SPOTLIGHT ON A LEGACY: Treasures of the Design Library

Celebrating 100 Years of Service: Open House, October 17, 2014, 1:00-5:00 p.m.

An on-site library collection has been associated with the College of Design (formerly the School of Architecture and Allied Arts) since its founding a century ago. Camilla Leach was the first College of Design librarian. She came to Eugene in 1897 to serve as UO’s first registrar and one of its first librarians. In 1914, at age 66 (or 76, by some accounts), Miss Leach was transferred from the main library (now Fenton Hall) to the new school of architecture to manage its book and print collection and intermittently serve as secretary. She became an admired colleague during her employment over the next ten years.

”Miss Camilla reminded me of an “exquisite cameo who was classic in her perfection,” wrote Ellis F. Lawrence in a moving tribute to the librarian after her death in 1930. A library fund was created in her honor, and in the stacks one can still find bookplates with the text “Camilla Leach Collection of Art Books.”

In honor of Miss Camilla Leach, the Design Library will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the founding of the school with an open house that will feature the many treasures collected by the library over the past ten decades. On display in the library’s 3rd floor reading room will be historic student drawings dating from 1914-1970s, architectural models from classes taught by Marion Dean Ross, dating from the 16th century, archival slides, and original art by Maybeck, Mendelsohn, Whidden & Lewis, Albert Doyle, Ann and David McCosh, and others. The library’s first floor exhibit cases will feature a selection of artists’ books. The Design Library continues to thrive as the intellectual heart of the College of Design. We welcome your visit on October 17, 1-5 p.m., to see the legacy of one hundred years of collections and services.

Illustrations: Signal Tower, student drawing by Cloethial Woodard (Smith), 1930 (Design Library collection).
Camilla Leach, photograph, c. 1890s (Courtesy, UO Special Collections).

Page author: Ed Teague,

Design Library, 200 Lawrence Hall, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403