Please share your memories of Friedsam Library by clicking one of the links below.
March 7, 2013--
June 8, 2013--
Alumni Hall housed the campus library for 50 years but was no longer big
enough to do the job.
Fr. Albert, the librarian, provided the inspiration for the construction
of the library and Fr. Thomas Plassmann, O.F.M., the president, found
the funding. Colonel
Michael Friedsam, a successful New York City businessman, had left much
of his large fortune “for the care and education of the young and the
care and comfort of the aged.”
The foundation established to carry this out had no difficulty in
supporting the construction of the library now bearing his name.
Construction proceeded without incident over the following nine months
until moving day arrived on Feb. 17, 1938.
The St. Bona Venture
reported that “modern scientific methods” were employed to shift the
collection between its Alumni Hall location and its new home.
A “bucket brigade” was set up by students and staff, Fr. Tom led
the way carrying one of the large Bibles and the campus population
shifted the books, handing them from one to the next past De La Roche
Hall and into Friedsam Library.
Fr. Claude Kean, O.F.M., the music director, played marches on
the organ to encourage the laborers in their work.
The move was so successful that the new library was open for
business the next day.
When the day of dedication arrived a few weeks later
Fr. Albert was not there to share in the fruits of his inspiration.
He had died as a result of injuries suffered in an accident not
long after the groundbreaking.
Nonetheless, his name needs to be attached very firmly to the
history of the library. His
successor, Fr. Irenaeus Herscher, O.F.M., took the role of the first
director of the new library and served in that capacity until his
retirement in 1970. John
Macik (1971-1993) followed him, and now Paul Spaeth is only the third to
hold that position.
The anniversary celebration will include a rededication ceremony on March 7, 2013. Alumni are invited to share their reminiscences of Friedsam Library at friedsamlibrary75.wordpress.com. You will be able to leave both text and voice records of your memories of life in the library. Other events will include a series of displays, open houses and tours of the rare books collections of the Holy Name Library for the Franciscan Institute. An Open House will be held for Alumni during Alumni Weekend.