Hayden history

The move to Hayden Library on August 10, 1966, required the transfer of 600,000 volumes from the old Matthews Library. The architectural firm of Frederick Weaver and Richard Drover designed the five-story tower building that would later, in 1989, be expanded to include Hayden’s underground concourse and entrance level.

Over the last five decades, ASU’s largest library has served uncounted students, faculty and researchers in search of knowledge on every topic from Art History to Zoology. For many, Hayden has served as a daily office, a meeting space and a haven for special collections unique to Arizona.

Photograph of Charles T Hayden

There is no other person more significant to the history of Arizona State University and the City of Tempe than their founder, Charles Trumbull Hayden, for whom Hayden Library is named.

A prominent businessman and developer, Hayden established the town of Tempe, its cable ferry, grist mill and general store, and saw the economic value of bringing to the town an educational institution during a time of dramatic population growth in the Arizona Territory. In 1885, legislation was passed to establish the Territorial Normal School. With support from the citizens of Tempe, Hayden was able to secure 20 acres of land, donated by George and Martha Wilson in exchange for $500, on which the original four-room schoolhouse was built.

More importantly, the 20-acre plot would later ensure the establishment of a university.

Through the years

Hayden Library surrounded by scaffolding with a large crane in the foreground.
1965: In the early 1960s, the architectural firm of Frederick Weaver and Richard Drover finalized plans for Hayden Library, seen here under construction in 1965.
A library worker checks books out for students using a computer punch card system.
1966: The move to Hayden Library began on August 10, 1966, requiring the transfer of 600,000 volumes from Matthews Library.
Charles T. Hayden speaks in front of a large crowd in front of the entrance to Hayden Library.
1966: At Hayden’s dedication, which took place November 22, 1966, then Senator Carl T. Hayden spoke at the event, sharing the rich history of civic contributions by his father, Charles Trumbull Hayden, the library’s namesake.
A man examines a microcard document pulled from a wall of shelves filled with microcard boxes.
1969: The library’s millionth volume, acquired in fiscal year 1968-69, was Historia Naturae, by Juan Eusebio Nieremberg, printed in Antwerp, by B. Morati Plantiniana, in 1635. The early work on the subject of natural history was written before the time of …
A person wearing white cotton gloves holds open a large volume for display.
1969: By 1968, plans to build a rare books room in Hayden Library were underway. The new area, designated Special Collections and opened in 1969, was intended to house not only rare books but also manuscripts and correlative artifacts. Pictured here is an …
A newspaper clipping from an article about the Chicano collection.
1970: Established in 1970, the Chicano/a Studies Collection has become the largest Mexican- American archival collection today in Arizona. Dr. Christine Marín, pictured, served as the collection’s original curator and archivist.
Color drawing of Hayden Library and the underground library entrance.
1989: Depicted in this artist rendering, the underground entrance and concourse level of Hayden Library were established in 1989 to expand the library and its services in support of the university’s growing student body.
A page from the Gutenberg Bible is displayed in a glass case next to typed pages.
1991: The Gutenberg Bible leaf, among the rare items in Special Collections, was acquired in 1991 through contributions from university and community donors under the auspices of Friends of the ASU Libraries.
Two men and two women stand in front of the windows of the Labriola National American Indian Data Center.
1993: The Labriola National American Indian Data Center, made possible by a generous endowment gift from Frank and Mary Labriola (pictured right), was officially dedicated on April 1, 1993.
Two students check the settings on a 3D printer.
2016: Launched in March 2016, ASU Library mkrservices works to integrate the maker movement into learning and research at ASU. Located throughout ASU, makerspaces offer students, staff and faculty the tools and guidance to tinker, collaborate and create.