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For more than six decades the McCain Library has stored the College's "food for the soul." A contribution of $15,000 for books from the Carnegie Corporation made the construction of a library essential. An additional contribution from the corporation made it possible to commission outside librarians and architects as consultants. The building was designed by Edwards and Sayward of Atlanta and built in 1936. Originally named for Andrew Carnegie, the library was renamed for Agnes Scott's second president James Ross McCain upon his retirement in 1951. Smaller renovations occurred through the years, but it wasn't until 2001 that a total renovation was achieved.
The library houses more than 200,000 volumes with capacity for 250,000. The 2001 renovation added features that included wireless internet connectivity throughout the building, a multimedia production facility and classroom, sound-buffered group study rooms, and a speaking and writing center. Central to the academic life on campus, McCain Library also contains the College archives, which include a collection of Robert Frost's poetry and memorabilia from his visits to the College. Robert Frost maintained a 30-year relationship with the Agnes Scott, visiting numerous times during annual pilgrimages to Florida. The McCain Library houses one of the nation's finest Frost collections, including original material and a portrait of the poet.
Dedication of McCain Library, Agnes Scott College. Program brochure. 2001.
McNair, Walter Edward. Lest We Forget: An Account of Agnes Scott College. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1983.
Sayrs, M. Lee, and Christine S. Cozzens. A Full and Rich Measure. Decatur, GA: Agnes Scott College, 1990.
Sharp, Leslie N. South Candler Street--Agnes Scott College Historic District. National Register of Historic Places designation report. Washington, DC: U.S. Department of the Interior/National Park Service, 1994.