Hill Museum & Manuscript Library completes major renovation

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September 19, 2014

The Hill Museum & Manuscript Library (HMML) at Saint John's University has completed a major renovation that addresses the changing technological and scholarly needs of its users.

The remodel maintains the unique style of Hungarian born architect Marcel Breuer, the original designer of the space in 1974, and includes a reading room, classroom, conference room, six private studies for visiting scholars and staff offices. Every space supports connection to HMML's online resources. New exhibition cases allow students and visiting scholars to conduct their research in an environment shaped by HMML's rich collections of rare books and art.

Staff offices and work spaces have been redesigned to support digital library services, as well as traditional curatorial activities. New heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, as well as fire and security systems, provide an optimal environment for HMML's collections and for those who use them.

"HMML's renovation recognizes that technology is now embedded in research and teaching. Now we can offer a range of spaces conducive to both individual and collaborative study," said the Rev. Columba Stewart, OSB, HMML's executive director. "With this renovation, HMML is positioned as a major center for research and outreach related to the cultures whose manuscripts we have photographed, cataloged and shared with the world."

HMML's main entrance has been reoriented to a foyer connected to Saint John's University's Alcuin Library, making HMML's reading room and scholar studies accessible during Alcuin Library's open hours. HMML's reference collection and other scholar services are available from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

McGough Construction of Minneapolis began the $2.3 million project on May 19. Funding for the project came from HMML's individual friends, organizations, corporations and foundations.

The HMML Gift Shop will remain closed until 2015. The Saint John's Bible merchandise can be purchased at the SJU Bookstore or the Liturgical Press, both on the SJU campus. A small exhibition of The Saint John's Bible can be found on the main floor of Alcuin Library in the reading room. For more information about The Saint John's Bible, contact Director Tim Ternes at tternes@csbsju.edu or 320-363-3351.