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Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

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Title: Joe and Rika Mansueto Library  
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Subject: University of Chicago Library, Library buildings completed in 2011, Center for Population Economics, List of University of Chicago people, University of Chicago Contemporary Chamber Players
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Joe and Rika Mansueto Library

Joe and Rika Mansueto Library
Mansueto Library
Country United States
Type Academic library
Established 2011 (2011)
Location Hyde Park, Chicago
Branch of University of Chicago Library
Items collected books, journals, newspapers, magazines, sound and music recordings, maps, prints, drawings and manuscripts
Size 3.5 million (capacity)
Access and use
Members 33,000
Other information
Director Judith Nadler

The Joe and Rika Mansueto Library is the newest library of the University of Chicago, named after alumni Joe Mansueto and Rika Mansueto. The library has a capacity of 3.5 million volumes. It was designed by Helmut Jahn, of Murphy/Jahn and because of the elliptical shape of its dome, it is affectionately known as the “Reg Egg.”

History and Construction

Mansueto Library, designed by Chicago-based architect Helmut Jahn, consists of a glass-domed reading room, above high-density closed bookstacks which can be accessed through an automated storage and retrieval system. Mansueto allows the university to maintain the vast majority of its library holdings on campus in a centrally located facility, while creating space to accommodate new acquisitions for approximately 20 years.[1]

Planning for the library grew out of studies beginning in 2003 by a faculty task force because other campus libraries, primarily the Regenstein Library, were running out of space for new books. In 2005, the board of trustees approved building a high-density storage facility next to the Regenstein building.[2] The choice of Helmut Jahn was made in February 2006. Construction began in 2008, and the building was dedicated in late 2011.[3] Mansueto has won a number of prizes, including a Distinguished Building Award from the American Institute of Architects Chicago Chapter in 2011.[4]


  • Height of the dome at the highest point: 35 feet
  • Length: 240 feet
  • Width: 120 feet
  • Storage capacity: 3.5 million volumes
  • North American libraries with larger automated storage and retrieval systems: 0
  • Typical book retrieval time: 5 minutes


  1. ^ "Joe and Rika Mansueto Library". The University of Chicago Library.  
  2. ^ "Background Documents". The University of Chicago Library.  
  3. ^ "Project Timeline". The University of Chicago Library.  
  4. ^ "Joe and Rika Mansueto Library". AIA Chicago 2011 Design Excellence Awards.  
  5. ^ "Mansueto by the Numbers". The University of Chicago Library.  

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