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University at Buffalo Libraries

University Archives

Capen Hall

Capen Hall is home to the administration of the university and Libraries, including the offices of the President, Provost and Vice Provost for University Libraries. The original home of the Libraries’ Oscar A. Silverman Undergraduate Library and Science & Engineering Library, the building how houses the Oscar A. Silverman Library and the world-renowned Special Collections. Several administrative and academic offices are also located in Capen, including UB’s Office of Admissions.


Samuel Paul Capen (1878-1956), the seventh Chancellor of the University, distinguished himself as the foremost authority on higher education in the United States. Known as the "Architect of UB," Capen transformed the University under his leadership from a small group of autonomous schools into a modern university of 14 divisions and a central campus.

History and Chronology

  • 1973 -- (October 25) SUNY Board of Trustees decides to name the new undergraduate library and administration building "Capen Hall" which was the former name of the Medical-Dental building on South Campus (now Farber Hall)
  • 1977 -- (June) building completed
  • 1977 -- (November 11) Dedication
  • 1983 -- (August) Student services move into Capen
  • 2004 -- Undergraduate Library & Science & Engineering Library services combined in Silverman
  • 2010 -- Undergraduate Book Collection relocated to other UB Libraries
  • 2011 -- University Honors College opens in Capen
  • 2014 -- Science & Engineering Information Center created in Silverman
  • 2014 -- (December) Silverman 3rd floor closed for renovation; Collections, librarians and study spaces moved to Lockwood

Building and Construction Information

Architects: Sasaki, Dawson & Demay
Contractor: Albert Elia Building Company
Cost: $6,188,000
Size: 310,576 gross sq. ft.