Eaton Library, 1908-1965


The Eaton Library, named after Charles Henry Eaton, was built in 1908 to house the Tufts College Library collection. The library collection was moved to the new Wessell Library in 1965 after construction was completed. The building that was Eaton Library became Eaton Hall.

History of Eaton Library

The Eaton Library, named after Charles Henry Eaton, opened in 1908.

Prior to the 1860-1861 school year, the first Tufts library began as the personal collection of President Hosea Ballou, incorporating both texts and manuscripts. In 1860, that collection was moved to Ballou Hall as a permanent library space for students to have easier access to the material. In 1886, the library moved to Middle Hall (later called Packard Hall) (Light on the Hill, 74). In 1906, Andrew Carnegie donated $100,000.00 to build the Eaton Library, in its own space. The Eaton Library, built in 1908, was named after Crane Theological School graduate Rev. Charles H. Eaton, who was the Carnegie family pastor and who graduated in 1874 (Light on the Hill, 201). The now-named Eaton Library opened in 1908 (Light on the Hill, 548).

In 1965, the entire collection of the Eaton Library moved into a brand-new building--the Wessell Library, named for Tufts University President Nils Y. Wessell.

The building that housed the Eaton Library then became Eaton Hall, which now houses departmental offices and a computer lab.

List of head librarians for Eaton Library:

  • President Hosea Ballou (prior to 1861/1862 academic year)
  • John Barry, 1861-1862
  • A.A. Keen, 1862-1866
  • William R. Shipman, 1865-1904
  • Helen L. Mellen, Assistant Librarian, 1904-1907, and 1869-1904 as Assistant Librarian
  • Ethel Hayes, 1907-1928, and 1928-1943 as Reference Librarian
  • Raymond L. Walkley, 1928-1955
  • Dorothy Markle Union, 1955-1956, (Interim Librarian)
  • Joseph S. Komidar, 1956-1981 (oversaw transition from Eaton Library to Wessell/Tisch Library)