Private donors have contributed approximately $900,000 for the renovation of the former lobby of the Rose Memorial Library, creating a space that will honor Governor Kean and provide an exceptional reading room for the use of students. The project will begin this spring, according to Heath B. McLendon, the longtime university trustee who led the fundraising effort.

A major collection of Kean’s personal and public papers, given to Drew as the Governor Thomas H. Kean Collection, is already archived, indexed online, and accessible for research:
The papers cover Kean’s years as governor of New Jersey, from 1982-90, and as president of Drew from 1990-2005. Kean said he considered them a valuable resource for students of politics and government.

The Kean Reading Room will include some personal possessions, including a chandelier that hung in his mother’s home and a large portrait of himself in academic robes given to him by Drew faculty. The space will be furnished with comfortable armchairs, study tables, and a dedicated computer station for searching and displaying digitized items from the archive.

Representative items from the collection will also be exhibited.

“Over the decades the room had become a very pedestrian space with stacks and study carrels,” said Andrew Scrimgeour, dean of libraries. “We will restore it to its former beauty, and give it the feeling, on a smaller scale, of some of the grand spaces of the older celebrated libraries.”

originally published in Visions, Spring 2011