The History of Spooner Hall
  • Spooner Hall is the oldest continuously used academic structure on campus.
  • Opened in 1894, Spooner Hall was designed by noted American architect Henry van Brunt.
  • It was the University’s first freestanding library, built thanks to a bequest from Boston leather merchant William B. Spooner.
  • From 1926 to 1979, Spooner Hall was known as the Spooner-Thayer Museum of Art, housing Sallie Casey Thayer’s collection of about 7,000 works.
  • From 1979 to 2002, the building served as the KU Museum of Anthropology.
  • Today, the anthropology collections remain in Spooner for use by scholars and students. The ethnographic collections have joined the Spencer Museum of Art. The Archaeological Research Center and its collections are a unit within the Biodiversity Institute.

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