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.

  • JUser: :_load: Unable to load user with id: 52

Increase A. Lapham and Wisconsin’s First School Library

Posted by
has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, May 06, 2016 in WLA 125
Increase A LaphamIncrease A. Lapham (1811-1875) is considered to be Wisconsin’s pioneer scientist and scholar. In addition to his scientific endeavors, Lapham was a supporter and contributor to Wisconsin’s library collections. His efforts in this regard included: helping to found the Wisconsin Historical Society; helping to found the Wisconsin Academy of Science, Arts and Letters; and developing a personal library of over 1,100 volumes that became part of the library of the University of Wisconsin in 1876.  One of Lapham’s most interesting contributions to libraries involved his role in establishing a school library in Milwaukee in 1851.  At the time Lapham was one of the Milwaukee school commissioners and he led the effort to establish the library.  After a resolution proposed by Lapham to create the library was approved by the school commissioners, Lapham moved quickly to establish the library. This included selecting and ordering 704 books costing $371.61.  A librarian was recruited by Lapham and paid fifty dollars a year. The library was located in the building of Milwaukee’s Young Men’s Association and was open for business on Saturday afternoons.  The early enthusiasm for the library gradually dissipated, and only thirty more books had been acquired by 1857.  In 1878 the Young Men’s Association Library became part of the new Milwaukee Public Library and over the years the original school library collection disappeared. 
The primary source of the information in this post is an article by Graham P. Hawks titled “A Nineteenth-Century School Library: Early Years in Milwaukee” in the Journal of Library History for Fall, 1977, pages 359-363. 


No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Wednesday, June 19, 2019


Popular Tags

School of Library and Information Studies Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Academic Libraries Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Helen Adams library legislation Wisconsin Rapids Cam Capitol Fire 1904 Inform Wisconsin Edward Asahel Birge Dianne McAfee Hopkins Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians 28 Cooperative Children's Book Center Ripon Public Library Katharine MacDonald Jones Milwaukee Public Library Bookmobiles Wisconsin Free Library Commission CCBC traveling libraries S. Janice Kee Eager Free Public Library 11 27 Lutie Stearns Wisconsin Historical Society WHCLIS Jane K. Billings campaign Appleton Public Library presentations Council on Library and Network Development background hall of Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee membership libraries WLA 125 Historical Register Library Buidlings Lutie Eugenia Stearns Hall of Fame 2012 20 Sarah Janice Kee books-by-mail Library Systems Campaign WWI Library War Service Campaign Dorothea M. Krause School libraries UW-Madison school of library and information studies Delia Ovitz Library celebrations Lucy E. Smith Morris Evansville Wisconsin 22 Bob Bochfer Hall of Fame 2018 Portage Public Library Lowell W. Wilson J. D. Witter Superior Carnegie Libraries Clinton Public Library Brown County Library Wisconsin Library Association Campaign American Library Association Library War Service Library People Tower Hill Wisconsin Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Matthew S. Dudgeon Wisconsin Library Bulletin Library Trustees WAAL Hall of Fame 2017 Hall of Fame 2009 Anniversaries Eratus Swift Wilcox John J. Jax 21 Brown Deer Public Library Richard E. Krug 23 Pinback buttons Public libraries National Bookmobile Day Klaus Linderfelt Clarence Brown Lester Hall of Fame 2010 library education Marketing-Publicity Meter mail slogans Exhibits campa Middleton Public Library Digital Collections Events Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Library Buildings Jerome P. Daniels state historical society Oshkosh Public Library Hall of Fame 2013 Hall of Fame 2008 World War I Cornelia Marving Pierce Hartford Public Library Publications James Duane Doty Madison Public Library White House Conference on Library and Information Services Bernard Schwab Pewaukee Public Library Postcards COLAND Beloit Public Library Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Hall of Fame 2011 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries bed and breakfast Ruth Ann Montgomery Parcel post Carl Spitzweg Centennial trav campaign American Library Association Nolan I. Neds Library people Manitowoc Public Library Peter G. Hamon DeForest Area Public Library Uncategorized UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies Hall of Fame 2016 caly film Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Hall of Fame 2012 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Soughton Public Library Hall of Fame 2015 WLA 125 Milwaukee Public Library Increase A. Lapham Black River Falls Hall of Fame 2012 campaign Carnegie libraries Library e Larry T. Nix I Love Libraries Anniversaries bookworm WLA 125 24 Wisconsin Free Library Commission Gilbert H. Doane Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends Academic Librarians Suring Area Public Library Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Hall of Fame 2018 caly film Woman's Congress WLA 125 Public libraries Amer Irene W. Newman Charles Bunge buil Wisconsin Library Heritage Center People Wisconsin State Law Library Postcards library exhibit Public library systems Hall Buttons McMillan Memorial Library Brown Deer Public Library anniversaries Rusk County Community Library Frank Avery Hutchins John Miller Chancellor cam Wayne A. Wiegand Ice Storm Hall fo Fame 2012 14 Hall of Fame 2015 ca Louise S. Robbins UW-Milwaukee Libraries Ruby Roeder Library History Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries William J. Wilson National Library Week Milwaukee Art Museum State Law Library Library people Postcards Zona Gale Hall of Fame 2014 Sandra Friedman Dolnick Hall of Fame 2015 Postcards Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide Gerald A. Somers Beaver Dam Public Library T. B. Scott Free Public Library Events & Meetings Events & Meetings Elroy Public Library Special libraries James Huff Stout 10 Robert Bocher Hall of Fame 2015 Hall of Fame 2015 Library Artifacts Orrilla Blackshear caly film library memorabilia Gertrude Thurow archives Black River Falls Public Library

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo