In 1959 the University of South Carolina opened its new Undergraduate Library. Designed by Edward Durell Stone and Lyles, Bissett, Carlisle & Wolff, the structure won the coveted First Honor Award from the American Institute of Architects in 1963. In 1976 a large, partially underground addition was completed, transforming the building into the campus's main library. It is named for Thomas Cooper, the second president of South Carolina College. Cooper was born in England and educated at Oxford. He joined the faculty of South Carolina College in 1819, teaching chemistry, mineralogy, and political economy, in which he was considered a pioneer.