The State Library was established as the Public Library Commission in 1907 and occupied a single room in the State Capitol. In 1909, the library's name was changed to the State Library Commission. The State Library Commission occupied the Liberty Memorial Building on the Capitol Grounds from 1936-1970 and later moved to the Randal Building north of Bismarck. The agency's name was changed to the North Dakota State Library in 1979. In 1982 the State Library returned to the Liberty Memorial Building, its present location.
The Liberty Memorial Building
The State Library is located in the Liberty Memorial Building on the Capitol Mall in Bismarck. The Liberty Memorial Building was built to provide additional space for state agencies and to mark the end of World War I. The building is dedicated to the memory of the men and women of North Dakota who served the cause of liberty in World War I. Construction of the building began in 1920 and was occupied in 1924. The original cost of construction was $415,000.
The Liberty Memorial Building is typical of the federal-type buildings of the era and is designed in the classical style of architecture with a limestone exterior. The foundation was constructed using sawed granite and the exterior ground level walls are Bedford Stone. The large main doors at the top of the stairs are made from ornamental bronze. The walls of the first floor lobby are finished in Kasota Stone, quarried in Kasota, Minnesota. The first floor corridor & grand stairway are finished in travertine that was imported from Italy. The floors of the corridors and tread of stairway are made from Terrazzo and Kasota marble, and the balusters and railing are made from Italian Travertine and Italian Tavernelle Claire marble. The ceiling squares were individually molded and plastered together.
The building underwent a major renovation completed in 1981 which updated existing systems to modern code specifications. The renovation retained the building's unique architectural details.