By Alex Chau
Over the next three years, the Hoover Institution will replace the Lou Henry Hoover building, renovate the exhibition space in Hoover Tower and add more storage for library materials.
The new building will be called the George Shultz Fellows Building in honor of George Shultz, the former secretary of state and a Hoover Fellow. It will include offices for Hoover Fellows as well as a new digital lab which can convert physical materials from the Hoover collections into virtual images.
Hoover Tower itself will house a renovated exhibition space on the first floor, with new environmental controls and updates to the stacks in the Tower.
“[The Hoover Institution] is entering its centennial year, so there’s a big effort to look forward into what we need for the next 100 years,” said Jean Cannon, the curator for North American Collections at the Hoover Institution Library & Archives. “It seemed like a good time to start thinking about how the buildings on the campus can be updated.”
The two wings on either side of Hoover Tower being renovated have previously housed permanent exhibits focusing on the lives of Herbert Hoover and his wife, Lou Henry Hoover. Once the exhibition wings are renovated, they will be used to showcase the main, rotating exhibits — currently housed in the Hoover Memorial Pavilion — according to assistant director Jeffrey Jones.
Relocating the main exhibitions to the Tower from the Memorial Pavilion ensures that people passing through to visit the observation deck at the top of the Tower will see the rotating exhibits.
“There are a lot of people who visit Hoover Tower to go to the observation deck, so this will actually give our archives a lot more visibility, in terms of our exhibits,” Jones said.
After the two wings are renovated and the main exhibits moved, the Hoover Memorial Pavilion will house a conference room to replace the Annenberg Conference Room of the Lou Henry Hoover building until the new George Shultz building is completed and an additional conference room is constructed.
Nearly 50 percent of the Institution’s collections will need to be shifted both within Hoover and to offsite storage as a result of construction, according to Erin Wakin, deputy director of the Hoover Institution. Some Library & Archive materials will begin to be stored at an offsite location in Livermore in collaboration with Stanford Libraries, and the Institution is currently working on moving collections offsite. As a result, the Library & Archives reading room — located in the Memorial Building — will be closed to most researchers until early 2020. At this point, demolition of the Lou Henry Hoover Building and construction of the George Shultz Fellows Building will begin.
While the reading rooms are closed, researchers may request digital copies of some material. In addition, the other aspects of the Library & Archives, including fellowships, classes, exhibits, digitization, collecting and description, will continue.
The hope is that the construction ushers the Hoover Library into a new centennial, and “re-imagine[s] how the Hoover Library & Archives can serve students, scholars, and the public,” Wakin said.
This article has been updated to correct the misspelling of Eric Wakin’s name. The Daily regrets this error.