Passersby, curious about the distinctly unmusical sounds emanating from the shrouded Music Library (Rm 14E-109), have been peeking at the construction site through holes in the front door's paper curtains. Earlier this summer, some of those responsible for the work and fund-raising efforts got a closer view.
Among those donning hard hats to inspect the library were Professor Ellen T. Harris, who was instrumental in raising funds; principal donor Cherry Emerson (SM '41), who contributed half of the construction costs; Music Librarian Peter Munstedt and MIT Staff Architect Melanie Brothers. The facility has been gutted as new heating, plumbing and electrical systems were installed and a second-story mezzanine level added. The renovation will expand collection capacity by about 50 percent, provide modern listening and viewing equipment and a first-rate research facility, all within an architectural setting which uses musical themes and shapes as design elements.
Mr. Emerson, who graduated from MIT in 1941 with a degree in chemical engineering, has deep connections to the Institute. The library is to be named the Rosalind Denny Lewis Library, for the wife of the late MIT Professor Warren K. ("Doc") Lewis, Mr. Emerson's mentor and advisor at MIT. Mrs. Lewis was also Mr. Emerson's mother-in-law, as he married the Lewis' daughter, Mary. Mr. Emerson's niece, Professor Lewis' granddaughter, is Rosalind Williams, dean for undergraduate education.
Until they can complete the move into their new home, the Music Library staff has set up temporary quarters in the Map Room of the Science Library (Rm 14S-134) to offer materials which have been reserved for classes, renew or accept the return of items borrowed over the summer, and other limited services. The library is expected to reopen by early October.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 11, 1996.