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.

Library Artifact from Hell

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Friday, October 24, 2008 in Library artifacts

Over the years I have collected a variety of library artifacts which reflect Wisconsin's library heritage.  Many of these are included in the exhibit of Wisconsin Library Memorabilia which is sponsore by the WLHC. Most of these artifacts have been relatively easy to acquire, but one artifact required considerably more effort.  I call it the library artifact from hell and here is its story.


With the beginning of the restoration of the Capitol's East wing in 1999, the State Law Library moved out of the Capitol into temporary quarters. A decision was made to discard all of the library's heavy cast iron shelving except for a few sections that would be used in the Supreme Court Reading Room in the Capitol. The shelving was dismantled and piled on the lawn of the Capitol. Rob Nurre, a fellow history buff, discovered that the iron shelving was on the way to the dump and mounted a rescue effort in July of 2000.  Rob rented a U-Haul truck and four of us showed up in the morning of one very hot day to salvage as many sections of shelving as each of us thought we could use. I parked my car on the street in a two hour parking spot thinking the task could be taken care of within that timeframe. However, sorting the pieces of heavy iron shelving so that we were assured of having the correct number and kinds of pieces to reassemble the shelving was no easy feat. By the time I realized my two hour parking meter had run out, I already had a $20 ticket. Did I say that it was a hot day.  Did I say that it was heavy iron shelving. After a lunch break during which I discovered that I had another $20 ticket we finally completed loading the U-Haul truck. Rob then drove the truck to each participating person's home where the correct pieces were unloaded. I think it was after 5:00 p.m. when I finally got my pieces unloaded.


I now had lots of different pieces of iron shelving on my garage floor. Because of the weight and height of the shelving, the only place that I could place the shelving was in the garage. The problem was that the only wall in the garage where I could place the shelving was already being utilized. So basically I had to re-arrange the  entire garage in order to put the shelving there. While I was at it, I decided that this was a good time to paint the garage.  When I finally had the garage painted and the wall where I wanted to put the shelving cleared, I still had a bunch of iron pieces of shelving on the garage floor.  Fortunately for me, Rob ageed to come over one Saturday and help me assemble the shelving.


As a result of this effort, I now have four sections of shelving in my garage from the State Law Library that are almost 100 years old. It turns out that this type of shelving has an interesting history. The shelving was originally designed by engineer Bernard Richardson Green for the Library of Congress. The design came to be known as the Library of Congress or Green (Snead) standard. The shelving was manufactured by the Snead & Company Iron Works of Louisville, Kentucky.  If Wisconsin ever gets a library heritage museum, I will be happy to contribute my library artifact from hell. 



wi-capitol-shelves-nix-72.jpgA photograph of the shelves in my garage.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 



wi-capitol-shelves-72.jpgA photograph of the shelves in the Supreme Court Reading Room in the State Capitol.


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


 


Comments

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

Leave your comment

Guest Monday, May 28, 2018

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo