Memorial Library invites all members of the Berry College community to come explore our vibrant physical and virtual spaces. All our collections are designed to reinforce the efforts of students, faculty, and researchers from across the college curriculum. Our accessible staff is always ready to help wherever possible, from research support to technology lending, from information literacy instruction to interlibrary loans. Promoting academic freedom and constructive dialog, fostering intellectual growth and creative expression, providing the tools for learning, teaching, and scholarship - this is Memorial Library, and this is your space.
Memorial Library is a popular campus destination, spacious, well-furnished and centrally located on campus. Our focus is on creating a welcoming, student-centered environment.
Our 47,000+ square foot building includes more than 400 individual study seats, as well as comfortable group study areas, cozy study nooks, ample space for physical collections, and a coffee shop. The Sandbox, a technology-enriched learning space; the Active Learning Classroom; and the Library Classroom are available for reservation and open study. A new space for the Children's and Young Adult Collection, designed to model the environment Berry's Teacher Education students will find when they graduate, opened in 2022. The building is also home to the campus Academic Success Center, Writing Center, the Berry Information Technology Students Program (BITS) and a commons space for the college’s Honors Program.
Library collections include print materials, electronic books and journals, databases, and materials in a variety of media formats. Librarians and faculty work closely together to develop collections to serve the needs of the Berry community. In addition to over 600,000 physical volumes, hundreds of thousands of journals, ebooks, databases, and digital media are available through the online catalog. Memorial Library provides access to over 200 subscribed electronic databases, a combination of resources licensed directly by the library and made available through the library’s membership in the GALILEO (GeorgiA LIbrary LEarning Online) statewide consortium. As a selective member of the U.S. Federal Depository Library Program, the library's collection also includes government documents, both electronic and print. The College Archives houses the official records of the college, the Martha Berry Collection (the correspondence, speeches, and writings of the institution’s founder), and materials that document the life and history of the institution. The Martha Berry Digital Archive Project, begun in 2011, aims to digitize and expose for public and scholarly use the Martha Berry Collection. Berry College students, faculty and staff have access to a wide range of additional materials through interlibrary loan.
Memorial Library combines the old and the new. The oldest part of the library - the front section facing east - was first opened in October 1926. Kate Macy Ladd, an early friend and important benefactor of Berry, gave this part of the building and an endowment for its upkeep. The gift was a memorial to her sister-in-law, Elizabeth Carpenter Macy, wife of V. Everit Macy, another friend of Berry and a trustee from 1909 until 1915. Early photographs present the building as “Macy Memorial Library, and in letters to Kate Macy Ladd, Martha Berry refers to it as the Edith Macy Memorial Library. The building was designed by Boston architectural firm Coolidge and Carlson.
Looking toward the 1950s, there was a need to expand the library due to the schools’ continuous growth in student enrollment. In 1956-57, the Max C. Fleischmann Foundation funded an expansion of the original library in honor of Sarah Hamilton Fleishmann, a longtime friend of Martha Berry. The addition was designed by Cooper, Barrett, Skinner, Woodbury and Cooper of Atlanta, and built by J.P. Roberts & Sons, Contractors, of Rome.
The library was extended again in 1976 with the addition of 4,000 square feet for book stacks. In January 1987, the trustees approved plans submitted by Buckley and Associates of Swainsboro, Georgia, for renovation and expansion. The 1976 addition was removed and a new section added, increasing the library to more than twice its previous size. Hubor Construction Company of Texas did the major portion of the construction; Berry’s physical plant department in 1988 completed interior finishing work. The dedication ceremony was held in May 1989. The added space provided new areas for the physical collections, the archives, a classroom, group study rooms, and an elevator.
For each of the additions, the three tall, arched windows that were installed in 1926 were carefully removed and reset in the new west wall, providing a clear view of the College Chapel.
Edith Carpenter Macy (1869-1925) was a philanthropist, suffragist, and prominent member of the Girl Scout National Board of Directors. In 1911, Edith Macy was one of the founders of the Women's Cosmopolitan Club, which was a private social club that was organized to benefit New York women interested in arts, literature, and philanthropy. As Chairman of the Board, she help led the Girl Scouts Organization from 1919 to 1925, and involved the Girl Scouts in the final campaign that helped pass the 19th amendment. Once the 19th amendment passed, Mrs. Macy became the Director of the Westchester League of Women Voters. She was also very active in charities that helped women and children, including the Westchester County Children's Association, which she helped found. During the Henry Street Settlement, Mrs. Macy supplied "pure milk" from her farm at Chilmark. Interested in the Berry Schools, she was a large contributor, and visited the schools the April before her death.
Sarah Hamilton Sherlock Fleischmann (1881-1960) was the wife of Max C. Fleischmann, who was the American "Yeast King" and a philanthropist. Little information can be found about Mrs. Fleischmann; most information is in relation to her husband. After their wedding, Mr. and Mrs. Fleischmann took a long trip where they visited the Caribbean and West Indies, then went north for an Arctic voyage to the North Pole. On the trip to the Arctic, Mrs. Fleischmann is reported to have shot a big polar bear that approached their ship. Sarah Hamilton Sherlock Fleischmann is said to have shared her husband's love of travel and automobiles, as well as had an old interest in horses. As early as 1905 she had her own motor car which she drove herself. In the book Gentleman in the Outdoors, the author says that Mrs. Fleischmann did some work with Red Cross (page 78). Mrs. Fleischmann's obituary in the Reno Gazette-Journal quoted a University of Nevada honorary degree citing Mrs. Fleischmann's "many anonymous acts of generosity to young womanhood, underprivileged your and to the causes of culture and higher learning." Mrs. Fleischmann was a long-time supporter of the Berry schools. On a 1939 letter accompanying Mrs. Fleischmann's annual gift, Martha Berry noted "old faithful - personal Be sure to remind she & husband promised to visit us when they visit S.C. in 1940."
Ondina Gonzalez was Director of Memorial Library from 1976-1995. She played an important role in the design and expansion of the library, so that during her tenure its collection more than doubled, the physical plant was equally expanded, and the entire operation was automated by employing emerging technologies. She was an active member of the American Association of University Women, the Georgia Library Association, and the Southeastern Library Association. Her professional expertise and insight were sought out on accreditation teams visiting colleges and universities across the country and internationally. Mrs. Gonzalez and her family immigrated to the United States from Cuba in 1961. Of that experience, she wrote "The only way I can describe that first year is by calling it one of the most difficult, despairing, distressing and saddest years in my life." She and her husband, Berry Professor of Religion, came to Berry in 1962, where Mrs. Gonzales first worked as a cataloger. Mrs. Gonzales wrote: “My personal experience as an immigrant in this country was one of acceptance and welcome. My authority in my work or in organizations I headed was never questioned or challenged, nor was I disrespected or humiliated for who I was.”