Barret Library, made possible by a major gift from the Paul Barret, Jr. Trust, opened in August 2005. Paul Barret, Jr. (Class of 1946) was the nephew of Mr. and Mrs. A.K. Burrow, who provided for the construction of the Burrow Library in 1953. The 136,000-square-foot Paul Barret, Jr. Library, located in the center of Rhodes’ 123 acres, has become the symbolic heart of campus, and the placement reoriented the campus so that the academic core physically and symbolically connects with co-curricular facilities. Barret Library was designed by the firm of Hanbury Evans Wright and Vlattas and has been ranked among the country’s most beautiful libraries.
Barret Library is home to the Information Services division (under Academic Affairs), a union of Library Services, Information Technology Services, and Instructional Technology. Together, the division is committed to providing acquisition, organization, and circulation of resources with a wide range of technology resources to support the diverse work of faculty, staff, and students; as well as instruction to classes and individuals in effective information and technology literacy.
Services offered in Barret Library include 24-hour study space (Middle Ground) and group study rooms; assistance with technology and academic research at the Information Desk; the Check Out desk for obtaining various physical resources; support for over 150 technology-equipped classrooms and event spaces across campus; computer laboratories; and the Digital Media Lab. Partnering with various departments on campus, Barret Library also provides access to areas for peer-coaching, writing assistance, Podcast/Recording room, and the distraction reduced testing room for those students registered with the Office of Student Accessibility Services.
The Library collection includes materials that constitute valuable resources for undergraduate instruction in support of Rhodes' strong liberal arts curriculum. The research catalog is part of WorldCat, which connects and shares thousands of library catalogs across the country. The Barret Library operates an active interlibrary loan service for its faculty and students with libraries outside the Memphis area. In order to effect optimum inter-institutional library service to the students, faculty, and staff of the Greater Memphis Consortium, Barret Library joins the following libraries in making their collections available to each other’s students and faculty: Christian Brothers University Library, Hollis F. Price Library of LeMoyne-Owen College, Ned W. McWherter Library of the University of Memphis, and the Memphis Theological Seminary Library. Students are also entitled to library cards in the Memphis Public Library, which is a valuable community resource.
In addition we have four special collections housed in the Barret Library College Archives:
- Rhodes Archives (consists of publications about Rhodes of an historical nature, books written by faculty and alumni, as well as student honors papers)
- Richard Halliburton Collection (consists of manuscripts and artifacts relating to the life of this noted adventurer and author)
- Walter P. Armstrong, Jr. Book Collection (collection of first editions of English and American authors, many of which are autographed)
- Shelby Foote Collection, made possible through the generosity of Riea and Steve Lainoff
- DLYNX, the Archives digital repository, provides access to digital items of historical value and materials created by faculty, staff, and students, and resources from Memphis and surrounding areas. DYLNX is offered to everyone at Rhodes College as a digital repository for the management and dissemination of digital materials created at the College. The Ranking Web of World Repositories” lists DLYNX as 113 out of 1646 digital collections in North America which places it in the top 10%.
DLYNX materials includes, but are not limited to:
- Digital copies of the Sou’wester (the student newspaper, digitized from November 1919 to the present date)
- Student honor papers,
- Hundreds of images of student life from past decades
- Digital copies (January 6, 1968 through December 25, 1968) of the Memphis World (a Memphis newspaper that promoted racial pride and community-building by coverage of local and national issues concerning black politics, economic development, education, and the accomplishments of African Americans in past and present)
- Curb Archives (hosts collections of documents, interviews, tapes, and publications relating to the history of Memphis music that have been either gifted to the Institute or are being processed in collaboration with other organizations)