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New Special Collections Center Includes High-Tech Classroom

APRIL 8, 2015 – THE BOOTH FAMILY CENTER for Special Collections, which includes a high-tech classroom designed specifically for teaching with rare and valuable items, is now officially open at Georgetown’s Lauinger Library.

Mark Dimunation, chief of the Rare Book and Special Collections Division at the Library of Congress, gave the keynote address at the March 23 celebration of the new center, which opened March 26.

The opening marked the completion of the $5 million renovation and expansion of the previous Special Collections Research Center on the fifth floor of Lauinger Library.


In addition to the high-tech classroom, the new center includes a revamped reading room and state-of-the-art storage and exhibition facilities.

“The Booths know what we know – that a research library’s strength and reputation will be enhanced by the unique and special materials it is able to offer,” said University Librarian Artemis Kirk. “In the digital age, when research libraries acquire many of the same materials, it is special collections that will distinguish libraries and their universities.”

“The Booth Family Center for Special Collections will be a rich resource for Georgetown University and for students and scholars worldwide – for generations to come,” she added.


A woman in a green coat views an exhibition called Treasures Since 2000.The March 23 celebration of the Booth Family Center for Special Collections, included the launch of the inaugural exhibition, Treasures Since 2000.

Kirk said the special collections classroom designed for teaching with rare and fragile primary resources will make it “easier than ever to integrate special collections into curriculum.”

The renovation was funded entirely through philanthropy, including a landmark $3 million gift from Suzanne Deal and David G. Booth, for whom the new center is named.

Barbara Ellis Jones (C’74) and members of the Lauinger family also gave lead gifts for the project.


Researchers, faculty and students are welcome to use the center during regular business hours to study items from the four Special Collections divisions: Rare Books, Manuscripts, the University Archives and the University Art Collection.

The addition of a classroom makes it easier than ever to include a class in the Booth Family Center for Special Collections.

Accompanying the opening celebration on March 23 was the launch of the inaugural exhibition, Treasures Since 2000.

The exhibition features some of the greatest items added to the collections since 2000, including the first Bible printed in America (1663) and a letter written by President Abraham Lincoln (1862).