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.

Edward Asahel Birge 1851-1950

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Wednesday, December 31, 2008 in Hall of Fame

birge.jpgEdward Asahel Birge was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on November 6, 2008. Birge was one of a small group of people who gathered in the office of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction on February 11, 1891 to organize the Wisconsin Library Association.  At the time Birge was a noted Professor of Zoology at the University of Wisconsin and a member of the Madison Public Library Board.  He served on the Madison Public Library Board from 1891 to 1909 and was its chairman from 1893 to 1909.  He served as President of the Wisconsin Library Association from 1897 to 1899 and again in 1905-1906. He was a member of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission. He had a long and active career at the University of Wisconsin serving as Professor of Zoology (1879-1911), Dean of the College of Letters and Science (1891-1918), Acting President  (1900--1903), and President (1918- 1925).  He is listed in the  Dictionary of Wisconsin History.  Thanks to the University of Wisconsin-Madison Archives and Records Mangement Services for permission to use the image of Birge. 


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Note: In the comming months we will be featuring 2008 inductees to the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame on the blog component of the the Wisconsin Library Heritage Center website. Not only will this provide more exposure to these exceptional people, it will enable us to deal with a technical difficulty in organizing our site. 



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