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Library Named in Honor of James Dickson Carr

February 13, 2017
James Dickson Carr Library

Kilmer Area Library on the Livingston Campus will be renamed the James Dickson Carr Library.

James Dickson Carr

James Dickson Carr graduated from Rutgers in 1892.

This week, the Board of Governors voted to recognize and commemorate the roles that African Americans have played throughout university history by naming buildings and an area of Rutgers University.

The new College Avenue Apartments will be named for abolitionist and women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth and the walkway from Old Queens to the Voorhees Mall will now be called Will’s Way, in honor of a slave who laid the foundation of Rutgers’ iconic administration building Old Queens and whose story was brought out of the shadows in the book Scarlet and Black, Volume 1: Slavery and Dispossession in Rutgers History, a project undertaken by the Committee on Enslaved and Disenfranchised Populations in Rutgers History.

The Kilmer Area Library on Livingston Campus will be named for James Dickson Carr, Rutgers’ first African American graduate who completed his degree in 1892, was a member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, and went on to attend Columbia Law School.

Kilmer Area Library was built in 1971 on land that was formerly part of Camp Kilmer (hence the name). It is the primary business library in New Brunswick and provides support for undergraduate instruction. The library is a popular spot for students who can study with friends at the tables on the first floor, find a quiet carrel on the second, or take advantage of one of the largest computing and printing labs on campus. Located close to the center of campus and adjacent to the student center, the library is busier than ever and is a hub of academic activity.  

Chancellor Richard Edwards told Rutgers Today that the library’s new name will be a fitting tribute to Carr, who was a noted scholar.

“Having Mr. Carr’s name on a building that is a core part of academic life where students go to study and where research is conducted is an important way to recognize his accomplishments,’’ he said.

Following graduation from Columbia Law School, Carr went on to become an assistant district attorney of New York County and held other offices in New York City government. To learn more about this accomplished Rutgers alumnus, please read this article from the Journal of the Rutgers University Libraries.

“The Libraries are honored that one of our spaces will be named for James Carr,” said Jeanne Boyle, interim assistant vice president for information services and director of New Brunswick Libraries. “By all accounts, he was an excellent scholar and we hope students who use the Carr Library in the future will find inspiration in the personal story of ‘one of the best known of New Brunswick students,’ as he was described by his fellow student Henry Kimball Davis.”