Ronald K. Bartholomay Library
The Ronald K. Bartholomay Library is a study space and museum situated between the Hollengreen Room and the Electronic Learning Center on the west side of the first floor. It features an extensive collection of past issues of The Cornellian, the Cornell University yearbook, and of old paper editions of The Cross and Crescent and The Purple, Green, and Gold, Lambda Chi Alpha’s exoteric magazines, as well as many other books gifted to the chapter over the years. At the center of the room is a museum case featuring a group photograph of the original members of the ISWZA Society from 1908.
The library was dedicated in 1972 to Bro. Ronald K. Bartholomay ’74 O-1139, a beloved brother killed in a car accident in November of that year. A plaque to his memory hangs on the wall.
The area now occupied by the library sits in the southwest corner of the original 1896 house, its sunniest spot and one affording views of Cascadilla and the west promontory, now known as Plunkett's Point. Prewar brothers at Edgemoor knew it as a sun porch accessed from the west parlor.
On April 19, 1917 came the untimely passing of Frederick K. “Freaky” Pearce ’08 O-31, one of the original members of our predecessor society ISWZA (and prior to that, Mug and Jug). Alumni of his generation created the Pearce Memorial Library in his honor— not a room, but a collection of reading materials for the benefit of the brothers, such as encyclopedias, current periodicals, and an archive of Cornell and Lambda Chi Alpha publications. In 1941, Leon Brockway ’08 O-36 contributed funds to finally give this collection a home, and the sun porch was enclosed over that summer to become the new chapter library.
After the war, as the pace of new editions outstripped the need of the chapter to acquire them, only the periodical archives were maintained, and the room was used as a reading lounge. The sudden passing of Ronald K. Bartholomay ’74 O-1139 in November 1972 prompted brothers to create a new memorial here in his honor. Today, many of the chapter’s awards and recognitions are also put on display here, lining the walls and placed inside the trophy case in the center shelf.