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 Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Categories

Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo