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Carnahan Hall is the oldest building on campus, originally constructed in 1901 as a science building. Since 1979, the building has been used as a Social Science and History Hall. The building was closed in 1994 for a complete interior renovation and reopened in the fall of 1998. At that time, the 22,000 square foot building was named after congressman and US ambassador Albert Carnahan. Albert was a Southeast alum and father to the late Governor Mel Carnahan.
The Center for Regional History and Cultural Heritage serves the University and the region through its work in documenting, preserving, and presenting various aspects of local and regional history; architectural trends; archaeology; ethnic and folk traditions. Members of the Center staff provide assistance to museums, historical societies, schools and a number of city, county, state and national agencies.
Special Collections and Archives at Southeast Missouri State University acquires, preserves, and makes accessible research materials that document the historical, literary, and cultural experience of Southeast Missouri, the Mississippi River Valley region, and the history of Southeast Missouri State University. The Rare Book Room houses the Brodsky-Faulkner Collection and the Harrison Rare Book Collection and others.
The Art Building is one of the most historic buildings on campus, opening in 1903 and originally used as a training school. By 1938, it served as home to the agriculture program at Southeast. Since, it has housed programs such as arts and home economics, foreign languages, and anthropology.