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.

Parcel Post and Library Service

Posted by Larry Nix
Larry Nix
Larry Nix has not set their biography yet
User is currently offline
on Tuesday, March 10, 2009 in Library artifacts


Parcel post, the delivery of packages through the mail, began in the United States on January 1, 1913.  Libraries had long lobbied for a special rate for library materials sent through the mail, and in 1914 the postmaster general authorized the shipment of books at the parcel post rate. This decision opened up significant possibilities for library service to geographically remote poputlations.  One of the first librarians to realize the potential of parcel post and library service was Matthew S. Dudgeon, the Secretary of the Wisconsin Free Library Commission (WFLC). Under Dudgeon's leadership the WFLC began implementing a system in which any resident of the state could request a book from the major libraries in Madison including the University of Wisconsin Library and the State Historical Society Library. There was little red tape involved. All that was required was a letter requesting a book along with the postage. Under the new postal rates a book could be sent anywhere within a 150 of Madison for an average of six cents and for greater distances for eight cents. Implementation of this system was facilitate by the fact that the President of the University of Wisconsin and the Secretary of the Wisconsin Historical Society served on the Wisconsin Free Library Commission board. An article about Didgeon's parcel post system appeared in the December, 1915 issue of American Review of Reviews.




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

Leave your comment

Guest Wednesday, February 21, 2018


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo