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Collier Library History: Collier Library History


1911 - First librarian is hired as part of staff

1932 - Library becomes a Depositor Library for government publications

1939 - A separate two-story building (now the Computer Center) is added to the campus.

1940 (March) - New library building opens

1949 - Library is named "Collier" in memory of Dr. C.B. Collier (Dean of Florence State Teacher's College from 1918-1946)

1961 - Construction begins on new 4-story library addition

1962  - New addition opens

1982 - Additional 4-story extension built

1989 - Online catalogs are introduced

1993 - Computer lab opens in the library

2005 - Wireless access introduced

Collier Library History

Photo taken before the 1983 addition


The Collier Library of the University of North Alabama has roots going back to its predecessor, Florence Wesleyan University, where library materials were provided by the campus literary societies.  When the university became a state-supported institution in 1872, the State Normal School at Florence catalogue noted that the library consisted of “such of the volumes of the Lafayette and Dialectical Societies as had been gathered together after the war.”  Several of those volumes still exist in Archives & Special Collections.  The first mention of a library other than these organizational collections occurs in the 1895-96 catalogue.  Housed in a single room on the second floor of the original campus building for years, around 1909 the library relocated to a larger room in the newly erected building annex.  When Bibb Graves Hall was completed in 1930, the library was relocated to that building’s second floor.  In 1932, the library became an official federal government publications depository; and, by 1934 it was the largest of the four State Teachers’ College libraries in the state. 

A separate two-story building housing the library opened in March 1940.  In 1949, the library was named Collier Library in honor and memory of Dr. C. B. Collier, who had served as Dean of Florence State Teachers College from 1918 until his death in 1946.  In 1961 construction began on a new addition to the library and renovations were made to the original building. Opened in April 1963, the four-level addition doubled the size of the library.  To meet the demands of a growing student body and an expanded collection, another four-story addition was built in 1982.  Once again, the size of the library almost doubled.  The original 1940 structure was renovated to accommodate the need for a campus computer center, which continues to be housed in that building.  In 2006-2007, Collier Library underwent a series of repairs on the 1961 wing that improved the integrity of the exterior support columns, corrected water leakage problems, and replaced windows.

In the 1980s, automation began and UNA joined the Library Management Network (LMN).  In 1989, public online catalogues brought full automation to the library.  That same year UNA joined the Network of Alabama Academic Libraries (NAAL).  In Summer 1993, as part of a two-year campus-wide automation update program designed to link every building on campus to a fiber optic network, a general-purpose computer lab was opened in the library.  Today the library provides computers and access to hundreds of electronic databases.  Wireless access was provided in 2005  and a laptop check-out program soon followed.

- Louise Huddleston (1/2011)


Annie Warren O'Neal 1912-1914

E.A. Henry 1915

Mary Hoskins 1916-1927

Florence Bethea 1928

Myrtle Emerson 1929-1946

Sophia Sullivan 1946-1951

Ruth Dacus 1951-1980

Dr. Fred Heath 1980-1987

Dr. Garry Warren 1987-2010

Dr. Melvin Davis 2010-2017



This page was created and compiled by Phillip Oliver (Librarian), Steve Burnett (Library Technical Assistant), Louise Huddleston (Archives), and Doris McDaniel (Access Services Librarian).