Skip to Main Content

OSU Buildings Histories in the Special Collections and Archives Research Center

Building History

A color image of Kidder Hall.

When space in Benton Hall was inadequate for the library collection, administrators looked to John Bennes to design a new building. Originally named “The Library” when it opened in 1918, it was later called Kerr Library. The space quickly filled with books, offices, and classrooms. It expanded in 1941 with the addition of the west wing. The space still wasn’t enough, and in 1962 the college began construction on a new building. When the new library building opened in 1963 it kept the Kerr name. The old library was renovated, including filling the reading rooms with an additional floor for classrooms, labs and faculty offices and was renamed Kidder Hall after Ida Angeline Kidder, the college’s first professional librarian who served from 1908 to 1920. She fought constantly for better library facilities for the growing campus. Note: from 1927-1963, Fairbanks Hall was also named Kidder Hall.

General Information


2000 SW Campus Way, Corvallis, OR 97331


John Bennes

Year Built



In 1941 a new wing was constructed on the building’s west side. The historic two-story reading rooms were in-filled with an additional floor in the 1950s to provide more space for the collection. In the 1980s, freestanding stairs were added, and in 2000, an elevator and energy efficient window replacements were installed.

Square Footage



Originally built as a library, it also has offices and class room space

Previous Name(s)

The Library, William Jasper Kerr Library


Ida Kidder, the college’s first professional librarian in 1908, and urged the college to construct a new library to serve the needs of the growing student body. 

Historic District

Yes; contributing building 




Facilities Services Records, 1888-2003. Series XX:  Campus, Farm, and Property Maps, 1899-1990. Campus and Farm Maps: 3-A

Oregon State University Campus Maps, 1894-1994


Oregon State University Historical Photographs, 1868-1980

Further Archival Information

SCARCThe Special Collections and Archives Research Center holds several collections documenting Kidder Hall, including numerous photographs and mentions in personal papers or scrapbooks.

Oregon Digital: Oregon Digital includes both textual and photographic resources documenting the history of Kidder Hall.