Opened in the fall of 1994, the five-storey Joseph S. Stauffer Library is the largest library on campus, with room for approximately 1.5 million volumes, six kilometres of bookstacks, and study and research space for more than 1,200 students.
The library houses the university's humanities and social sciences collections and also contains state of the art computing and information services, seminar and training rooms, meeting rooms, maps, air photos, government documents, data collections, and the Union Gallery for art works by students.
Stauffer Library is designed in neo-gothic style to match the style of Douglas Library and is clad in limestone. The $48-million facility was a Queen's Challenge Campaign initiative funded by the Ontario government and the private sector. The names of all the donors are recorded as part of a display in the main lobby of Stauffer Library.
The library is named in honour of Joseph S. Stauffer, a graduate of Queen's (BSc 1920) and a generous benefactor. The largest donation toward the library came from his foundation, the Joseph S. Stauffer Foundation.
In 1997, Stauffer Library was awarded the Governor General's Award for Architecture. The library was designed by Kuwabara Payne Mckenna Blumberg.