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 Monday, October 22, 2018

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo