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.

Reuben Gold Thwaites (1853-1913)

Posted by Larry Nix
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on Friday, February 13, 2009 in Hall of Fame


Reuben Gold Thwaites was inducted into the Wisconsin Library Hall of Fame in 2008. Thwaites was one of the founders of the Wisconsin Library Association in 1891. He served as President of WLA 1892-1894. Thwaites served as assistant to Lyman C. Draper, Secretary State Historical Society of Wisconsin from 1885 to 1887.  He became Secretary of the Historical Society after Draper's retirement in 1887, and served in that capacity until his death in 1913.  He served on the Wisconsin Free Library Commission from its inception in 1895 until 1913 in his capacity as Secretary of the Historical Society. He was elected President of the American Library Association in 1900. In 1951 he was one of 40 of America’s most significant library leaders selected by the Library Journal for inclusion in a “ Library Hall of Fame". He is listed in the Dictionary of American Library Biography and the Dictionary of Wisconsin History . The image of Thwaites is from the Wisconsin Historical Society’s Historical Image Collection  Image ID: 4158.


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