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 T. Nix
Larry T. Nix
Larry T. 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 Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo