Today’s Kathryn and Shelby Cullom Davis Library at St. John’s
University’s School of Risk Management comprises the world’s
largest collection of risk and insurance literature, policies, and
related documents, and serves students of risk management,
insurance, and actuarial science around the world as a center for
study and research. The Library’s beginnings date back to
1901, when insurance executives founded The Insurance Society of
New York, and began providing study space and material to young
people entering the insurance industry.
Since its earliest days, the Library has served as a site for
insurance lectures. Over the years, The Insurance Society of
New York developed a curriculum based upon these lectures.
This ultimately led to the creation of The School of Insurance,
followed by The College of Insurance, the predecessor to St. John’s
School of Risk Management.
A number of individuals and organizations contributed to the
Library’s growing collection throughout the 1900’s.
Throughout its history, the Library has served students, faculty,
staff, and sponsors, as well as members of The Insurance Society of
New York. In 1974, Shelby Cullom Davis and his wife Kathryn
secured the Library’s future with a major endowment, and the
Library was renamed in their honor.
With the merger of The College of Insurance and St. John’s
University in 2001, the Davis Library became part of the St. John’s
University library system. Today, the Davis Library remains one of
the most comprehensive risk, insurance, and actuarial science
collections in the world, serving students, faculty, scholars and
industry practitioners seeking specialized knowledge in these
areas. It is a place for study and learning, research and