Work on the new library building at Cornell will be begun as soon as possible. The site chosen for the building is at the southwest corner of the quadrangle, where the ground slopes rapidly to the south and to the west, thereby offering advantages which the architect has not failed to make use of. Thus the reading-room, which is entered from the grounds on the east side, is on a level with the fourth floor of the west stack-room, which has seven stacks each seven feet high; the delivery desk being then at the vertical middle of the stack. The stack is practically one of four stories.
According to the plans there are two stack-rooms, placed at right angles to each other; by this arrangement all the books are brought nearer the delivery desk, and future extensions of the stack-rooms are made an easy matter.
The building will be built of stone and will be fireproof throughout; electricity will be used to light it up and steam to heat it. Its extreme dimensions are one-hundred and seventy-three feet by one-hundred and fifty-six feet. The dimensions of the west stack are forty-seven feet by forty-four feet, with a capacity of two-hundred and fifty-four thousand volumes. The south stack is forty-two by forty-three feet and has six floors; the book-capacity is a good deal smaller than that of the west stack-it is one hundred and fifty thousand volumes-owing to encroachments by the reading room. Both stacks have a large number of large bay windows, furnishing excellent reading alcoves for special study. The general reading-room is one hundred and twenty-six feet by sixty-six; it has desk-room for two hundred and thirty-two readers and a window area of one thousand and twenty-five square feet to a floor area of six thousand six hundred and twelve square feet, thus being plentifully supplied with light during the day time. All around the reading-room are book-cases sufficient to contain a reference library of fourteen thousand six hundred volumes.
The reading-room for periodicals is next to the general reading-room; it is fifty-five feet by twenty-one, and has the same light advantages as the larger reading-room. Beneath the high side windows are book-cases with a capacity of six thousand seven hundred and fifty volumes.
The cataloguing-room is forty-five by twenty feet with a large bay twenty by fifteen feet, and has sufficient wall space for the bibliographical collection. Between the cataloguing room and the large reading-room is the librarian's office, placed at the centre of administration.
Directly over the cataloguing room is the President White Historical Library room, sixty-six feet by twenty-seven; the room itself is two stories high and has a book capacity of forty thousand volumes. Adjoining the White Library room on the two stories are four large seminary rooms, and these, together with the seminary rooms in the basement below the cataloguing room, make the total number of seminary rooms seven, with an average size of twenty by thirty feet.
Beneath the general reading-room is a large lecture room with nine hundred seats, and adjoining it is another large room lighted on two sides by high windows.
Besides these rooms are two large cloak rooms, one for women and the other for men. In the hall facing the entrance is a large fireplace with recesses for seats, where conversation can be carried on without disturbing readers.