioned in November 1965 to design the Academy Library. Construction began in April 1969 and was completed in November 1971. In 1995, the library was officially named the Class of 1945 Library, honoring Dr. Lewis Perry, Exeter's eighth principal (1914-1946).
Two seminar rooms on the fourth floor are available for classes and meetings, as well as several Harkness tables throughout the building. There are 210 study carrels, two group study rooms, in addition to numerous reading lounges and long tables at which students can work together. The seating capacity of the Library can accommodate nearly half the student population of the Academy.
The Library staff includes librarians, an archivist, experienced associates and assistants who serve the Academy’s faculty, students and school community with expertise in their fields. At present,the Library provides access to approximately 300,000 print and electronic volumes. The print volumes are housed on nine levels with a shelf capacity of 250,000 volumes. The reference collection on the main floor contains more than 3,000 print volumes. The Library subscribes to 275 print magazines and newspapers and 60 databases. In addition, the Library has an extensive collection of DVDs and audio CDs.
Some 12,400 volumes are separated from the general circulating collection in smaller collections on the fourth floor, including the alumni/ae collection with more than 6,450 items. Such treasures as leaves from 13th- to 16th-century illuminated manuscripts, 16th-century wood engravings, original ships' logs, and early British and American newspapers are available for scholarly research and are displayed from time to time in special exhibits. The Library's Ottaway/Bown Adams Silent Film Library is a collection of more than 300 films produced in the United States, England, France, Germany, and Russia.
All items in the circulating collection of the Academy library are listed in the Online Computer Library Center’s (OCLC) WorldCat, and most are available to readers throughout the nation and the world on interlibrary loan.
Phillips Exeter Academy embraces the ideal of Universal Access on our campus. Entrances to the library are accessible and elevators provide access to upper floors.