History of Collections

As the world’s largest collection of risk and insurance literature, policies, and related documents, the Davis Library of St. John’s University serves students of risk management, insurance, and actuarial science.  Founded in 1901 as The Insurance Society of New York, the library has developed one of the most comprehensive insurance-related collections in the world.

Serving as a site for insurance lectures since its founding, throughout its history the library developed into the School of Insurance and the College of Insurance, before merging with St. John’s University in 2001.

The Davis Library currently aids students, faculty, scholars, and industry practitioners who seek specialized insurance-related information.  The library’s archives include records of the Insurance Society of New York and other insurance organizations, subject collections such as fire insurance maps and automatic sprinkler heads, and a variety of rare books dating back to the 1500’s.