This neoclassical building, which opened in 1968, honors Kenneth A. Spencer (1902-60), a 1926 graduate who founded the Spencer Chemical Co. and the Midwest Research Institute of Kansas City, MO.
The library was built with a grant from his widow, Helen Foresman Spencer, who attended KU, and the family foundation.
It was designed by architect Robert Jenks of Kansas City, a 1926 graduate and classmate of the Spencers, and built of white Indiana limestone. Its terrace adjoins Strong Hall to the south.
It houses the University Archives (chancellors’ papers, buildings, athletics, student life; publications, timetables, yearbooks; photographs and videotapes); the Kansas Collection (state and county depository, maps, genealogies, photographs, political literature, books and periodicals); and Special Collections (ancient, medieval, Renaissance, 18th-century, Irish, science and education resources). It is open to the public for research.