University of Mary Washington Then & Now

A Photography Exhibition

Simpson Library opened at the start of the Spring 1989 semester, named in honor of former university president Grellet C. Simpson. This building was constructed in the late 1980s as a replacement for Trinkle Library, which was heavily over capacity by that point. Originally designed to house about 100,000 books, its collection had swelled to about 300,000 by the 1980s. Situated along Campus Walk, Simpson has a number of features, including a climate-controlled archive room, offices,classrooms and meeting areas, as well as various scanning, printing, and computer stations. Yet the main asset is “nine miles of shelving capable of holding over a half-million items.”1 Several important groups are housed in the library, including the Special Collections archives and the ThinkLab, which features at 3D printer.

Construction of the Information and Technology Convergence Center started in June 2012. The ITCC is slated to open in the Fall of 2014, and will be joined onto the library, crossing over Campus Walk. According to the Office of the Provost, “The main floor of the building will have a walk up ‘e-station bar’ where users can quickly check e-mails or other communications.  Group collaboration spaces, designed to incorporate digital collaboration software and equipment, are also a part of the proposed building.  A multi-media editing studio will enable users ready access to computers with video editing and other similar software necessary for doing sophisticated digital productions.  The building will also include a small video production studio.”2 Furthermore, the Speaking and Writing Centers are planned to relocate to the Convergence Center.3

Simpson Now Resized

Simpson Library, 2014
Alexandria Parrish, "Simpson Library," March 21 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parrish. University of Mary Washington.

Convergence Center Now Resized

Convergence Center Construction, 2014
Alexandria Parish, "Convergence Center Construction," March 21 2014, Personal Collection of Alexandria Parish. University of Mary Washington.

Convergence Center rendering

Rendering of completed Convergence Center
Courtesy of Hanbury, Evans, Wright, and Vlattas.

Show 3 footnotes

  1. William B. Crawley Jr., University of Mary Washington: A Centennial History, 1908-2008 (Fredericksburg: University of Mary Washington Foundation, 2008), 372-75.
  2. University of Mary Washington Office of the Provost, “Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, (Accessed April 16, 2014).
  3. University of Mary Washington Media and Public Relations, “UMW Celebrates Construction of Convergence Center,” University of Mary Washington, (Accessed April 18, 2014).