Wisconsin Library Heritage Center

The Wisconsin Library Heritage Center is a program of the Wisconsin Library Association Foundation promoting understanding and appreciation of the history of libraries and librarianship in Wisconsin.

Northland College Library

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The images above are from the dedication program for a new library building for Northland College in Ashland on June 14, 1941. The Jean Nicolet Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) played a large role in funding the building which was a replica of "Wakefield", the birthplace of George Washington. George C. Allez, Director of the Wisconsin Library School (now the School of Library and Information Studies at UW-Madison), gave the dedication address. The inside the brochure reads in part: "On a hilltop campus, yesterday a part of America's advancing frontier, today at the center of the teeming North American continent, is dedicated this day a new Wakefield, replica of the birthplace of the Father of His Country, sponsored by the women descendents of the gallant men who fought for freedom in the New World." The current Northland College library is the Dexter Library which is located in a more modern facility. The 1941 building is now used by the College for the admissions department.


Milwaukee-Downer College

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Milwaukee-Downer College, one of Wisconsin's historic colleges, ceased to exist as a separate institution in 1964 when it became part of Lawrence University. Milwaukee-Downer College was created in 1895 when Milwaukee Female College (founded in 1851) merged with Downer College (founded as Wisconsin Female College in 1855). The former campus of Milwaukee-Downer College along with the Chapman Memorial Library building was sold to the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 1964.  The Lawrence University webpage for Milwaukee-Downer College is located here.


The former Chapman Memorial Library building of Milwaukee-Downer College is now Chapman Hall on the UW-Milwaukee campus and houses administrative offices. The library was built in 1937 from the bequest of Alice Greenwood Chapman,a graduate of Milwaukee Female College. The Teakwood Room in the library was moved to the Lawrence University campus along with library's rare book collection which is now housed in the Milwaukee-Downer Room of the Seeley G. Mudd Library.


Digital images of Milwaukee-Downer College including the Chapman Memorial Library are included in the Lawrence University Archives which are located here. The postcard image of the Reference Room of Chapman Memorial Library at the top of this page is part of Larry T. Nix's postcard collection. 



pc-wi-downer2-72.jpgThis postcard was mailed in 1907 and shows an interior view of the library building which preceded the Chapman Memorial Library. 


Carthage College Lincoln Connection

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The nation is celebrating the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth this year. Wisconsin has a number of connections to Abraham Lincoln including those of Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Carthage College was founded in 1847 as the Literary and Theological Institute of the Lutheran Church of the Far West.  After a series of name changes it became Carthage College when it moved to Carthage, Illinois in 1870. It relocated to Kenosha, Wisconsin in 1962. Abraham Lincoln served as a Trustee of the College in 1860-61 and sent his oldest son Robert Todd to the Preparatory Department of the College when the college was located in Springfiled, Illinois. The special envelope above was created when the "A Nation of Readers" stamp was issued in October of 1984. 


A high point in the recent history of the college was the dedication of the Hedberg Library on October 18, 2002. Librarian of Congress James H. Billington gave the dedicatory address. The Hedberg Library at Carthage College was the 2004 Wisconsin Library Association Library of the Year.


Anne Morris Boyd and UW-Whitewater

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Today (January 13, 2009) is the 125th anniversary of the birth of Anne Morris Boyd (1884-1969) who served as Librarian of the State Normal School at Whitewater (now the University of Wisconsin - Whitewater) from 1913 to 1917.  Boyd served on the faculty of the University of Illinois Library School from 1918 to 1949 and was an authority and an advocate for government publications.  She was the author of the landmark publication United States Government Publications As Sources of Information for Libraries, and served as President of the Association of American Library Schools. She is listed in the Dictionary of American Library Biography.The postcard of the interior of the library shown above was mailed on Sept. 30, 1912, one year before the arrival of Boyd. More about Boyd can be found here.  


The State Normal School which was founded in 1868 became the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in 1971.  The University Library at UW-Whitewater is a far different library today than when Boyd was librarian. A set of Flickr photographs of Willie the mascot at the University Library can be found here. A history of the Anderson Library Building at UW-Whitewater is located here.


Death of a Library

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Postcard depicting Whitford Memorial Hall which housed the Milton College Library from 1906 to 1967. It is now a retail store.


 


 


 


 


 On May 15, 1982 a Wisconsin college library along with the college it was part of died. The death of the college was announced to the staff and faculty in the library. The doors of the library were closed and the building in which it was located and the collection of books were transferred to other entities. Staff were only able to retrieve their posessions under supervision.


The college was Milton College in Milton, Wisconsin.  The library was the the Shaw Memorial Library. Milton College dated back to the Milton Academy which was established in 1844, and was one of the oldest continuously operating colleges in Wisconsin. The Shaw Memorial Library building was completed in 1967. Prior to that time the library was located in Whitford Memorial Hall from 1906 to 1967, and before that in Main Hall. Both the Whitford Hall building and the Main Hall building are still in existence and are part of a historical district in Milton.


The Shaw Memorial Library building was acquired by and now houses the Milton Public Library. The library's collection was sold as a unit to a college in Milwaukee.


Links related to Milton College and its libraries:


Milton College Preservation Society
http://www.miltoncollege.org/


Library History
http://www.miltoncollege.org/hist07.htm


Whitford Memorial Hall
http://www.miltoncollege.org/hist09.htm


Newspaper article on closing of the college
http://www.gazetteextra.com/milton062407.asp


Whole Earth Review article by Barbara Rubin Hudson, Spring 1988


Beginnings of the UW-Milwaukee Libraries

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The UW-Milwaukee Libraries had their beginning as the Library of the State Normal School in Milwaukee which began in 1885. This postcard was mailed on July 12, 1926. At the time Delia Ovitz was the Librarian. She served in this capacity from 1901 to 1944. A list of all the directors of the UW-Milwaukee Libraries and their predecessors is here. In 1955, the state legislature approved a merger of Wisconsin State College, Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Extension Center of the University of Wisconsin to form the University of Wisconsin– Milwaukee. The new institution opened its doors in 1956. A timeline for the development of UW-Milwaukee can be found here.
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  • Sarah Kropp says #
    I was interested in seeing this article, as my great aunt was Dehlia Ovitz-- In addition, I am now a Library Media Specialist in M...

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