Digital library

The Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) opened 2011

The Taylor Family Digital Library (TFDL) opened in 2011 and continues to be one of the most technologically advanced academic libraries in North America. 

The state-of-the-art learning and research centre is a model for the 21st century library, and an important new gathering place for students, faculty, staff, alumni and the broader Calgary community.

The Taylor Family Digital Library’s combines a library, art gallery, archives, rare collections and the latest digital tools for learning and research, all using the most advanced technology available.

Retro gaming collection – Housing the largest retro gaming collection in Canada, a special area allows you to step back into the gaming world of the 1970s and 1980s and try your hand at everything from a Telegames Pong system to new classic-style games such as Guru Meditation played on the ATARI using a balance board peripheral, in a space designed so the user can take full advantage of the motion sensing capabilities.

Floor-to-ceiling high-resolution screen – In the visualization room professional research can be displayed in detail on a floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall high resolution screen with high quality surround sound. Astronomers explore deep space and the mysteries of the Aurora Borealis in detail and geologists can map out soil sample data and discover new patterns.

Access to digital images - For the visual and performing arts enthusiasts, students can access over a million licensed digital images and 67,000 images in the Library’s own collection. Suites allow small group or individual work in editing, shooting film, animation 3-D rendering, and sound. A hardware “sandbox” includes a large touch table and digital globe on which students project their research on anything from immigration patterns to climate change and ocean currents and musical influences.

Only five years ago, Don and Ruth Taylor—longtime friends and supporters of the University of Calgary—donated $25 million to help construct a new digital library.

“We are thrilled that this beautiful building will provide education and inspiration to a whole new generation of students, and will help shape the future of learning whether they are studying fine arts or molecular biology,” said Don Taylor.

“It is through education that we truly have a chance to make the world a better place, and education comes from hard work, study and often long hours in the library,” said Ruth Taylor.

The Government of Alberta matched the Taylor family’s donation through its matching gifts program and also allocated additional funds, for a total of $150.5 million.

“This library will provide Albertans, young and old, the space and support to further their learning with the latest technology and information resources,” said Alberta Premier Alison Redford. “My government is a proud partner in this important new addition to the Calgary community.”

The Government of Canada provided $27 million in capital funding for the Taylor Family Digital Library project (Taylor Family Digital Library plus High Density Library) through the Knowledge Infrastructure Program.

“Our government’s investments in college and university infrastructure have created and maintained jobs across Canada,” said Blake Richards, Member of Parliament for Wild Rose. “This project will allow the University of Calgary to strengthen its reputation as an innovative leader in our community and across Canada.”

The City of Calgary’s Calgary Arts Development Agency supported the Taylor Family Digital Library with $3.2 million towards the relocation of the Nickle Galleries to the library.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi said, “The Taylor Family Digital Library provides Calgary with a new hub for cultural resources. An impressive array of books, journals, special collections, art, and artifacts will be exhibited and accessed in new cross-disciplinary ways.”

As part of the Taylor Family Digital Library project, the university also created the Taylor Quadrangle, a new outdoor community gathering space immediately adjacent to the library, and built the university’s first High Density Library, located off the main campus at Spy Hill. The High Density Library is a new facility that houses approximately 60 per cent of the university’s current book and journal collection, in addition to a significant portion of archival holdings. The total project – including the Taylor Family Digital Library, the Taylor Quadrangle, and the High Density Library – was funded by the Taylor family and all three levels of government, at a cost of $205 million.