The University of Maine at Fort Kent began as a regional teachers college in 1878. A library was created soon afterward in 1885 to support the students. The library was housed in a classroom for many years until a growth spurt in the late 1950's. The gymnasium, built in 1929, was converted to the library in 1965-66.
The library was dedicated as the Waneta T. Blake Library, and its collection numbered 15,000 volumes at the time. The building has been expanded since then and now holds over 65,000 volumes.
In 1988 an addition was built on to the back of the library, and in 2002 construction began on the new Acadian Archives/archives acadiennes building. Due to the new archives building the Blake Library entrance was moved to the 1988 addition facing Cyr Hall.
The picture above shows the new entrance on the left side of the building. The 1988 addition became the front of the library while the old gymnasium section reconstructed into a library in 1965-66 is now the back of the library.
Waneta T. Blake was born on September 2nd, 1901 in Elden, Iowa. Her family moved to Gardiner, Maine where Ms. Blake attended elementary and high school. In 1924 she received her B.A. degree from Colby College. Additional studies were pursued at the University of Maine, New Hampshire, and Mount Allison. Ms. Blake was an instructor at the Madawaska Training School and part-time librarian at UMFK from 1933 until 1963 when she retired with the title of Professor Emerita. She oversaw a large increase in the collection during her time at the library. After her retirement, the library was moved to the former gymnasium and was dedicated with her name. She died in 1971 and is buried in the cemetery adjacent to the campus.
New entrance facing the quad and Cyr Hall
The front entrance built in 1965-66