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.

Oldest Wisconsin Academic Libraries

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Thursday, April 28, 2016 in WLA 125
Determining the date that an academic library was established is somewhat of a challenge. Technically, a library is established when the responsible institutional governing board takes a specific action to do so.  However, such a specific action in regard to academic libraries is often lacking, and academic libraries sometimes use the date of establishment of the overall academic institution for the date of their establishment. Added to the confusion is the definition of what constitutes a library.  Is it merely a collection of books or something more substantial. In 1850 the Smithsonian Institution undertook a major survey of libraries in the United States. For Wisconsin only two academic libraries responded to that survey.  One of these was the Beloit College Library which reported that “the libraries connected with the college now amount to over 1,000 volumes, and arrangements are made which will insure their progressive increase.”  The other was the Library of the University of Wisconsin in Madison. The American Library Directory which is published annually asks each library to indicate the year it was was founded. The Colonel Robert H. Morse Library of Beloit College indicates that it was founded in 1849.  The Todd Wehr Memorial Library of Carroll College in Waukesha indicates that it was founded in 1846 which is the date that the College was founded. The General Library System & Memorial Library of the University of Wisconsin at Madison indicates that it was founded in 1850.  The Seeley G. Mudd Library of Lawrence University in Appleton indicates that it was also founded in 1850.  Access to early academic libraries was often extremely limited and sometimes actually denied to undergraduates.  The librarian was usually a junior faculty member who was assigned the responsibility but had limited training as a librarian.
wla125logo-small

Comments

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

Leave your comment

Guest Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo