These are the major figures involved in the designing, funding, and opening of the new library in 1891.
Frank Furness, architect, designed the original building.
Gregory Bernard Keen, University Librarian
Horace Howard Furness, Frank's brother, renowned Shakespeare scholar, and chair of the Library Finance Committee.
Melvil Dewey, librarian, inventor of the Dewey Decimal System, head librarian at Columbia University, contributor to plans for the library.
William Pepper, physician, provost of the University at the library's opening.
Charles Custis Harrison, chair of the finance committee
The Rt. Rev. Ozi William Whitaker, Episcopal Bishop of Pennsylvania, gave a rousing speech at the library's opening ceremony.
Talcott Williams, journalist, editor of the Philadelphia Press.
Morris Jastrow, assistant librarian when Furness Library was first opened.
Justin Winsor, 1831-1897, head of Boston Public Library, head librarian at Harvard University, first president of the American Library Association. He helped design the first American book stack system at Harvard. Consulted on plans for Furness Library.