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.

Death of a Library

Posted by Larry T. Nix
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on Tuesday, January 06, 2009 in Academic libraries


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

Library History

Whitford Memorial Hall

Newspaper article on closing of the college

Whole Earth Review article by Barbara Rubin Hudson, Spring 1988


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