University of Southern Indiana
Medieval manuscripts and jars on display

John M. Lawrence ’73 Library & University Art Collection

The Lawrence Library exists to educate and inspire the members of the University community and the surrounding region through exhibition, research, and preservation of its collections of historical and artistic manuscripts and artifacts.

Current Exhibits

Hellenistic Krater: Examination of an Artifact and A Global Phenomenon: Religion


The concept for the Lawrence Library sprang from the friendship of Patricia (Patty) Aakhus and John M. Lawrence. The Library is named for Lawrence, a graduate of USI’s class of 1973 and an international expert and collector of medieval manuscripts, for his generous support of the College of Liberal Arts. John Lawrence donated many items to the Library, including a collection of medieval manuscripts as well as other artifacts, for use as a study collection for students. Patty Aakhus was an associate professor of English and served as the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies and program director in International Studies. Aakhus also published three novels based on medieval texts that she studied and translated.

Patricia Aakhus served as the first caretaker of the Lawrence Library. Since her death in 2012, the College of Liberal Arts oversaw the Library until 2018 when Susan Colaricci Sauls, Director of University Art Collections, officially took over the management of the space and the collection.

The Lawrence Library prides itself on the student leadership of the space. Each semester there is a Senior Student Archivist and one to two Student Archivists that curate exhibitions, research manuscripts and artifacts, and participate in collections management and care.


The Lawrence Library is located on the lower level of the Liberal Arts Center in room 0119.

Operating Hours Spring 2022

Monday and Wednesday, 2 - 4:30 p.m.

Open by appointment and available for scheduled class time.

Contact Susan Sauls M'16


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