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Nov. 23 & 24 - CLOSED

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Archives and Special Collections

History of Forsyth Library

The Western Branch of the State Normal School was established in 1902 with the library housed in the old fort hospital building. It had 702 volumes. In 1904, the library was relocated to Picken Hall where it stayed until 1916. After moving to the “Gymnasium” (now Martin Allen Hall), the library was moved back to Picken Hall in 1918 and remained there until 1926.

A new library building was finished in 1926 and was named Forsyth Library after General George A. Forsyth who had been an army officer stationed at Fort Hays. That same year, the Federal government designated it as a depository for documents. Through the years, as the library grew, new departments and services were added: audio-visual equipment, curriculum library and a western history collection.

President Cunningham recommended to the Board of Regents in 1960 that a new library building be constructed. Funds were authorized by the 1964 Kansas legislature, and by the fall of 1965, construction had begun on a new building located directly south of the old library, now McCartney Hall.

The new Forsyth Library opened its doors in 1967, and its three floors have been remodeled over the years to accommodate new departments and services. It currently houses the Writing Center, the Learning Commons, the Center for Ethnic Studies, the Honors College, the Tiger Food Exchange, and Makerspace, as well as the various library departments. Forsyth Library is a vital part of FHSU, past and present.


Lighthouse on the Plains: Fort Hays State University 1902-2002 by Dr. James Forsythe


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