The Stanford Art Department was reorganized and expanded in the early 1960s by its new chairman, Prof. Lorenz Eitner, who had been recruited from the University of Minnesota. A Ph.D. program in art history was established and plans made for the founding of a major research branch library to provide informational support for faculty research and all of the Art Department's programs. Jean Finch, a Stanford University Libraries cataloger with a background in art history, was named head art librarian in 1966. Plans for an art building, including space for the library, were developed, and ground was broken in 1969. Finch, meanwhile, had been given large amounts of acquisitions money and had begun an intensive collection development program, including buying trips to Europe.
By the time the new art building, with its library space, opened in 1970, the collection numbered between 20,000 and 30,000 volumes, including art-related titles that Finch had gathered from other Stanford Libraries collections. She remained head art librarian until 1975, when she left to be director of libraries at the Art Institute of Chicago. At that point, there were about 70,000 volumes in the collection.
Development of the Art & Architecture Library collection continued, albeit at a slower rate, under Finch's successor, Alex Ross (1975- ), and assistant art librarians, Marguerite Grady (1979-84), Amanda Bowen (1986-92) and Peter Blank (1993- ). Today the collection contains about 150,000 volumes.
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