This reading room was located on the second floor of the Dental College building, a former professor's house which stood on the current site of the Chemistry Building. The Dental College occupied this site from 1891-1908, with the dental museum housed on the main floor.
According to an 1895 issue of the UM Dental School publication Dental Journal, Miss Hubbard, (seen seated at her desk) created the first systematic arrangement and catalogue for the books in the library. By 1900, the collection contained almost a thousand books and sixteen periodicals, making this no small task for a single person. The results of her work can be seen in the labels on the spines of the books.
Upon the death of the first Dean, Jonathan Taft, in 1903, his personal collection was added to the library's, which became known as the "Taft Library" until 1930. The 1904-1905 "Announcement" boasted that the augmented Taft Library "contains nearly two thousand volumes, embracing almost every known work pertaining to this specialty, including a nearly complete file of every dental journal published." Two other former deans, Willoughby D. Miller and Nelville S. Hoff, also donated significant personal collections.
Source: Charles C. Kelsey, "Alumni Bulletin" 1973, pp. 66-67; UM School of Dentistry "Announcement," 1904-1905, p. 25
Photo: Sam Sturgis collection, Bentley Historical Library