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

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

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo