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Our Organization: Support the Caltech Library

Support the Caltech Library

first, second, and third place awards on a podium

A gift to the Library is a contribution to the research and teaching mission of the Institute, such as:

  • recognizing excellence in student research through the Three Minute Thesis competition
  • celebrating the 500,000th download of John D. Roberts' foundational textbook in organic chemistry
  • addition of the group study rooms in the Sherman Fairchild Library to support student collaboration
  • new research databases in the humanities
  • conservation of rare and valuable books held in the Institute Archives
  • support for staff to keep abreast of new library technologies by attending seminars and workshops

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Target Initiatives of the Caltech Library and Caltech Archives

The Library is in the midst of an ambitious makeover, rising to the twin challenges of constantly evolving twenty-first century scholarship and ever increasing budgetary constraints. What are we working on? Find out more below. 

If you would like to learn more about a particular initiative, or to support it, please contact us. We would love to hear from you.

Research and Scholarship

  • Senior Thesis Prize – created in 2010 by The Friends to reward exemplary undergraduate theses
  • Three Minute Thesis – a competition for final year graduate students to explain their research in three minutes
  • Instruction – Staff teach a variety of classes related to current practices in digital scholarship, such as citation management, copyright essentials, plagiarism, and data management
  • The Multimedia Conference Room is covered in wall-to-wall whiteboards. It includes a 90" HDTV monitor and digital projector with touch, annotation, and capture capability
  • New third floor Sherman Fairchild Library meeting room with a pilot virtual reality environment that is available to the entire Caltech community
  • TechLab – 3-D printing, scanning, electronic kits, and more in our new TechHub


  • The Grant and Naomi Venerable Fund provides support for items related to the human condition, especially African-American or Native American cultures. This fund allowed the library to supplement its access to the African-American Newspapers Series. 
  • The Harold Roach Fund provides support for items related to the humanities. This fund helped the library purchase access to HeinOnline, an image-based government document and legal research database.
  • The Richard Feynman Memorial Book Fund for the purchase of physics books allowed the library to purchase a number of physics titles as well as the Springer Ebook Package in physics and astronomy.
  • Dr. Eldon Knuth, GALCIT PhD 1954, donated his personal collection of the proceedings of the International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics. The biennial conference started in 1958 and continues in July with the 31st International Symposium on Rarefied Gas Dynamics at the University of Strathclyde. The Caltech Library has collected the proceedings of this important conference from the beginning, but lacked four rare volumes which were published in Europe and Asia. Dr. Knuth’s donation allows the library to provide seamless access to the complete run of the conference proceedings. We thank the Office of the Director of GALCIT for facilitating this donation and Dr. Knuth for his generosity.

The History of the Institute

Previous Donations

The Caltech Library digital bookplates recognize the support from endowments and gifts in building collections and supporting all aspects of the Library's work and mission.