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.

Historical Society Library Renovation Complete

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
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on Thursday, April 22, 2010 in Special libraries

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I first reported on the plans for renovating the Wisconsin Historical Society's headquarters building which includes the library in a post on May 10, 2009 in connection with Historic Preservation Month. I'm extremely happy to report the renovation is complete and that public tours will take place tomorrow (Friday) from 1 to 4 and on Saturday from 10 to 4. A story about the "Awe-inspiring Reading Room Restoration" appears in today's Wisconsin State Journal. As I indicated in my previous post I believe the building is second only to the State Capitol in its historic importance to the state. I also noted that when the American Library Association met in Waukesha in 1901, conference attendees came to Madison to visit the newly completed building and, "There was but one opinion of the entire party in regard to the beauty and arrangement of the building, and that was satisfactory to the highest degree." On the envelope above mailed in February, 1899, the year before the building opened, Harry Johnson makes known that he is the general contractor for the new building. The postcard shows the reading room before it received a less than perfect restoration in 1955.


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