Library History

Library Mission

The Libraries support the university by helping to promote excellence in learning, research and teaching.  This is achieved through providing access to a wide array of information resources, services and facilities.


Hampton Institute's Libraries 1868-1980's

  • General Samuel Chapman Armstrong established first Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute library collection in the Mansion House
  • Library collection filled the reading rooms of Virginia Hall by the end of the 19th century

  • In 1903, Collis P. Huntington Library constructed to hold expanding library collection
  • Designed by W.F. Brooks, Huntington Library featured craftsmanship of Hampton Institute Trade School students
  • Renovations and additions in 1920 and 1968 supported transition from vocational school to liberal arts college curriculum
  • Hampton Institute became Hampton University in 1984
  • By the 1980’s, Huntington building proved inadequate to meet the needs of a modern university

Huntington Library Staff in the rotunda circa 1980's


Hampton University's Libraries 1992-present

  • New, state-of-the-art building, constructed to support comprehensive university collection
  • Named for Hampton University’s twelfth president, William R. Harvey, and his wife, Norma B. Harvey
  • Designed by architects Hubert Taylor and William Mulligan of Livas Associates, Hampton alumni

Presentation drawing of William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library

  • Dedicated on January 26, 1992, the William R. and Norma B. Harvey Library became the main academic library for Hampton University
  • Departmental libraries in Architecture and Music provide additional information resources on the main campus
  • Huntington building renovated for University Museum and Archives in 1996
  • Information resource center established to serve Hampton University College of Virginia Beach in 2003