Irwin Library in 2012

The Irwin Library is one of the three libraries operated by Butler University, Indianapolis, United States.[1] Minoru Yamasaki was the lead architect, and constructed the library in the architectural style of New Formalism.[2] Construction of the library cost $2.25 million, of which $1.5 million was underwritten by the Irwin-Sweeney-Miller foundation.[3] After construction was finished, the library's first day of operation was on September 9, 1963. The library was named in honor of William G. Irwin,[4] who served as a trustee of Butler University from 1908 until his death in 1943.[5]

Irwin Library consists of the business, education, curriculum, and liberal arts resources as well as the performing and fine arts collections.[6] Butler University's second library, the Ruth Lilly Science Library, contains resources for Biological Sciences, Chemistry, Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Actuarial Science, Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and Physics.[7] Butler University's third library, the Education Resource Library, serves the College of Education by providing access to children’s, young adult, curricular, and professional resources.[8]

In 2021, a six-person panel of American Institute of Architects (AIA) Indianapolis members identified Irwin Library among the ten most "architecturally significant" buildings completed in the city since World War II.[9]


On February 21, 2017, Irwin Library participated in Butler University's celebration of America's entry into World War I by displaying two exhibits: "The Great War: From Ration Lines to the Front Lines" and "Exploring the Great War Through the Arts".[10] Butler University also held a concert featuring sheet music from "Exploring the Great War Through the Arts": "Britain, the USA,--and Indiana, The Great War in Song: Popular and Art Songs From and About World War I".[11]

Study Rooms

Irwin Library features study rooms for individuals and groups that can be used for up to four hours at a time.[12] Students can reserve study rooms ahead of time using Butler University's online reservation system.[13]


  1. ^ "Spaces". Butler University. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  2. ^ Holden, Matt (September 25, 2013). "Book Smart: Butler University's Irwin Library Turns 50". Indianapolis Monthly. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  3. ^ "Irwin Library Dedicated as Idea 'Treasure House'", The Republic, p. 5, May 3, 1965, retrieved 12 August 2016
  4. ^ "Irwin Library". Butler University. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
  5. ^ "William Irwin Dies in Office", The Indianapolis Star, p. 9, December 15, 1943, retrieved 12 August 2016
  6. ^ "About". Butler University. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Science Library". Butler University. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  8. ^ "Education Resource Library". Butler University. Retrieved 2 March 2023.
  9. ^ Shuey, Mickey (December 3, 2021). "Indy's Top 10 architecturally wondrous buildings". Indianapolis Business Journal. IBJ Media. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  10. ^ Brown, Chris. "Irwin Library Commemorates 100th Anniversary of World War I". The Butler Collegian. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Remembering World War I In Song And Verse". The Butler Connection. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  12. ^ "Study Rooms". Butler University. Retrieved 16 June 2017.
  13. ^ "Butler University Irwin Library Study Room Reservations". Butler University. Retrieved 16 June 2017.

39°50′18″N 86°10′14″W / 39.8382°N 86.1705°W / 39.8382; -86.1705