Fourth Level - Bates & Merwin Reading Room

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Ames Library Bates-Merwin Room


The Bates & Merwin Reading Room is the crown jewel of The Ames Library.  This circular space is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling mahogany bookcases which are accessed by an old-fashioned rolling library ladder. The reading room is richly appointed with pocket doors that can be closed to provide an intimate space for special occasions.

In honor of the late Minor Myers, Jr. (1942-2003), 17th president of Illinois Wesleyan University (1989-2003), this area houses the Minor Myers, Jr. Honors Collection. This collection contains over 2,200 books that have received honors throughout the world and includes award-winning books in the areas of art, cooking, fiction, history, poetry, science and more. Books from the Minor Myers, Jr. Honors Collection can be checked out from the library for a 28-day loan period, with the option of one renewal.

To browse the titles in this collection, access the online catalog and enter "Minor Myers Jr., Honors Collection". 

Directly outside the Bates & Merwin Reading Room are 16 stained glass panels from Pembroke College which are suspended from the skylights. They required extensive restoration, which was completed by a local company called A Touch of Glass and they created a documentary of their work.

The fourth floor completes our scholarly collection; on which you'll find books and resources in the Q - Z call number range. These books cover topics such as:

  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Geology
  • Biology
  • Zoology
  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Medicine
  • Computer Science
  • Mathematics
  • Photography
  • Military and Naval Science
  • Books, Book Industry, Library Science, and Bibliographies