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.

Wisconsin’s Carnegie Libraries

Andrew Carnegie was often referred to as the “Patron Saint of Libraries”.  He donated $56,162,622 for the construction of 2509 library buildings throughout the English-speaking parts of the world.  He donated $40,000,000 for the construction of 1679 public library buildings in the United States.  Sixty Wisconsin communities were the recipients of 63 public library grants from Andrew Carnegie.  In addition, two academic institutions also received Carnegie library grants.  Fifteen of these Carnegie buildings have been razed, thirty have been repurposed or are no longer used as libraries, but 20 are still being used as public libraries.  Most of the Carnegie buildings that continue to be used as libraries have received various expansions and modifications. In some cases the expansion is larger than the original Carnegie building. Years in which Carnegie library grants were received (not including the 3 branch libraries) along with the number of libraries: 1901(7); 1902 (9); 1903 (12); 1904 (3); 1905 (8); 1907 (3); 1908 (1); 1911 (2); 1912 (2); 1913 (5); 1914 (3); 1915 (3).  Only six other states received more Carnegie grants than Wisconsin.  The first Carnegie building completed in Wisconsin was the Central Library of the Superior Public Library.  More information about Wisconsin’s Carnegie libraries can be found on Wikipedia.  Judy Aulik’s Library Postcards site has images of Wisconsin Carnegie libraries on postcards.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Andrew Carnegie's birth, the Carnegie Corporation distributed Carnegie's framed portrait to all Carnegie libraries in America in 1935 including those in Wisconsin. One of those portraits is shown above.

Read More


Popular Tags

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo