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

Hall of Fame 2008 Hall of Fame 2015 Public library systems Library celebrations Centennial Campaign Brown County Library Lutie Eugenia Stearns Wisconsin State Normal School-Milwaukee WLA 125 Wisconsin Library Heritage Center Zona Gale Wisconsin Historical Society Soughton Public Library People Clarence Brown Lester 23 Beloit Public Library Publications Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries I Love Libraries Appleton Public Library Library Buildings bed and breakfast library exhibit Campaing for Wisconsin Libraries Jerome P. Daniels Library people Hall of Fame 2013 Academic Librarians Events & Meetings 24 Events Postcards Governor's Conference on Library and Information Services Black River Falls Lucy E. Smith Morris 28 Beaver Dam Public Library Parcel post Hartford Public Library state historical society Sarah Janice Kee Katharine MacDonald Jones Carl Spitzweg American Library Association Library War Service Dianne McAfee Hopkins Hall of Fame 2015 membership libraries Rusk County Community Library Charles Bunge Campaign Hall of Fame 2018 Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries bookworm Ruth Ann Montgomery Manitowoc Public Library Dick Sorensen Milwaukee Public Library Madison Public Library Frank Avery Hutchins Richard E. Krug Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Eager Free Public Library T. B. Scott Free Public Library Hall of Fame 2012 Bookmobiles Postcards 22 WLA 125 library legislation Anniversaries Marketing-Publicity Pewaukee Public Library UW-Milwaukee Libraries Library people Postcards Edward Asahel Birge Ice Storm UW-Madison school of library and information studies S. Janice Kee Special libraries Library Buidlings CCBC trav 10 Larry T. Nix Robert Bocher Dorothea M. Krause Hall of Fame 2009 Wayne A. Wiegand William J. Wilson Sandra Friedman Dolnick Wisconsin Federation of Women's Clubs Hall of Fame 2015 buil Ruby Roeder campa Hall National Library Week Wisconsin Literary Travel Guide 27 Orrilla Blackshear Milwaukee Public Library Oshkosh Public Library DeForest Area Public Library 11 Capitol Fire 1904 Tower Hill Wisconsin Eratus Swift Wilcox Hall of Fame 2012 Campaign traveling libraries Gilbert H. Doane COLAND campaign Wisconsin Library Trustees and Friends books-by-mail McMillan Memorial Library 21 American Library Association Hall fo Fame 2012 Public libraries Library Artifacts Peter G. Hamon Matthew S. Dudgeon Hall of Fame 2016 WAAL Jane K. Billings campaign Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries Postcards Hall of Fame 2015 library memorabilia Uncategorized J. D. Witter Wisconsin Library Bulletin National Bookmobile Day caly film World War I Gerald A. Somers Wilbur Lyle Eberhart Council on Library and Network Development cam Milwaukee Art Museum Wisconsin Free Library Commission Superior Carnegie Libraries Cam Hall of Fame 2011 Elroy Public Library Library e 14 Middleton Public Library Helen Adams Irene W. Newman Digital Collections Hall of Fame 2014 anniversaries WLA 125 School libraries John J. Jax WWI Library War Service Events & Meetings Pinback buttons Kimberly-Little Chute Public Library Suring Area Public Library Klaus Linderfelt Richard J. Sorensen Hall of Fame 2012 Wisconsin State Law Library ca Hall of Fame 2010 Association of Library Trustees Advocates and Friends UW-Milwaukee School of Information Studies State Law Library Meter mail slogans Exhibits Library Trustees James Duane Doty School of Library and Information Studies caly film 20 Buttons Library History Portage Public Library Library People Campaign for Wisconsin Libraries presentations Nolan I. Neds Hall of Fame 2019 caly film Brown Deer Public Library White House Conference on Library and Information Services Historical Register Woman's Congress Nancy Marshall Hall of Fame 2018 Cooperative Children's Book Center Wisconsin Free Library Commission WHCLIS Evansville Wisconsin Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians Wisconsin Library Association Hall of Fame 2015 James Huff Stout Wisconsin Rapids Brown Deer Public Library background library education Inform Wisconsin Cornelia Marving Pierce Increase A. Lapham Carnegie libraries Delia Ovitz Gertrude Thurow Amer campaign Lowell W. Wilson Bob Bochfer Dick Sorensen hall of Library Systems Clinton Public Library Bernard Schwab Hall of Fame 2017 Academic Libraries Lutie Stearns Black River Falls Public Library Public libraries John Miller Chancellor archives Anniversaries WLA 125 Marjorie Sornson Malmberg Louise S. Robbins Ripon Public Library

Wisconsin Library Association Foundation Logo