Occupying one room with 1,000 books at 9 University Place, the Bryson Library opened in 1887 in support of the Kitchen Garden Association (later called the Industrial Education Association) founded by Grace Hoadley Dodge, whose extraordinary vision and generosity led to the establishment of New York College for the Training of Teachers. By 1924, a new library occupied Russell Hall on the expanded 120th Street campus. The former Milbank Memorial Library became the Gottesman Libraries, complete with three fully renovated floors and state-of-the-art learning theater, thanks to generous gifts by Ruth Gottesman and Camilla and George Smith to Teachers College, whose affiliation with Columbia College (now Columbia University) dates from 1889, and whose relationship fosters mutually beneficial resource sharing and growth.
The Gottesman Libraries serves as the education library of the university. We collect, maintain, make accessible, and teach research resources in education, psychology, and the applied health sciences – resources, including many special collections, that are attuned to the needs of our graduate students, faculty, and staff, and the wider community of researchers and scholars in pursuit of historical inquiry.
Concentrating on pedagogical research, curriculum and children’s literature, and the history of our institution, we offer significant breadth and depth of perspective, with education broadly inspired by the College’s great practitioners and philosophers, among them John Dewey, who saw it as a social function, direction, and growth for the greater common good.
We aspire to excellence in advancing and sharing transformative knowledge to develop informed and engaged thinkers and leaders in the educational, psychological, and health professions. We envision the library, beyond walls, as heart and soul for the exchange of thoughts and ideas that inform a smarter, healthier, and more equitable world enlightened by history, leadership, and innovation.