The Great Library was masterfully designed from 1857
to 1860 by Cumberland and Storm. The construction of
the Great Library and the Rotunda occurred the same year.
The Great Library has a height of forty feet, a width of forty
feet and is one hundred and twenty feet in length. The design is
known as a triple cube. The initial construction included central
heating and it contains mostly Canadian materials. The Great
Library is private and paid for by lawyers fees. The public is
allowed to use the library but must navigate it themselves.
The portrait over the mantle is of Sir John Beverley Robinson.
The land on which Osgoode Hall stands was purchased from
him in 1829.
A dedication plaque is situated below the
painting which reads the following:
Sir John Beverley Robinson, Bart
Sir John Beverley Robinson, Baronnet
(1791 to 1863)
The son of Loyalists, pupil and protege of John Strachan,
John Beverley Robinson was the embodiment of the values
of the early Upper Canadian Tories known as the Family
Compact. For almost half a century he played a leading
role in the public life of the province as Solicitor General,
Attorney General, member of the Legislative Assembly and the
Legislative and Executive Councils, and, from 1829 to 1862,
as Chief Justice. A defender of British institutions, of
the rights of rank and property and of an established church,
he was also an early proponent of British North American
union. He was made a baronet in 1854.