The William H. Rey Library is the Germanics Department’s main reference facility as well as our departmental seminar room (Denny 308). The core of the Library is the donated collection of Professor and Chair Emeritus Willy Rey, who passed away in the Spring of 2007. Professor Rey was an internationally celebrated scholar, prolific author and literary-cultural critic on German and Austrian thought of the 19th and 20th centuries. He was the recipient of the German Bundesverdienstkreuz among many other honors.
Professor Rey first established the collection in the late 1970’s and continued to contribute volumes until his death. The collection was further enhanced through generous donations in honor of Professor Ernst Behler and through a major gift from Professor Emeritus Ludwig Kahn of Columbia University. The collection continues to grow both through gifts of books and monetary donations to the W. H. Rey Library Fund, administered by the Department of Germanics. The Rey Fund allowed the Department to hire a librarian, Kris Unsworth, to create an electronic catalogue of the entire collection. She worked closely with Professor Rey on this project and continues to consult with Professor Emeritus Gunter Hertling as the library evolves and grows. The facility was renovated in 2003 and now hosts the Germanics Lecture Series, seminars, and receptions for distinguished visitors.