Since its founding, the library at Princeton has grown from a collection of 474 volumes in one room of Nassau Hall to more than 11 million holdings in approximately 12 buildings throughout the campus. Considered one of the largest open-stack libraries in existence, the Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library functions as the main library on campus and assumes primary responsibility for the humanities and social sciences. Home to Special Collections, it also houses treasures such as the autographed manuscript of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby" and the papers of Nobel laureates Toni Morrison and Mario Vargas Llosa.
In the Firestone Library lobby and open to the public, the Ellen and Leonard Milberg Gallery highlights the library's collections while also drawing upon complementary collections from campus partners and institutions.
Access to most areas of Firestone requires a valid Princeton University campus identification card with photograph. Researchers and scholars not affiliated with the University are welcome to use many Firestone collections under certain conditions, although non-affiliated researchers may be subject to a fee for access or borrowing privileges. All visitors are advised to consult with the Access Office at (609) 258-5737 for details prior to arrival.
Specialized services within Firestone include:
- Scholarly Collections and Research Services
- Circulation Services
- Course Reserve Services
- Borrow Direct and Interlibrary Loan Services
- Data and Statistical Services
- Government Documents (Depository Access)
- Microforms Service
- Reading and Graduate Study Rooms
- Video Services
Use of collections in Special Collections by visiting researchers requires registration, including the presentation of photo identification (e.g., a driver's license). Appointments are not necessary, with the exception of the Scheide and Cotsen Children's Libraries.
Consult Firestone Floor Plans and Call Number Information to locate collections and services in Firestone Library.
The Harvey S. Firestone Memorial Library opened in 1948 as the first large American university library constructed after World War II. Roughly 1.5 million volumes were moved during the summer of 1948 from Pyne and Chancellor Green Halls, which until then had served as the University's main library. The library building was expanded in 1971 and again in 1988 and currently has more than 70 miles (110 km) of bookshelves, making Firestone one of the largest open-stack libraries in existence. Though not the largest university library in the world, the library has more books per enrolled student than that of any other university in the United States.
Firestone Floor Plans
Group Study Rooms
Group study rooms are available for Princeton University affiliates to work on group projects, and can be reserved ahead of time through the room reservation system. Rooms that are not reserved can be used on a walk-in basis.
Tiger Tea Room
The Tiger Tea Room at Firestone Library is open Mondays through Fridays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It offers coffee, tea, baked goods, and afternoon tea service. For reservations and more information, visit the Campus Dining website.