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Coe Library

Coe Library

Built: 1957

Currently Houses: UW Libraries


Due to the Cold War’s resulting push for American academic excellence, the University of Wyoming decided a new library was an important and urgent goal. UW President G.D. Humphrey said, “With only one four–year educational institution in the state, Wyoming should have the best library facilities it is possible to provide. Someone has very fittingly said, that ‘the true university of these days is a collection of books.’

William Robertson Coe, a British financier who lived both in Oyster Bay, New York and Cody, Wyoming, bequeathed the university $1.2 million for the new library and School of American Studies department which was to reside in the library building. Milward Simpson, University of Wyoming Board of Trustees President and friend of Coe, was instrumental in securing Coe’s donation for the new library building. The library gift discussions materialized due to Simpson’s and Coe’s observation that the University of Wyoming did not have an adequate library to house Coe’s extensive western book collection.

The building was typical of the modular architectural style which was very popular during the 1950s. The building has also seen two additional major renovations. The latest of which, completed in 2009, significantly updated its features including major technology upgrades to compliment its over 1 million books and periodicals.

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